One goal of treatment for hip osteoarthritis is to reduce the pain and inflammation in the hip joint so that the patient can return to fully participating in activities or performing everyday tasks. It is important for doctor and patient to discuss methods to perform activities in ways that circumvent the pain rather than those that aggravate it. This video discusses why it can be helpful to modify certain activities to counteract pain from hip osteoarthritis.
There are two major components to treating hip osteoarthritis. The first is taking away the inflammation from the joint to alleviate the pain; the other is to make sure we address the biomechanics to take the pressure off the hip so that the inflammation does not return.
Depending on the degree of symptoms, severity, and other factors, sometimes, modifying the activities can be helpful, especially in the short term for things that involve a lot of pounding or running on a hard surface, for example, different kinds of activities that may be exacerbating the hip.
While it’s always the goal to get back to those activities – and often we really can – in the short run, sometimes tweaking the activities so that we’re not constantly irritated can be a very helpful thing: working around the pain rather than directly through the pain. To that end, sometimes in the short run, depending again on the severity of the pain from the arthritis, sometimes a cane, rarely a walker, can be helpful both for the pain from osteoarthritis in the very short term but also for balance if people don’t feel steady when they’re walking because of the pain or from any other cause, we certainly want to make safety first and to prevent falls. And sometimes people will only use those devices when they go outside; that depends on a lot of different factors.