There are two major components to treating hip osteoarthritis. The first is taking away the inflammation from the joint to alleviate the pain; and the other is to make sure that we address the biomechanics to take the pressure off the hip so that the inflammation doesn’t return.
A lot of times people who treat osteoarthritis are asked about supplements. As we all know, there are a lot of supplements on the market that are oriented to help with the pain of osteoarthritis.
With hip osteoarthritis, the most evidence that’s out there exists for Glucosamine and Chondroitin. That’s what’s been studied the best – Glucosamine and Chondroitin supplements. And there, the earlier evidence really looked very pro-Glucosamine and Chondroitin. As more studies have come out, that evidence has become a lot more mixed, and now there’s a lot of controversy over whether it helps at all, how much does it help.
What I usually tell patients is, look, Glucosamine and Chondroitin is not going to hurt you, if you have any interest in it, it’s worth trying. You can try. If anything it’s going to hurt your wallet, assuming no contraindications. And take it for a few months and see if you feel like it’s helping. And, if it is helping, then continue taking it for a little while and then stop. And if the pain comes back, well then you know that it probably was doing something for you. And if the pain doesn’t come back, maybe it helped, maybe time and the other things that were going on was what was helpful as well.
Another supplement that’s worth considering for some people are Omega-3 fatty acids. Omega-3 fatty acids are found in our diet. There’s not really a lot of evidence with Omega-3 fatty acids and hip osteoarthritis in particular, but Omega-3 fatty acids are generally thought to be anti-inflammatory. And so for a whole host of reasons, it may be worth considering talking with your doctor about whether Omega-3 fatty acids are right for you, realizing that there’s really not evidence specifically to support Omega-3 fatty acids in hip osteoarthritis.