A major component for hip osteoarthritis treatment is physical therapy and exercise. However, for many patients who may be overweight, it can be difficult to begin or continue an exercise routine due to joint pain from osteoarthritis. This video explains the role of pain management in exercising for weight loss for hip osteoarthritis.

Video Transcript

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.

Another important consideration with treating hip osteoarthritis is the role that weight has to play with hip osteoarthritis. The more weight that we put on, the more force that goes through the hip, the more stress on the hip.

We all, I think, know this intuitively: if we can drop some weight, it’s going to help our joints in general. One of the issues that I take with this sometimes is the idea that, well, it’s the patients that I treat who come in and say, “I know, I know, I know I’ve just got to lose the weight, I know you can’t do anything until I lose the weight.” It can be a very frustrating experience for someone who is overweight to feel guilty about that and feel like they just have to lose the weight, it is their fault and there is nothing they can do until they lose the weight.

Breaking the Cycle of Pain and Weight Gain

When people have a lot of pain from hip (or other) osteoarthritis, often it’s hard to do that exercise, and that leads to more weight gain, which contributes to more pain, and you can see the vicious cycle that sets up. Sometimes simply stepping in and breaking that cycle – taking away the pain, allows the person to get up and move around. Simply even doing mundane tasks, like not having to think about getting up and walking over and picking up a cup of coffee or glass of milk, not having to make those decisions because it does not hurt that much to get up and walk across the room, that alone can help some people start to lose some weight.

And of course, getting in with physical therapy, and doing more of an overall exercise regimen can really help you start to shed the pounds as you lose the weight. That helps in terms of taking the pain away, and you start to cycle in the right direction, in which the pain is less, you exercise more, your weight goes down, and if your weight goes down, the pain is less. Of course we should not de-emphasize the role of nutrition, that’s always important and a consideration we should always be stressing, but we should not look at just the role of nutrition as the whole picture either.