Osteoarthritis of the Hip

October 2, 2018 9:48 am Published by

Information Provided by the American Physical Therapy Association

Hip osteoarthritis (hip OA) is the inflammation and wearing away of the cartilage of the hip joint. It can develop at any age, although it is more commonly diagnosed in older adults. There is no known specific cause of hip OA; everyone is at equal risk of developing it.

Research found no difference in the rate of occurrence of hip OA in the general public
based on race, gender, weight, or educational level. Hip OA can make everyday activities,
such as walking or climbing stairs, difficult. Managing the pain associated with hip OA can be complex. While in some situations, when dosed appropriately, prescription opioids are an appropriate part of medical treatment; there are risks, including depression, addiction, overdose, and withdrawal symptoms when stopping use.

With opioid abuse an unprecedented national public health epidemic, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has recommended safe alternatives, including physical therapy,
to opioids for treating hip OA. Learn more about how a physical therapist can help you safely manage your hip OA at MoveForwardPT.com/ChoosePT.


Hip OA may cause symptoms including:

• Sharp, shooting pain or dull, achy pain in the hip, groin, thigh, knee, or buttocks
• Stiffness in the hip joint, which is worse after sleeping or sitting
• Weakness of the muscles in the lower extremity
• A “crunching” sound when the hip joint is moved
• Difficulty and pain when getting out of bed, standing up, walking, or climbing stairs
• Difficulty performing normal daily activities, such as putting on socks and shoes


Once you have received a diagnosis of hip OA, your physical therapist will design an individualized treatment program specific to the exact nature of your condition and goals. Your treatment program may include:

• Range-of-motion exercises
• Muscle strengthening
• Manual therapy
• Bracing
• Activity recommendations
• Modalities

In severe cases of hip OA, hip joint replacement surgery is required. If you must have hip
replacement surgery, a physical therapist will work with you to:

• Prepare for your surgery
• Minimize pain
• Restore motion and strength
following surgery
• Return to normal daily activities

This post was written by Magnolia Regional Health Center