There are more than 300 joints in the human body, which means that there are many areas that can develop arthritis. One of the joints that is most commonly affected by arthritis is located in your hip.
Hip arthritis can interfere with your overall quality of life because the symptoms can make it difficult to carry out daily physical tasks, such as going up the stairs in your home or running errands. The good news is that you don’t have to just grin and bear the ache because physical therapy can help.
Read on to learn about the basics of hip arthritis, how physical therapy can help and techniques that a physical therapist might use.
The basics of hip arthritis
Arthritis refers to more than 100 conditions that cause joint inflammation. It’s the No. 1 cause of disability in the U.S., affecting 1 in 5 adults in the country. Hip arthritis is common because the inflammation tends to develop in joints that bear your body weight.
Symptoms of hip arthritis include:
- Clicking sounds during movement.
The most common type of arthritis in the hip is osteoarthritis, which is a degenerative joint disease. Hip osteoarthritis develops over time as the cartilage in the hip joint slowly wears away.
How physical therapy can help your hip arthritis
Even though hip arthritis can’t be permanently cured, there are plenty of ways to treat your symptoms to lessen their interference on your day-to-day activities. One of the best courses of action for the chronic pain and stiffness that stems from hip arthritis is physical therapy.
Physical therapy is often used for arthritis because it provides pain management techniques while improving the function of the affected joints to reduce the symptoms in the future.
There are a variety of benefits that you could gain from seeking physical therapy for your hip arthritis, including:
- Reduced pain.
- Improved joint range of motion.
- Increased strength of surrounding muscles.
- Improved flexibility.
- Posture adjustments.
- Suggestions and guidance for walking aids.
- Reduced risk of fall.
Techniques that a physical therapist may use to help your hip arthritis
Several different physical therapy techniques may be included in your hip arthritis treatment. Your physical therapist will determine which will be the safest and most effective treatments based on the severity of your symptoms, your medical history and your abilities. Their goal is to help your current hip arthritis while helping you take precautionary measures in the future.
Here are a few potential techniques that your physical therapist might include in your hip arthritis treatment sessions:
- Targeted exercises — One of the best ways to alleviate joint stiffness and pain is through therapeutic exercises. Your physical therapist will walk you through exercises that will improve your hip joint’s mobility and flexibility. You’ll also learn exercises that will strengthen the surrounding muscles to improve stability and reduce the risk of falling.
- Manual therapy — Your physical therapist will likely use their hands for manual therapy techniques that will reduce your pain and improve your hip’s range of motion. For hip arthritis, they can perform joint mobilization, which involves moving the joint around to find the restriction before gently stretching and loosening the affected soft tissue.
- Joint protection — There are many PT techniques that can protect your hip joints from stress while carrying out movements. With joint protection techniques, such as proper posture, you can reduce your hip arthritis pain. A physical therapist can help you make the lifestyle changes needed to limit excessive stress on your hip joint.
- Assistive device recommendations — You can incorporate assistive devices in your home and your activities to reduce your arthritis flare-ups. A physical therapist can make suggestions for devices like walking aids, bath stools for the shower, and sock grippers.
Continuum Wellness can provide you with physical therapy for hip arthritis
Having a flare-up of hip arthritis can make you want to do nothing except rest until the pain and stiffness goes away. While life doesn’t stop for pain, there are ways that you can help alleviate it so that you can carry on with your responsibilities. That’s where we come in.
At Continuum Wellness, you can receive physical therapy for your hip arthritis that will not only tackle the pain, but also improve the joint’s strength, flexibility, function and mobility. With techniques like manual therapy and therapeutic exercises, our physical therapists can help you restore your ability to carry out your daily tasks.