As with other arthritic conditions, early treatment of osteoarthritis of the hip is nonsurgical. Your doctor may recommend a range of treatment options.
Some changes in your daily life can protect your hip joint and slow the progress of osteoarthritis.
- Minimizing activities that aggravate the condition, such as climbing stairs.
- Switching from high-impact activities (like jogging or tennis) to lower impact activities (like swimming or cycling) will put less stress on your hip.
- Losing weight can reduce stress on the hip joint, resulting in less pain and increased function.
Specific exercises can help increase range of motion and flexibility, as well as strengthen the muscles in your hip and leg. Your doctor or physical therapist can help develop an individualized exercise program that meets your needs and lifestyle.
Using walking supports like a cane, crutches, or a walker can improve mobility and independence. Using assistive aids like a long-handled reacher to pick up low-lying things will help you avoid movements that may cause pain.
If your pain affects your daily routine, or is not relieved by other nonsurgical methods, your doctor may add medication to your treatment plan.
Acetaminophen is an over-the-counter pain reliever that can be effective in reducing mild arthritis pain. Like all medications, however, over-the-counter pain relievers can cause side effects and interact with other medications you are taking. Be sure to discuss potential side effects with your doctor.
Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) may relieve pain and reduce inflammation. Over-the-counter NSAIDs include naproxen and ibuprofen. Other NSAIDs are available by prescription.
Corticosteroids (also known as cortisone) are powerful anti-inflammatory agents that can be taken by mouth or injected into the painful joint.