What Are the Causes of Arthritis in the Hip Joint?
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Hip Joint Pain and Arthritis

Published on Apr 23, 2014 and last reviewed on Mar 02, 2023   -  5 min read


The hip joint is a type of weight-bearing joint and is subjected to stresses during daily activities. This article explains hip joint pain due to arthritis.

Hip Joint Pain and Arthritis

How Does the Hip Joint Work?

The hip is a ball-and-socket joint. The femoral head is the ball at the apex of the femur (thigh bone). The acetabulum, or socket, is a component of the pelvis. The leg can rotate and move forward, backward, and sideways because the ball rotates in the socket. The ball and socket part of a healthy hip joint is protected by a gleaming coating known as articular cartilage. This cartilage, which appears as a space between the ball and the socket on an X-ray, is what permits the bones of the hip joint to slide together smoothly with less resistance than ice sliding on ice. The labrum, a particular layer of very strong cartilage in the acetabulum, is also present. The hip joint's structure allows for a wide range of motion. Because of the vast region between the femoral head and the labrum-lined acetabulum, it is a particularly stable joint.

What Is Arthritis?

The most common cause of hip discomfort and pain is arthritis. Arthritis is a very progressive disease, meaning that it develops gradually and worsens over time. The term arthritis literally means joint inflammation. The hip can be affected by a variety of arthritis forms. Your treatment options may be influenced by the type of arthritis you have.

What Are the Types of Arthritis?

The important types of arthritis that can affect the hip joint are:

Although there is no treatment for any type of arthritis, the pain and other symptoms can be managed.

What Are the Symptoms of Arthritis?

The following are symptoms of hip arthritis, regardless of the form of arthritis:

Patients with rheumatoid arthritis or lupus may experience fatigue and weakness. Arthritis outbreaks and relapses are common. However, other persons have relatively steady pain levels without flares.

Since any type of arthritis can affect multiple joints in the body, a person with osteoarthritis of the hands may also get osteoarthritis of the hip. Both hips are usually affected by rheumatoid arthritis and lupus at the same time, but osteoarthritis and psoriatic arthritis may affect one hip but not the other.

What Causes Hip Arthritis?

The hip joint just wears out and tears over time. It commonly affects individuals in their 60s and in older age. As people get older, they are more likely to get osteoarthritis.

The joints that are involved, how severely they are affected, and at what age they become affected vary from person to person, such as:

  • Anatomic structure of the hip.

  • Weight.

  • Activity level.

Hip arthritis can also be caused by other underlying conditions in younger patients:

  • Autoimmune inflammatory disorders such as rheumatoid arthritis and lupus.

  • Infections.

  • Hip injuries caused by trauma.

  • Hip impingement and hip dysplasia put a strain on the joints, causing premature cartilage degeneration.

Hip arthritis is more likely to develop as you get older and have a family history of it. Patients who are obese or people who have had a hip joint injury may see their cartilage wear out more quickly.

Unfortunately, once the arthritic process begins, it is nearly usually unavoidable for it to progress. All of these processes lead to the loss of cartilage in the hip joint, which results in bone-on-bone friction in the hip part. Whereas people with arthritis have a wide range of pain and incapacity.

How Is Arthritis Diagnosed?

The most crucial first step if you feel you have hip arthritis is to get a proper diagnosis. The following are likely to be included in a diagnostic evaluation:

  • Your medical history, including any discomfort you have had and whether you have ever limped.

  • A physical examination to see how effectively you can move your hips in particular.

  • Radiographs or X-rays are used to see if the joint has any abnormalities.

  • Antibodies linked to a certain type of arthritis can be detected by blood tests (only if required).

What Are the Treatment Options for Arthritis?

The specialists will recommend a treatment plan based on your specific form of arthritis as well as other considerations such as your overall health, age, and personal preferences.

Non-Surgical Treatment:

  • Your inflammatory illness will determine the therapy method for controlling your symptoms. Several advances in the treatment of inflammatory arthritis have made a significant difference in the lives of those who suffer from the condition. When treated early, inflammatory arthritis can often be successfully controlled with drugs, and it can even go into remission.

  • Naproxen and Ibuprofen are examples of non-steroidal anti-inflammatory medications (NSAIDs) that can help relieve pain and reduce inflammation. Both over-the-counter and prescription NSAIDs are available.

  • Prednisone and other corticosteroid medicines are powerful anti-inflammatories that can also weaken the immune system. They can be administered orally or intravenously.

  • Certain injections like corticosteroids, hyaluronic acid, or platelet-rich plasma (PRP) into the hip can also help relieve pain.

  • DMARDs (disease-modifying antirheumatic drugs) work on the immune system to assist and reduce the disease's progression. Methotrexate is a routinely administered disease-modifying antirheumatic drug.

  • Biologics, which are genetically designed proteins that target specific areas of the immune system that cause inflammation, are a class of newer drugs on the market. Patients diagnosed with rheumatoid, psoriatic arthritis, and other types of autoimmune inflammatory arthritis may benefit from these medications.

  • Physical therapy, which may include specific exercises, can help you improve your hip's range of motion and strengthen the muscles that support it.

  • Regular, moderate exercise may also help to reduce stiffness and increase endurance. Because spinal motion may be reduced in patients with ankylosing spondylitis, swimming is a suggested exercise.

  • Using a walker or reacher as an assistive device may make it easier for you to do daily tasks.

Lifestyle changes can also assist in alleviating the symptoms of hip arthritis. These include:

  • Maintaining a healthy weight and, if necessary, reducing weight.

  • Appropriate pain control.

  • Changing your activities to reduce hip stress.

  • Exercising in order to gain strength.

Surgical Treatment:

Many persons with hip arthritis can benefit from surgery. Surgery can help you minimize pain, improve your quality of life, and do everyday tasks with fewer or no restrictions.

  • If the hip joint is significantly injured, total hip replacement may be necessary.

  • In less difficult situations, osteotomy surgery may be indicated. Hip osteotomy surgery involves cutting and repositioning the joint surfaces such that the healthy part of the hip joint can bear the majority of the body's weight. Osteotomy surgery is only appropriate for a small number of patients.

The risks and benefits of your surgical choices will be explored if you are an appropriate candidate for hip surgery.


Arthritis is tough to diagnose by oneself. Try to discuss your symptoms and difficulties with your primary care physician as soon as possible. A rheumatologist or orthopedist may be referred to you in order to obtain an accurate diagnosis and receive the medical care you require. Your illness may develop and cause disability if left undiagnosed and untreated.

Frequently Asked Questions


What Are the Causes of Hip Pain in a Woman?

The causes for hip pain in a woman are:
- Gynecological problems. Hip pain is commonly seen during the menstrual cycle.
- Fractures in the hip.
- Tendinitis and bursitis.
- Hernia.
- Arthritis.


What Are the Signs of Abnormalities in the Hip?

The signs of abnormalities in the hip are:
- Swelling tenderness of the hip
- Hip pain.
- Limping.
- Stiffness in the joint.


How Do I Know if My Hip Pain Is Serious?

You can identify if your hip pain is serious if you are not able to move from one place. This is an indication that your joints are deformed. They should seek medical help and get tested for any infection or swelling.


What Are the Medications Suggested for Hip Pain?

Rest is the first essential measure to get relief from hip pain. Painkillers are also suggested by doctors to overcome hip pain. The most commonly recommended painkiller medications are:
- Naproxen sodium.
- Acetaminophen or Paracetamol.
- Ibuprofen.


When Do I Need to Consult My Doctor for Hip Pain?

If you have constant hip pain for more than two or three days, you need to consult your doctor. If you happen to identify any redness or swelling around your hip joint, then you need to check with your doctor as soon as possible. You can also get help from icliniq.com.


How to Identify Arthritis of the Hip?

Arthritis in the hip can be identified with the following signs.
- Pain in groin, knee, and buttock.
- Stiffness and pain in the joints.
- Sharp pain in the morning.
- Resting for a long time can increase your pain.


How Long Does Hip Pain Usually Last?

Severe hip pain can usually take more than one or six weeks to heal. If the injury is minor, then it can heal within three weeks of time. If the patient is facing a severe tear in the muscles, then the hip pain can last for more than six weeks.


Are Exercises Bad for Your Hips?

Intense exercises are bad for your hips. It is not advised to perform heavy lifting practices. You are also asked to refrain from running and jumping activities. Adventurous activities such as hiking should be avoided.


What Are the Ideal Supplements for Hip Pain?

The ideal supplements for hip pain are:
- Glucosamine and chondroitin sulfate.
- Vitamin D.
- Omega-3 fatty acids.
- Curcumin.


Are Vitamins Helpful for Hip Pain?

Yes, vitamins are helpful for hip pain. A deficiency in vitamin D is associated with conditions like osteoarthritis. So, it is suggested that supplementation with vitamin D, can help in relieving hip pain. You can also get help from your doctor for other treatment options.


What Food Is Good for Hip Pain?

The foods that are helpful for relieving hip pain are:
- Fatty fish like salmon, anchovies, herring, mackerel, sardines, and tuna.
- Some plant and nut oils like canola, olive, and flaxseed oils.
- Leafy green vegetables like lettuce and broccoli.
- Walnuts.
- Flaxseeds.


Does Walking Ease My Hip Pain?

Walking is considered a low impact activity. It is the best way to start a proper exercise regimen. Walking also helps in relieving the pain that is caused by stiffness, swelling, and arthritis.


What Are the Triggers for Hip Arthritis?

The triggers of hip arthritis are:
- Stress.
- Heavy weight lifting.
- Cold weather.
- Infection.
- Increase in weight.
- Bone spurs.


What Helps Hip Pain While Sleeping?

If you are facing hip pain while sleeping, you need to follow the below tips to reduce the intensity of pain.
- Change your position while sleeping. Turn to the side that gives you less pain.
- Wedge-shaped pillows can be useful in relieving pain.
- You can sleep with pillows below your knees.


What Is the Quickest Way to Cure Hip Pain?

The quickest way to relieve hip pain is to give an ice pack. A warm shower will also help in reducing the pain. It will also prepare the muscles for stretching. In addition to this, the nerves that are in strain are also relieved.


What Are Natural Remedies for Hip Pain?

Rest is the first and the foremost requirement of healing from hip pain. If the patient is having any inflammation, ice packs can be given every four hours. Alterations in the diet patterns can be made to improve the strength and stability of the hips. You can also increase the consumption of nuts, flaxseeds, and omega-3 fatty acids.


What Are the Non-Surgical Treatment Options for Hip Pain?

The non-surgical treatment options for hip pain are:
- Lifestyle modifications.
- Pain medications.
- Injections and infusions.
- Physiotherapy.
- Occupational Therapy.

Last reviewed at:
02 Mar 2023  -  5 min read




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