Arthritis can strike at any joint, and the hips are no exception. The pain can range from mild stiffness to debilitating pain that prevents you from getting up. Since hip arthritis is a progressive condition, it’s best to seek immediate treatment. Your doctor may recommend several options, including physical therapy.
What is Physical Therapy?
Physical therapy is a form of rehabilitative care for orthopedic injury and disease. It uses several methods:
- Joint Mobilization
- Guided stretching
- Strength and endurance exercises
- Hot and cold therapy
This treatment aims to reduce pain, improve strength, and restore function after injury or disease.
How Can Physical Therapy Help with Hip Arthritis?
If you have hip arthritis, it’s worth looking into physical therapy. Here’s how it can help you:
The main symptom of hip arthritis is joint pain. This aching can be limited to the hip or radiate to the groin, thigh, and buttocks. If your hip arthritis flares up, you may think you should rest. But staying sedentary for a long time will only make things worse. Orthopedic doctors recommend staying active to reduce arthritis pain.
During physical therapy sessions, your provider will guide you through specific stretches and exercises. You can perform these exercises under the supervision of a provider or at the comfort of your home.
Regular and controlled physical activity can ease joint swelling and pain by lubricating the cartilage. It can also reduce pressure on the joint, strengthen surrounding structures, and improve mobility.
Your physical therapist can also teach you how to sit, stand up, and lie down without straining the affected joints. They can also spot and correct errors in your posture and demonstrate proper body mechanics.
Reduce Drug Reliance
One way to manage arthritis pain is through medication. Your doctor can prescribe pain relievers to reduce your symptoms. If needed, they may also perform corticosteroid injections to deliver a high dosage of drugs to the joint. These are generally more effective than oral medications since the injections target specific locations.
But while medication can help in the short term, you shouldn’t heavily depend on drugs for pain relief. Steroid injections can also cause side effects when used too often.
Physical therapy and exercise are healthier alternatives to manage pain without drugs. More importantly, the positive exercise habits that you build can help you lead a better lifestyle.
Most physical therapy plans increase in intensity over time. From simple stretches, your provider may introduce strength and endurance exercises later. Regular exercise strengthens the muscles and tissues around the affected joints. It can also contribute to bone strength.
While doing strength exercises, make sure to follow your provider’s instructions and don’t overdo it. Start slow when lifting weights. If you feel a sharp pain, listen to your body, and take a break.
Improve Range of Motion
Hip arthritis can severely limit your movement. Some patients find it hard to tie their shoes or even get out of bed.
Fortunately, your rehabilitation plan will include some range of motion exercises. These movements focus on improving how well you can move your joints and occur at the later stage of your physical therapy plan. These include:
- Double hip rotation
- Knee-to-chest exercise
- Standing hip flexor stretch
Speed Up Surgical Recovery
For advanced cases of hip arthritis, your doctor may recommend surgery. This option is a last resort for individuals who no longer respond to conservative treatments. The exact type of procedure would depend on your specific condition.
Physical therapy is a crucial part of your recovery, especially if your orthopedic surgeon replaces your hip with a prosthetic. It can also speed up the healing process. Plus, it allows you to maximize the benefits of the prosthetic sooner. Your physical therapist will craft a rehabilitation plan to help you get used to your new joint.
Hip Arthritis Treatment in North Dakota
For state-of-the-art orthopedic care, visit The Bone & Joint Center today. Our board-certified and fellowship-trained orthopedic physicians can perform a thorough assessment and design an appropriate treatment plan for you. We take pride in providing compassionate and comprehensive orthopedic care for all our patients.
To schedule a consultation, don’t hesitate to contact us at (800) 424-2663 or fill out our online appointment request form. We have several locations in North Dakota to serve you. Give us a call today and let us help you move without limitation!