At Bradford House Clinic, Chiropractor, Max Atkinson, has noted that many patients with Osteoarthritis of the hip are turning to non-pharmacological (drug-free) treatments such as Chiropractic and Physiotherapy to help them remain active, manage pain and to delay, or avoid, the need for hip surgery in the future. Many patients choose Chiropractic in conjunction with their medical treatment as Chiropractic techniques have the aim of restoring as much function as possible to an arthritic joint.
What is Osteoarthritis of the Hip?
This type of arthritis is often named “wear-and-tear-arthritis”, because it is a condition that is more likely to develop as the number of birthdays we have accumulated goes up! It is most common in middle-aged or older people and more likely in hips and knees because these are weight-bearing joints.
This is a condition with no identifiable single cause, although there are risk factors that could make you more susceptible. These include being overweight, having a pre-existing hip injury or other family members with osteoarthritis.
What is Osteoarthritis?
Osteoarthritis is a condition that generally, gets gradually gets worse although it can begin suddenly in some cases. Patients usually report pain in and around the hip joint, often worse after a night’s rest or after sitting for a long period (for example after a long car journey). The pain may radiate to the buttocks, groin and knee and may be worse after any vigorous exercise.
The hip joint is a large, ‘ball and socket’ joint. Smooth cartilage that cushions and protects bones and allows for smooth movement of the joint covers the ball and the socket. The whole of the joint surface is coated with a thin, lining layer called the Synovium. This secretes fluid to lubricate the joint.
In Osteoarthritis, the joint cartilage is gradually eroded, becoming roughened and with tiny fragments breaking away. This results in the joint space between the ball and the socket bones becoming smaller.
What are the Symptoms?
The symptoms begin with stiffness and pain that can worsen until simple activities like walking sitting down in a chair or getting up again can become very difficult.
Crepitus, a grinding noise from the affected hip can be somewhat disconcerting. The sound is a result of the degeneration of cartilage in the joint. Degeneration leaves the joint unprotected against friction, loose fragments of cartilage interfere with the biomechanics of the hip. In severe cases, the bones grind against each other.
Sometimes, the body may attempt to protect itself from this loss of cartilage by producing bone spurs but these can cause pain and the locking or ‘sticking’ of the hip joint.
Some patients report that the pain is worse in cold, damp and rainy weather conditions.
How May Chiropractic Help?
Although there is no cure for osteoarthritis, your Winchester Chiropractor can offer several treatment options with the aims of helping you to manage pain and remain active.
Chiropractic adjustments can be helpful in improving the mobility of affected hip joints. Other treatments, such as soft tissue stretching can also help to make movement more comfortable. These treatments have the added benefit of helping the patient to be more active, a very good way to improve strength and flexibility.
Winchester Chiropractor, Max Atkinson, invites you to call Bradford House Chiropractic to arrange an appointment on 01962-861-188. As he points out, there is no cure for Osteoarthritis, but with help and advice on diet, exercise and weight management, combined with gentle Chiropractic techniques to improve mobility, there is a great deal that patients can do to help themselves to enjoy as full, and as active, a life as possible.