Osteoarthritis

Osteoarthritis is the most common type of arthritis, affecting 8.5 million people in the UK. It develops gradually over time, causing joints to become stiff and painful.

Osteoarthritis of the hip is likely to cause pain in the front of your groin, but sometimes it can be experienced around the side and front of your thigh, buttock or down to your knee. Simple tasks such as putting on your socks can be very painful, and stiffness is often most severe first thing on a morning until you “get up and about”. Busy days involving lots of walking or activity may also cause it to ache on an evening.

Osteoarthritis

Osteoarthritis is a “wear and tear” form of arthritis, most commonly affecting the knees and hips. It is more common in later life leading to pain and disability. 

Exercise 

Aim to exercise regularly – whilst running may not be an option for you other “non weight bearing exercise” will be very beneficial. Swimming, cycling (perhaps an exercise bike) is ideal and even just a regular walk will help to strengthen the muscles around affected joints, to keep you fit, and to maintain a good range joint movement. Regardless of the severity of your arthritis, the stronger you can make the muscles around the joint the better outcome in the short term and even long term, if a joint replacement is ever required. 

Weight control 

If you are overweight, try to lose some weight. Even a modest weight loss can make quite a difference. The less force being transmitted through the joint the less pain experienced and healthier it is for your worn joint.

Walking aids 

When walking, try using a cane (walking stick). Hold it in the hand on the opposite side of the body to the affected joint.

Physiotherapy 

Sometimes advice or treatment from a physiotherapist can be helpful. We run a “Knee and Hip School” to help strengthen the muscles around the joint and improve mobility. A copy of our “Knee and hip school” exercise booklet is available here. 

Simple painkillers 

Using regular simple painkillers to reduce the severity of pain and discomfort experienced will allow muscles being used to gain more benefit from the exercise carried out.  Patients often worry that by taking painkillers they are “masking the pain and will not know if they are causing more damage”. Simple painkillers advised will help to reduce the pain but not to such an extent that other damage can be caused.  

Click here to find out more information about the use of paracetamol, co-codamol and anti-inflammatory painkillers.

Other therapies 

Some people have found that transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulator (TENS) machines help to ease pain from osteoarthritis.  However, the importance of strengthening exercises shouldn’t be forgotten. 

Surgery for osteoarthritis 

For some people the severity of arthritis results in them needing to consider surgery. Hip replacement surgery has become a standard treatment for severe osteoarthritis and in some cases this procedure may be required. A full assessment with one of our team can help advise the most appropriate treatment options for you.

Please note -
These are general exercises, seek advice if you are unsure.