Why are hips important to women

Hip osteoarthritis: recognize symptoms early

Status: 06/21/2019 10:39 a.m. | archive
Hip pain is a common symptom of wear and tear.

The first signs of osteoarthritis in the hip joint are pain in the groin that radiates down the thigh to the knee joint, or on the outside of the hip joint. But hip arthrosis can also make itself felt through other complaints.

For example, at the onset of the disease, some people complain of limited mobility of the spine and back pain. You have difficulty bending down or turning movements. Tension in the shoulder and lumbar vertebrae make you think of a disc disease or a vertebral blockage.

Hip osteoarthritis due to excessive strain and poor posture

The ball joints of the hips are exposed to enormous shock loads in everyday life. These are cushioned for a long time by the cartilage coating on the joint surfaces on the femoral head and socket. But the cartilage mass is exposed to increasing wear, especially when it is overstrained or improperly loaded - this can lead to osteoarthritis. The dysfunction of the hip can also affect the lumbar spine and knees.

Relieving posture puts strain on muscles in the hip

To avoid pain, many people begin to limp and drag their leg. Some use a stick as a walking aid. Such a relieving posture reduces the acute discomfort, but is problematic in the long run. Because if you try to relieve the hip joint, you do it even more damage: If you walk incorrectly, tension builds up in the hip muscles, which can no longer be resolved on their own. Those affected repeatedly go into what is known as the pelvic obliquity, which irritates the hip joint even more.

Hip osteoarthritis puts stress on the spine and knees

A dysfunction of the hip can also affect the lumbar spine and the knees: Due to a relieving posture, many sufferers overwhelm the back muscles - pain and tension are the result.

The iliopsoas muscle plays an important role: the hip flexor is used when stretching and lifting the leg, but is often shortened and weakened by long periods of sitting. This causes the hip flexor muscle to twist the pelvis in the direction of the leg, thus putting strain on the back instead of the hips.

The incorrect posture continues upwards: the neck is hyperextended, the chest muscles are shortened and finally the shoulder can no longer rotate.

Stride length: indication of hip problems

If the steps are longer with one leg than the other, the mobility of the hip joint may be limited - on the side with the shorter steps. One possible cause is osteoarthritis, which prevents the leg from stretching at the hip. The pelvis tilts forward, the spine is stretched and the sacroiliac joint between the intestine and sacrum absorbs the movement. In the long run, this leads to back pain.

Exercise can help in the early stages

When osteoarthritis begins, certain exercises for the hip can help prevent the pain from worsening and ensure that synovial fluid builds up again. This is why orthopedic surgeons recommend conservative treatment with medication and physiotherapy in the early stages of the disease. The mobility is trained, muscles shortened by relieving posture are stretched and weakened muscle groups are strengthened.

In addition, there is a dosed functional training consisting of cycling and swimming. Targeted pulling on the leg (traction) relieves the pain. Affected people can also let their leg swing on a staircase to achieve the effect. If you are overweight, weight loss is strongly recommended.

Psychological stress decides whether to operate

Exercise cannot reverse the wear and tear in the hip joint either. In some cases, the use of an artificial hip joint is unavoidable so that those affected can move around again without pain and perhaps even play sports. This is the only way to prevent the progression of osteoarthritis and its effects on the knees and back.

Patients shouldn't wait too long to make a decision. Because if the bony structures are already damaged, the operation becomes much more complex and stressful. At a late point in time, it is often not possible to restore the original mobility.

Before the procedure, specialists recommend light exercise and strength training so that you can get back on your feet more quickly afterwards. After the operation, those affected train a normal gait pattern with physiotherapy so as not to fall back into the relieving posture.

Experts on the subject

Prof. Dr. Ralf Skripitz, chief physician
Center for Endoprosthetics, Foot Surgery, Pediatric and General Orthopedics
Roland Clinic Bremen
Niedersachsendamm 72-74
28201 Bremen

additional Information
German Osteoarthritis Help e. V.
P.O. Box 11 05 51, 60040 Frankfurt / Main
(06831) 94 66 77

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