Hip Osteoarthritis occurs when any injury to or degradation of a joint causes the breakdown of cartilage tissue. As the cartilage wears away, the joint becomes frail and rough, while the protective joint space between the hip bones decreases. To compensate for the lost cartilage, the damaged bones may form bone spurs that grow outwards, also known as osteophytes. This blog post discusses the causes, symptoms, and treatment exercises for hip osteoarthritis. Read on.
Must read: The Treatment of Arthritis, Osteoarthritis and Rheumatoid Arthritis

What are the Causes?


1. Advanced age

Hips go through significant wear and tear over a lifetime, and the cartilage also becomes less flexible with age. Individuals aged 45 years or more often begin to develop symptoms of hip osteoarthritis, while those aged between 60 and 70 years are more prone to be affected by the condition.

2. Heredity and congenital defects and disease

According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention, it is estimated that 50 percent of hip arthritis cases are hereditary. Some individuals may inherit characteristics or diseases that eventually culminate into osteoarthritis, such as congenital hip dislocation, poor bone alignment, metabolic disorders, and rheumatoid arthritis.

3. Joint trauma or injury

Joint trauma or injury such as a broken hip or surgery, can develop into hip osteoarthritis years later. Athletes participating in direct impact sports such as hockey and football, are also at an increased risk.

Must Read: Osteoarthritis and Rheumatoid Arthritis: Understanding the Difference

4. Gender

Women are mostly affected by hip osteoarthritis. According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention, while 8.3 percent of male population above 45 years of age are prone to hip osteoarthritis, the number of women above is significantly higher with 11.3 percent.



1. Pain in the hip, groin, or thigh

Any signs of prolonged aching, and stiffness in the buttock, groin, or thigh, can be because of hip osteoarthritis. Often individuals experience back pain or in the sides, while standing upright or bearing weight. This pain may permeate down the thigh, into the knee and cause discomfort. By taking adequate rest, the pain subsides.

2. Decreased motion range

Hip osteoarthritis makes it very difficult to spread the legs apart, point toes inward while rotating the leg, and extend the leg straight back. The joint can also swell up and become irritated because of the increased friction between the pelvic bone and the femur. As a result, the surrounding muscles which support the hip joint swell up and starts to pain.

Further Read : Knee Osteoarthritis: Causes, Symptoms, Diagnosis and Treatment

3. Limping or lurching to counter loss of movement.

Aggravated hip arthritis symptoms can make it extremely difficult to walk. To minimize the pain and avoid putting any pressure on the joint, often individuals may employ limping or lurching forward. Additionally, individuals may face difficulties while performing bending activities such as wearing socks, and getting in and out of an automobile.

4. Stiffening of joint due to inactivity

Hip joints of individuals with hip osteoarthritis tend to become stiff after extended periods of seating or sleeping. Such instances produce noticeable pain when getting out of bed in the morning or standing after long hours of sitting. Sometimes the pain may also be a symptom of hip bursitis (or Trochanteric bursitis).


Treatment Exercises


1. Low-Impact Exercise

When beginning an exercise program for the rehabilitation of hip osteoarthritis include, it is advisable to start with some low-impact, non-strenuous exercises, which include:

  • Walking
  • Stationary bike
  • Swimming
  • Yoga


2. Muscle Strengthening Exercises

Improving muscle strength can help take pressure off the hip joint and improve balance. You should, however, not engage in muscle strengthening exercises for more than two times a week. Such exercises include:

  • Chair stand
  • Bridge
  • Hip Extension


3. Flexibility Exercises

Including low intensity exercises to improve flexibility and range-of-motion is beneficial in reducing stiffness of the joint. Such exercises include:

  • Inner leg stretch
  • Hip and lower stretch
  • Double hip rotation


Wrapping up

Hip osteoarthritis is a degenerative joint disease, and one of the common forms of arthritis.  Individuals often ignore early symptoms of the condition, and it is only very late when the condition aggravates that they seek medical attention. Available treatments for hip arthritis include exercises and physiotherapy to alleviate the pain and restore joint mobility. If you have any questions about hip arthritis symptoms, causes or treatment exercises or post-surgery recovery, experts at Texas Health Spine and Orthopedic Center can help. To schedule an appointment, fill out our online booking form or give us a call at +1-888-608-4762.