Struggling with arthritis in the hips? These 4 PT treatments may help

Your hips play a large role in nearly every movement you make throughout the day, from walking around your house to sitting on the couch after a long day. So if you’re feeling pain and stiffness in your hips, it shouldn’t be brushed off.

Arthritis in the hips can interfere with your quality of life, which is why proper treatment is essential during a flare-up. Physical therapy should be one of the first courses of action that you explore for treatment of your hip arthritis symptoms.

We’ll talk about the basics of arthritis in the hips as well as physical therapy treatments that can help. Then we’ll discuss the benefits of seeking physical therapy for hip arthritis treatment.

What you need to know about arthritis in the hips

Arthritis in the hips means that the cartilage in your hip joint has been damaged. There are several types of hip arthritis, but the most common is osteoarthritis, a degenerative joint disease that causes the cartilage to wear down due to gradual wear and tear, resulting in inflammation. It’s also possible to develop rheumatoid arthritis, psoriatic arthritis and post-traumatic hip arthritis.

While some people experience flare-ups of hip arthritis, others struggle with constant symptoms. Hip arthritis symptoms include:

  • Pain that worsens during movement.
  • Stiffness or reduced mobility.
  • Crunching or clicking sounds (crepitus).
  • Weakness.

4 physical therapy treatments for arthritis in the hips

If you’re experiencing symptoms from your hip arthritis that are interfering with your everyday responsibilities, then physical therapy is an option worth exploring. There are many treatments that a physical therapist can use to decrease your pain and improve the overall function of your hips.

A physical therapist will design a personalized treatment plan for you based on your specific type of arthritis. They will also consider the severity of your symptoms and your physical capabilities.

Here are four physical therapy treatments that can improve your hip arthritis:

  • Exercises and stretches — One of the most effective ways to improve arthritis pain in any area of the body, including in your hip, is through therapeutic exercises and stretches. A physical therapist will guide you through safe, therapeutic exercises that can decrease your pain while strengthening the surrounding muscles. They will also show you how to perform stretches to improve hip muscle flexibility and mobility.
  • Aquatic therapy — People with arthritis can benefit from aquatic therapy because it allows them to complete exercises that they aren’t able to perform on land due to the ache in their joints. The water allows you to reduce your pain and improve the strength of your hip muscles with guided exercises without putting additional stress on the joint.
  • Joint mobilization — A common manual therapy technique is joint mobilization. This treatment involves the therapist using their hands to perform slow, repetitive movements around the joint area. The movements can loosen up stiffness that’s causing pain and reduced mobility.
  • TENS — A physical therapy modality that’s commonly used as a treatment for arthritis is a type of electrical stimulation. It’s known as TENS, or transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation. It involves sending mild electrical currents to the hip area. The currents work to adjust the pain signals and reduce the ache.

Benefits of seeking physical therapy treatment for arthritis in your hips

It may seem like physical therapy can only help to reduce your pain and increase your mobility, but it goes beyond that. You can gain many benefits from using physical therapy treatment for arthritis in your hips for both short- and long-term effects.

Here are a few reasons why you should consider physical therapy treatment for hip arthritis:

  • Improved balance and coordination.
  • Gait adjustments that can be affected by arthritis.
  • Reduced risk of future injury or fall.
  • Recommendations for lifestyle adjustments to reduce symptoms.

Lattimore Physical Therapy can provide treatment for arthritis in the hips

There are many ways that you can try to alleviate hip arthritis pain. But it’s important that the treatments are safe for your joints and surrounding muscles. At Lattimore Physical Therapy, we use physical therapy treatments that can help reduce your hip arthritis symptoms in an effective manner while taking your physical capabilities into account. 

Hip arthritis treatments such as therapeutic exercises, aquatic therapy and TENS can help you restore your hip mobility and get back to your daily activities without wincing in pain at every step.

Contact our team today for more information or to schedule an initial appointment.

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