Hip Arthritis - Treating Trigger Points for Pain Relief and Improved Mobility
Trigger point therapy can often be incredibly effective for relieving hip pain, helping to reduce stiffness and increase range of movement.
Osteoarthritis (OA) is a degenerative joint disease that can affect any joint in your body, including your hips.
Over time, due to ageing, trauma or other factors, the cartilage that cushions your joints starts to break down. Without cartilage, your joint bones rub together when you move.
The bone-on-bone action creates pain, stiffness, and can limit your mobility. This is especially true with OA of the hip, as the hip contains large joints that carry your body’s weight with each step you take.
Treatment options for hip arthritis range from lifestyle modifications to pain management, exercise programs, and even (as a last resort) surgery. Trigger point therapy can often be incredibly effective for relieving pain and helping to reduce stiffness and increase range of movement.
OA Hip - Diagnosis
Your doctor will diagnose hip arthritis through a combination of a medical history and performing some tests. A medical history represents a question and answer session between you and your healthcare provider, where you describe how you feel and when you have symptoms.
A medical examination can include gentle palpitation of the joint so your doctor can feel if the hip is swollen, and X-rays to see if your joints are losing cartilage. You might be asked to walk to help your healthcare provider assess if your range of motion is limited.
OA Hip - Lifestyle Changes
Your lifestyle could contribute to hip arthritis, particularly if your occupation requires a lot of physical labor. Lifestyle changes such as the following, in tandem with medical treatment, can help calm symptoms:
- Rest: Try to reduce activities that make the symptoms worse, especially during a flare-up.
- Lose Weight (if you are over weight): Excess weight will increase pressure on your hips and knees.
- Diet: Studies show that a diet that is rich in omega-3 fatty acids can reduce the signs of arthritis in cartilage. Try to eat more healthy foods such as fruits, vegetables, and whole grains.
- Heat & Ice: Try applying a heat-pack to a stiff hip joint or apply a cold-pack to swollen areas.
OA Hip - Trigger Point Therapy
Hip arthritis can seriously affect your day to day activities if you let it, but it doesn’t have to be that way. Don’t let the pain and joint stiffness get so bad that it makes you miserable. The symptoms of OA Hip are almost always associated with trigger points in the hip adductor muscles. Regular treatment to dissipate these trigger points can bring both short and long term relief, so ask your therapist about trigger points!
OA Hip - Self Help
Certain stretches can be beneficial to people with OA Hip. Stretching on a regular basis can help keep you flexible; help your hips move more smoothly; and may also help dissipate trigger points. Stretching should be done gently—be sure to start slowly and stop if you feel pain. You should also make sure to consult with your therapist or healthcare provider about any stretches and exercises you may want to do.
Below a is an example of a stretch that should be useful for OA Hip sufferers.
Stand upright and place one leg out to the side and your foot up on a raised object. Keep your toes facing forward and slowly move your other leg away from the object.
To increase the intensity of this stretch, use a higher object and if you need to, hold onto something for balance.
Muscles Being Stretched
Primary muscles: Adductor longus, brevis, and magnus.
Secondary muscles: Gracilis. Pectineus.
Condition Where Stretch Can Be Useful
OA Hip. Avulsion fracture in the pelvic area. Groin strain. Osteitis pubis. Piriformis syndrome. Tendonitis of the adductor muscles. Trochanteric bursitis.
This trigger point therapy blog is intended to be used for information purposes only and is not intended to be used for medical diagnosis or treatment or to substitute for a medical diagnosis and/or treatment rendered or prescribed by a physician or competent healthcare professional. This information is designed as educational material, but should not be taken as a recommendation for treatment of any particular person or patient. Always consult your physician if you think you need treatment or if you feel unwell.
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