Arthritis simply refers to the inflammation of a joint that causes pain, swelling, stiffness, instability and often deformity. Severe hip arthritis and hip pain can interfere with a person's activities and can limit his or her lifestyle. If you are experiencing hip pain caused by hip arthritis, it is important to know that there are treatments available.
There are multiple types of arthritis that can affect a joint. The most common ones that are seen are osteoarthritis (degenerative joint disease), rheumatoid arthritis, psoriatic arthritis, and lupus. Rheumatoid, psoriatic, and lupus arthritis are often associated with other conditions that may require treatment from a rheumatologist or other medical doctor.
Osteoarthritis or Degenerative Joint Disease is the most common type of arthritis that occurs most commonly in hips, knees, ankles, and foot joints. Osteoarthritis is also known as "wear and tear arthritis" since the cartilage simply wears out. When cartilage wears away, the bone is subjected to higher degrees of stress, which causes pain, stiffness and disability. If the arthritis is severe and all of the cartilage wears away, the bones can actually rub together, causing what some people refer to as "bone on bone arthritis".
Pain is the most frequent symptom for patients with hip osteoarthritis. The pain from hip arthritis is usually described as being in the groin or thigh. The pain is frequently worsened with activity and relieved by rest. It may occur at night and, in severe cases, prevent sleep. Patients with hip arthritis also tend to have stiffness and often limp when they walk. They may have difficulty going up and down stairs and putting on their shoes and socks.
The most frequent reason for osteoarthritis is genetic, since the durability of each individual's cartilage is based on genes. If your parents have arthritis, you may also be at risk of suffering from degenerative joint disease. In addition, osteoarthritis may be a result of a past trauma, metabolic conditions like gout, previous surgery, or may be a result of your own anatomy.
How can a doctor diagnose arthritis?
If you are currently experiencing mild to severe hip pain, you should schedule an appointment with a specialist. Doctors diagnose arthritis with a medical history, physical exam and x-rays of the hip.