If the individual experiences hip pain along with stiffness, it simply indicates hip arthritis. When an individual has this condition, it can make daily tasks a lot difficult to perform normally. Since the hip pain can be due to tendon and ligament problems, changes in the structure and other medical conditions, it is vital to set an appointment with a doctor to ensure that the symptoms are actually due to arthritis. Understandably, this is needed so that the right treatment can be started. A vital step is to learn to recognize the indications of hip arthritis.
Discomfort in the hip region
The usual symptom of hip arthritis is pain in the joint. The pain can be described as aching, dull pain in the exterior thigh, groin or buttocks. It can be worse in the morning and improves once the individual starts to move around. Nevertheless, exercising strenuously can make the hip pain worse.
Rigidity or stiffness
For those who have hip arthritis, the joints can become stiff and the range of motion can be disrupted. Understandably, this makes it challenging to climb stairs, walk, get up from a chair or play sports.
Just like with pain, the stiffness can become worse if the individual has been inactive and then eases once he/she starts to move around. Nevertheless, prolonged periods of walking or standing can oftentimes make the stiffness worse.
What are the other symptoms?
In some cases, arthritis of the hip can cause catching or clicking sensation in the joint. Some report that specific movements can trigger these sensations. Aside from the pain in the buttocks and hips, the pain also has the tendency to radiate up to the lower back and even up to the toe.
Most of the usual symptoms are present whether the individual has rheumatoid arthritis or osteoarthritis. When it comes to osteoarthritis, it is quite common in the hips and occurs due to the breakdown of the cartilage and the pain is due to the rubbing of bones. As for rheumatoid arthritis, it is an autoimmune condition in which the body attacks itself. If an individual is diagnosed with rheumatoid arthritis, there is also inflammation of the joint. The joint can become reddened, feel warm to the touch and swollen.
Diagnosing hip arthritis
The doctor will require tests to check for indications of hip arthritis. A physical exam is required to check what aggravates the pain and what alleviates it. When it comes to osteoarthritis, an MRI or X-ray can reveal any structural changes in the joint such as loss of joint space.
If rheumatoid arthritis is present, the doctor will check for other symptoms such as fatigue, low grade fever, skin problems and unexplained weight loss. A blood test is also performed to show if the body is fighting the inflammation and if the immune system is unusually active.