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Just found out I have OA in my right hip

SirLimpsalotSirLimpsalot Posts: 4
edited 17. Aug 2014, 18:36 in Living with Arthritis archive
Hi all, first post so be nice with me

Just found out I've got OA in my hip and I'm wondering what I can do to improve it and stop it getting any worse.

I'm 47 overweight and have stopped going the the gym because the machines maud it glare up.

I walk with a limp when in the flat but struggle up hill or stairs when I put weigh on it and now it's starting to effect my right knee.

I am seeing a chinese doctor who gives me acupuncture once a week which seems to reduce the pain but it's not making it any better

My questions are is there anything I can do to improve the flexibility of the hip, improve my walking and stop it getting worse

Spoke to my own doctor who was no help what so ever and the only thing he would say that if it got worse the there was always a hip op???

Thanks in advance

Angus

Comments

  • stickywicketstickywicket Posts: 26,000 ✭✭✭
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    Hello Angus and welcome to the forum. I'm sorry you have OA in your hip. It is, in every sense, a pain, isn't it?

    You ask what you can do to 'improve it and stop it getting any worse'. To improve it – frankly nothing. Damage done is damage done though you can improve the pain levels and maybe the right knee too because that could simply be what's called 'referred pain' ie by trying to lessen the pain from the hip you are walking in such a way that undue pressure is put on the right knee.

    Arthritis Care produces several leaflets and other things to do with self-management and you might find some very useful http://www.arthritiscare.org.uk/PublicationsandResources/Selfmanagement I think, by being so open about being overweight, you're acknowledging this as one factor which isn't helping. It's true and you sound as if you're capable of tackling that. Exercise can hurt but it strengthens the muscles and so the muscles support the joints better. That, in turn, lessens the pain. Acupuncture is recognised as being helpful but I think most who have had it find, like you, that it only affords temporary relief.

    As for your GP being unhelpful, there's not a lot they can do (though a kind and caring attitude does help) but he could refer you for physio and also to a Pain Clinic which would offer methods of dealing with the pain. Other than that, he's actually right in that, eventually, it will warrant a new one but, in the meantime, it's a matter of keeping things as comfortable and flexible as possible.

    It's no fun living with daily pain. My OA came as a result of years of RA. I have two replaced hips and they're both great but getting to that point is the tough bit.
    “There is always a well-known solution to every human problem - neat, plausible, and wrong.” H.L. Mencken
  • dreamdaisydreamdaisy Posts: 31,567 ✭✭✭
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    Hello, I have OA in both ankles, both knees and both hips thanks to the damage caused by my other arthritis. OA is a frustrating condition because nothing can be done to improve it as such, losing weight, exercise, taking pain relief and maybe an anti-inflammatory drug is all we can do to make it tolerable. New joints can make a difference but one has to reach a certain point before that is considered; I was told three years ago that I was three years too young for new knees (at 52), now I'm the right age but as everything else has deteriorated I honestly don't know what to do.

    You may find using a stick beneficial, this will help to balance and support you, thus reducing the strain on your knees and other hip. OA 'spreads' because when one joint is out of kilter it alters the way we move, thus putting other joints under strain. The stick should be held in the hand opposite the affected joint and the hand should be just above hip height. I am now reliant on crutches for shorter distances and a rollator for longer ones - if I didn't have them I wouldn't be mobile. :lol: DD
    Have you got the despatches? No, I always walk like this. Eddie Braben
  • barbara12barbara12 Posts: 20,945 ✭✭
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    Hello Angus and welcome to the forum
    I had an hip replacement just over a year ago now, like you I used to go to the gym but had to stop because of the OA, if you look up exercises to strengthen the hips , there are many on the net it will show what muscle you can build up to help the hip,have you had xrays on it to show how bad or good things are.
    Love
    Barbara
  • SirLimpsalotSirLimpsalot Posts: 4
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    Thanks for all the advice :D:D

    I have had a xray on my hip and I was told the OA was moderately severe, whatever that means

    I was thinking of going swimming but have been told that with OA you can only do the crawl as the Brest stroke is not good for the knees and hips.
    Has any else heard this????
    Also is swimming better or aquarobics for the hips??

    Once again thanks in advance
    Angus
  • dreamdaisydreamdaisy Posts: 31,567 ✭✭✭
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    Yes, I was told this and as a very nervous swimmer I didn't try the crawl. What about side-stroke? You can keep the leg movements to a minimum with that. As for the aqua-aerobics well, I don't have clue; what suits one person won't suit another, I guess get in the pool and try but do not feel tempted to overdo things because, although you feel fine when in, it's when gravity hits on emerging when the payback might begin. Would cycling be another option?

    My definition of moderately severe means yes, you have a problem in there but you're not yet a candidate for a replacement. DD
    Have you got the despatches? No, I always walk like this. Eddie Braben
  • stickywicketstickywicket Posts: 26,000 ✭✭✭
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    I would fully endorse DD's definition of 'moderately severe' :lol:

    As for swimming v aqua aerobics, I don't know but my guess is that, as long as the muscles are being used and joint s well-supported by the water, it probably doesn't make much difference. I do know, though, that the breast stroke leg movement is not good for arthritis.
    “There is always a well-known solution to every human problem - neat, plausible, and wrong.” H.L. Mencken
  • SirLimpsalotSirLimpsalot Posts: 4
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    Thank you I'm feeling very positive now :D:D:D

    Just rejoined my old gym, which also has a swimming pool, sauna and jacuzzi

    The also do aqua and Pilates type classes as well, so there I'd plenty for me to get into as well as the bog standard gym equipment :D:D:D

    Will let you know how I get on
    Angus
  • wildwaywildway Posts: 26
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    I just found that doing breast-stroke legs was not good as my condition would flare up - it's the movement outwards at the hips - so I invented the breast-crawl - breast stroke arms and crawl legs - gets you there faster than just breast stroke but less stress on the hips and less tiring than full crawl :)

    Sounds like you have a good plan of exercise - good luck with it :D
  • stickywicketstickywicket Posts: 26,000 ✭✭✭
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    You have a plan. It sounds like a good one and you do seem very enthusiastic about it. That's all good. I hope you reap the rewards but do remember to ease yourself in gently and build up slowly. It's frustrating at first when you think you can do more but it brings the lasting rewards :D
    “There is always a well-known solution to every human problem - neat, plausible, and wrong.” H.L. Mencken
  • dcdaviesdcdavies Posts: 26
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    Hi Angus,

    I've just seen your post and thought I would reply. I too have OA in my right hip to the extent I have been put on a waiting list for a THR. I'm 38yrs old and have up until now remained relatively active. However things are starting to get harder. FYI my consultant classed my OA as being severe with >75% joint space loss (although I suspect I have bone on bone due to the constant locking and gravelly grating sound I get when raising my leg).

    Obviously you should always discuss this with your GP, however three things I 'personally' have found invaluable over the last 2yrs:

    1. See a physio who will give you strengthening exercises as well as stretches to open the joint up;
    2. A good sports therapist for deep tissue massage as your body naturally tightens up to protect itself; and
    3. NSAIDS + paracetamol.

    Options 2 and 3 are not cheap though!

    Basically if you want to preserve the joint, you need to maximise joint space and ensure the muscles around it are strong. I have also been told diet plays a major factor in pain levels, however I have not really noticed any correlation with specific foods and pain.

    Good luck, I hope you get on top of it.


    David.
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