These include activity modification, painkillers, physiotherapy, the use of a walking stick, hip joint steroid injection.
Non-operative management for hip osteoarthritis aims at relieving pain and return to full activity whenever possible. It is likely to be most effective in the early stages of the condition.
It should always be the first line of treatment. Options include:
Activity modification. A period of rest from sports and exercise that bring on symptoms. Avoiding high impact activities with lots of turning and twisting.
Non steroidal anti-inflammatories. The use of non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) can decrease discomfort in patients with hip arthritis by reducing inflammation in the joint.
Analgesics. The use of paracetamol and other painkillers to help reduce pain levels.
Physiotherapy. Physiotherapy works by strengthening muscles around not only the joint but the whole kinetic chain. Results are variable with arthritis and depend really on the severity of the disease. In a very stiff and damaged joint, physiotherapy may make your symptoms worse. Your surgeon will guide you.
Walking aids. The use of a walking stick or cane to reduce the forces going across the damaged joint.
Weight loss. Can relieve the pressure on painful damaged joints.
Dietary supplements. These are increasingly popular with people who have arthritis. The cartilage found in joints, normally contains glucosamine and chondroitin. It is thought that taking supplements of these natural ingredients may help to improve the health of damaged cartilage.
Research has provided mixed results but on the whole suggests that glucosamine sulphate is more likely to be helpful than glucosamine hydrochloride. If you notice no improvement in your symptoms after 3 months then you should probably discontinue it. If you do find it improves your symptoms then you should continue taking the supplements. There is no extra benefit in taking glucosamine and chondroitin.
Remember that supplements also have side effects and it is advisable to discuss with your GP before starting any new treatment.