by David Drysdale, Osteopath

Osteoarthritis of the hip

Osteoarthritis of the hip typically affects people over 50 years of age. It is due to wear & tear of the the cartilage covering the bones that form the hip joint. It is common in people who are over weight, and weight loss tends to reduce the symptoms. There is also a genetic predisposition of this condition, meaning hip arthritis tends to run in families. 

Factors such as trauma and overuse also contribute to this condition. Hip arthritis symptoms tend to progress as the condition worsens. What is interesting about hip arthritis is that symptoms do not always progress steadily with time. Often patients report good months and bad months or symptom changes with weather changes. This is important to understand because comparing the symptoms of hip arthritis on one particular day may not accurately represent the overall progression of the condition. 

  • Hip pain with activities 
  • Knee pain 
  • Limited range of hip motion 
  • Stiffness of the hip joint 
  • Walking with a limp

Osteopathic treatmentof the arthritic hip involves mobilisation of the hip and knee, deep massage of painful or stiff muscles and acupuncture around painful trigger point.

Osteoarthritis of the knee

Osteoarthritis of the knee effects people over the age of 40, troubling women more than men. 

Osteoarthritis is "Wear & Tear" of the joint. This is a gradual process where the cartilege that protects the joint is slowly eroded. There may be some bony overgrowth around the joint margins as the condition progresses. 

In the earlier stages osteopathy and acupuncture can be very helpful for reducing pain and increasing joint mobility. 

  • Pain
  • Stiffness 
  • Decreased range of motion 
  • Weakness of the leg 
  • Swelling of the knee 

Predisposing factors include: 

  • Obesity 
  • Trauma 
  • Overuse 
  • Hypermobility 

An X-Ray will confirm the diagnosis. Treatment involves: 

  • Keeping the knee and hip joint mobile. 
  • Treating the pain and stiffness with acupuncture and massage.

Dietary changes, weight loss and specific exercises also go a long way in helping with this condition.