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Hip Osteoarthritis

I have had hip pain off and on for a couple of years now. Recently had x-rays and I have bone spurs and arthritis in both hip joints. I cannot ride because it is very painful to sit in the saddle on the outside of my hip joint. I am seeing a physiotherapist and she has said ‘my hip joints are stuck’, cannot get them to move much.

I am working on stretching/strengthening exercises but am a bit discouraged due to daily pain. Right now hip replacements are 2 year wait list. Has anyone gone through this? Any recommendations on dealing with the pain, or pain relief topicals. I am in my 60’s but do not want to give up riding, I am a lifelong rider (or was!).

Timely because I started seeing a new PT just this week for hip arthritis pain. She’s a bit atypical and does a super combo of therapies - laser on the joints themselves, and electric stim, graston, and shockwave on the fascia surrounding. And a whole lot of at-home exercises. I’ve only had one appointment so far but will go back tomorrow for laser again, and then back on Tuesday for the full treatment again. Meanwhile I am also going to order new imaging because mine are 3 years old and it’s hard to know how much it has changed since 2020.

She is also recommending a bunch of supplements, etc. but I don’t have them yet.

Editing to add - are you taking anything at all? I definitely can tell when I take my joint supplement regularly. Mine is Glucosamine, Chrondroitin, Turmeric, MSM and a few other things. I also take Fish Oil. My new PT is recommending more Turmeric, and an antioxidant mix to support the laser therapy.

I don’t like to take anything else, but will take Ibuprofen or Tylenol at times. I can’t really imagine anything topical actually helping much just based on how my hips feel; the pain is inside the joints.

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I am taking a Collagen that is for joints, they recommend 6 months prior to seeing relief and I am at 3.5 months on it. I had heard of fish oil being beneficial, I am going to get some and try that. I have tried glucosamine but did not have any relief with that. Interesting to see what your radiographs reveal; my PT said some people with lots of damage on x-ray still have full function, she told me it is different for everyone. I do take “Aleve” for pain on days when I am really hurting.

I just ordered collagen at the recommendation of the new PT. Will be curious to see if it will help.

My joint supplement is a combined pill; I don’t think the glucosamine is really the ingredient that provides anti-inflammatory effects but the turmeric definitely does.

I have lots of hip function; I just don’t want to lose it and have a coworker waiting on his total hip replacement and hope I can avoid that. I have FAI in both hips so that doesn’t help my range of motion. But also have new SI joint dysfunction we are working on as it might actually be playing a bigger role than anything else.

I am a runner and one of the issues many runners face is the uneven surface of the side of the road - so essentially running with one hip higher than the other all the time. It’s possible that the stuck SI joint is actually causing more of my discomfort than the arthritis - which, while visible on the xray from 3 years ago wasn’t significant.

Of course it may have changed, but it also might be a combination of issues.

What is your PT doing with you to try to regain mobility?

She is trying to get the joint ‘unstuck’. Lying on my back with bent knees, bring one knee up towards chest, should be able to move that over towards opposite side but it won’t go very far. PT is pushing on knee to get some more movement and circling motion with joint. I have had 4 treatments so far and it is moving a bit better but very painful after treatments for the entire day. I have a number of exercises to perform at home. Squats, hamstring stretches, also back exercises to strengthen as the pain from hips transfer to lower back.

Have you used that PT before? I will say that they are not all created equal; some PTs are really great and others not so much.

That sounds painful. Does it feel like it’s really “stuck” in the joint, or do you think the soft tissue/fascia may also be contributing to the lack of range of motion? I would definitely want to make sure that all the rest of your pelvis and lower back are functioning properly too - SI joint, lower spine, etc. because if they are also “stuck” your hips may not be the only (or primary) problem.

How often are you going to PT?

I just had my last PT. She said the range of motion has not improved. She had my x-rays and the joint space is decreased with bone spurs. At this point she suggested I get a referral to an orthopedist and they would suggest or recommend when is the time to get joint replacement OR can I manage the way it is. All I can do is strengthening exercises and keep mobile, there is no cure for arthritis. Pain management and continue with activity, if you stop moving it will get worse.

I have had some improvement, i.e I can walk up a flight of stairs now, easier to get into my car without having to ‘lift’ my leg with my hands. Anyway, I have heard so many say they wish they had joint replacement sooner, they became pain free after.

I’ve had arthritic hips (my right is the worst) since my late 20s, confirmed by several xrays over the years. I also have adrenal insufficiency which would make a hip replacement risky so I’m doing everything I can to avoid that. Here are some things that have kept me comfortable to this day (I’m 62 now):

  • Purica Recovery (I’ve used the equine version for years and both hubby and I take the human version. I went off it once for a few weeks for an unrelated health problem and I was limping. I’m sound when I take it.
  • An SI belt to stabilize the joints. This made a huge difference for me. I started wearing it because I was also feeling achy in my SI, but I found it helps my hips. I’ve worn it doing chores, riding, golfing and even sleeping.
  • Devil’s Claw: This was a recent discovery. I’ve been giving my creaky old horses Buteless pellets for many years and wondered if Devil’s Claw would help me. It does! Not on the level of Ibuprofin, but I’ve cut down my use of NSAIDS to almost none right now (seems to help with hangovers, too :wink:)

Best of luck getting some relief!


Thanks, that sounds encouraging. It is worth a try, the Recovery and Devil’s Claw. I have used an SI belt a year ago and that helped a lot – but then I got to the point where it started to make things worse again so I stopped using it.

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