Hip osteoarthritis is a condition that can cause stiffness that limits joint range of motion. Over time, certain hip movements become limited, usually causing pain and alteration of normal biomechanics. Your muscles must therefore work harder during movement, generating a feeling of muscle tension.To date, the exact causes of osteoarthritis have not been fully identified. It is completely normal to have a mild level of osteoarthritis with age. However, the more advanced stages of osteoarthritis can affect the ability to carry out daily and physical activities. An exacerbation of symptoms usually occurs during a period when the level of physical activity has been drastically increased. Direct trauma to the hip can increase the symptoms of osteoarthritis.
At the hip, the joint affected by osteoarthritis is the acetabulofemoral joint, formed by the p elvic bone and the femur bone. It is mainly cartilage damage combined with the presence, in some cases, of slight bone spurs in the joint that appear to be responsible for the restriction of movement. Over time, some muscles in the hip area may become tighter to compensate for the joint restriction.
Signs & Symptoms that you may experience
Each person will react differently to osteoarthritis and management will depend on its stage. Hip osteoarthritis can produce, but is not limited to, local pain in the groin area, edema and stiffness in certain hip movements. Repetitive hip movements during walking or other sports activities, prolonged standing and sleeping with direct pressure may cause pain.
Osteoarthritis of the hip is a progressive condition that cannot be cured, which means that the range of motion may decrease over time. An active lifestyle and a rehabilitation plan may however slow the progression of this condition and make it easier to manage the symptoms.1
Relative rest is a good way to prevent your symptoms from getting worse. A few days of rest while reducing activities that cause significant pain m ay be necessary, but it is very important to avoid deconditioning. A quick return to your daily activities, light cardiovascular exercises that do not cause an increase in pain, joint mobilization exercises and hip muscles strengthening exercises will allow for better recovery.
Follow your therapist’s advice. This will help you manage the various stages of the healing process and increase the odds of success. Your therapist will accompany you during your rehabilitation program in order to improve your hip joint range of motion, regain flexibility, muscle strength and endurance, and functional state.
According to the principles of hip osteoarthritis rehabilitation, improving joint range of motion should be an integral part of the treatment plan. A program to improve joint range of motion and flexibility, as well as specific muscle strengthening is common to control the symptoms of hip osteoarthritis.
▶ WHAT TO AVOID
Do not rely solely on a passive treatment approach. Each phase of the rehabilitation process is important. Patients who actively participate in their treatment plan tend to recover more quickly. Keep in mind that pain is not always a good indicator of joint or tissue damage. A significant level of pain does not necessarily imply a more advanced stage. As soon as you feel better and the pain is well under control, introduce, in collaboration with your therapist, light mobility and strengthening exercises based on your tolerance. Remember that exercise is an excellent way to manage pain associated with osteoarthritis.
One of the most common causes or low back pain is trigger points in the quadratus lumborum muscle or Q.L. for short. This muscle is located in the lower back and is responsible for trunk and pelvic movement and stabilization. This muscle often harbors trigger points that form from prolonged sitting or bending. Pain from trigger points in this muscle will cause pain in the low back, sacrum, and into the hip.
Piriformis syndrome is a condition in which the piriformis muscle, located in the buttock region, spasms and causes buttock pain. The piriformis muscle can also irritate the nearby sciatic nerve and cause pain, numbness and tingling along the back of the leg and into the foot (similar to sciatic pain).
The gluteus maximus muscle is a major player in hip extension. Despite its involvement in walking, running, skating, and pretty much all types of upright movement it remains largely undeveloped in most bodies. This Lak of strength sets it up for overload injuries like trigger points and myofascial pain. These trigger points not only cause glute and hip pain but are also a common source of sacral pain as well. The best prevention for these problems is strong glutes!!! So stop sitting on your butt, and start strengthening it with resistance training.
People often think of a massage as a relaxing experience, something they might do occasionally, or give as a gift along with a trip to the spa. Trigger point massage therapy is another kind of massage used to treat pain and physical dysfunction. Trigger points can develop in people from all walks of life. They can affect people of all ages, office workers and labourers, elite and weekend athletes, post surgical patients, people with acute pain from injury and people with chronic pain. Trigger point massage therapy can treat a wide variety of physical conditions such as:
TP’s were first brought to the attention of the medical world by Dr. Janet G. Travell. Dr. Travell, physician to President John F. Kennedy, is the acknowledged Mother of Myofascial Trigger Points. In fact, “Trigger Point massage, the most effective modality used by massage therapists for the relief of pain, is based almost entirely on Dr. Travell’s insights.”2 Dr. Travell’s partner in her research was Dr. David G. Simons, a research scientist and aerospace physician.
Trigger Points are very common. In fact, Travell and Simons state that TP’s are responsible for, or associated with, 75% of pain complaints or conditions.1 With this kind of prevalence, it’s no wonder that TP’s are often referred to as the “scourge of mankind”.
Trigger Points can produce a wide variety of pain complaints. Some of the most common are migraine headaches, back pain, and pain and tingling into the extremities. They are usually responsible for most cases of achy deep pain that is hard to localize.
A TP will refer pain in a predictable pattern, based on its location in a given muscle. Also, since these spots are bundles of contracted muscle fibres, they can cause stiffness and a decreased range of motion. Chronic conditions with many TP’s can also cause general fatigue and malaise, as well as muscle weakness.
Trigger points are contracted knots in muscles. They form from overload stress causing muscle fibers to become locked together in a self perpetuateing spasm. Trigger points will then produce pain, usually deep achy pain, as well as refered pain. Because of the contraction of the tissue trigger points will also produce stiffness and weakness. Trigger points are also known to mimick other symptoms such as Carple tunnel, and sciatica symptoms. Trigger points are one of, if not the most common cause of pain in the body. Regular massage therapy is not specific or deep enough to release trigger points, a specific technique of applying deep focused pressure to the heart of the knot is required for the point to release. This is called trigger point massage.
The Gluteus medius is located in your hip. It is important for hip stability, and functions to abduct the hip. When trigger points form in this muscle pain can be felt deep into the sacrum and the hip, as well as down the lateral thigh. Trigger points in this muscle are an often overlooked source of low back and sacral pain.
Myofascial trigger points are contracted knots in muscle tissue. They are one of the most common causes of pain in the body. Most people will experience pain from trigger points at some point in there lives. Trigger point pain is usually felt as a deep achey pain. This pain may be refered In a specific pattern to other areas of the body. For example, trigger points in your hip can refer pain all the way down the leg into the foot. Trigger points will also mimick joint pain leading to misdiagnosis of arthritis. Trigger point massage therapy targets the knots specifically with focused deep work to release the area and allow the muscle to heal. Visit http://www.triggerpointmassagetherapy.info or http://www.aberdeenchiropractic.com for more information.
Trigger points in the piriformis muscle will cause pain to refer into the buttocks and down the back of the leg. These points will also cause shortening and tightening of this muscle, which can in turn out pressure on the sciatic nerve. This is called piriformis syndrome.