Are you suffering from long term hip pain? The resulting difficulty of standing up and climbing stairs can make life miserable.
Research reveals there are several sources of hip pain. When you are overweight there is additional stress on your joints. This can be compounded by osteonecrosis, an inadequate blood supply to the hip joint, which causes bone thinning and may ultimately collapse the bone. Dead bone tissue generates pain. Arthritic damage is probably the most common reason to need hip replacement. Arthritis degrades hip cartilage. The source of hip, pain in this case, is joint inflammation.
Initially, people try home exercises and physical therapy to improve balance and function. Over the counter medicines include Ben Gay, Capasaicin and Zostrix can help with pain management. More intense pain can be alleviated with prescription pain medicines. Weight reduction, over time, improves mobility. Holistic therapy may simply include a weight loss of 20 – 30 lbs.
Hip Surgery as a Solution
You might consider hip replacement when you're experiencing pain that persists despite home exercises and physical therapy. Artificial hip joints have a polished metal or ceramic ball that fits into a cup liner of hard plastic. Some prostheses use a metal cup liner, which may last longer (see illustration). If function doesn’t improve, total hip arthroplasty (touching up the bone) would be the next step. The primary goals of hip surgery are to increase mobility and function.
Pain control is highest in the hierarchy of importance. You want to get a good night’s sleep. Sleep is restorative both physically and mentally.
The operated hip should not be flexed more than ninety degrees to prevent damage to the hardware. Once again, mobility initiates healing.
Post-operative physical therapy is crucial for improving mobility and balance. Recovery starts with simply using a wheelchair. The next step is incorporating a non-weight-bearing exercise called pool-walking. It is what it sounds like, simply walking in a pool against the water’s gentle resistance. This has a twofold effect. You increase blood flow to the hip, which speeds up healing; at the same time retraining muscles. Pool-walking also increases endorphins, hormones that give you a feel good sensation despite the pain of recovery. Gradual mobilization hastens progress and prevents blood clots.
Complications your physician will discuss with you might include post-operative infection, loosening of the prosthesis, blood clots, and infection.
How do you know hip surgery has taken effect? When you are progressively improving and the pain is gradually diminishing, then you are on the track to recovery. Are you exercising regularly? Go on-line to find locations in your area for a fitness program. ? Weight reduction, walking, stretching, and fitness classes are prescribed.
Older people may procrastinate. They may dread failure. Reassurance and motivation go a long way. We all want to get things done quickly. There are days you may not be able to summon up the energy for recovery; give yourself some grace to rest. Rest is an important part of recovery as well. Surround yourself with people in your life who are encouragers. A hopeful outlook and having a purpose in life will do a great deal in moving towards more pain-free mobility.