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Arthritis

How can I ease the pain in my arthritic hip?

Question

I am 47 and in good health, apart from an arthritic hip, which makes me walk lopsidedly. I have had it since my 20s but the pain is now becoming unbearable. I am overweight because this limits my movements. I was listed for a resurfacing operation but the surgeon dissuaded me because he said it would not improve my mobility and I might regret it if the operation wasn't a success. Do you have natural remedies and cures for arthritic hip?

Answer

I think you are suffering from osteoarthritis (rather than rheumatoid arthritis), a degenerative disease that can affect most joints, especially weight-bearing ones such as hips, knees, ankles and back Joints consist of two bone surfaces facing each other. To help them move smoothly, they are cushioned by cartilage. In a joint affected by arthritis, the protective cartilage at the end of the bones is gradually worn away.

As the condition worsens, the bone around the affected joint thickens and bony growths form, which grind against each other. Also, the synovial tissue lining the joint capsule may become inflamed and fluid accumulate in the joint. This series of changes causes pain, swelling and stiffness of the joints, plus reduction of mobility.

Osteoarthritis of the hip is often one-sided. The pain is usually felt in the groin area; the inner part of the thigh, buttocks and the side of the thigh may also hurt. Rising from a sitting position is difficult and lopsided walking may result as the inner thigh muscles go into spasm, restricting the sufferer's movement as he or she tries to avoid exacerbating the pain. This defence mechanism causes functional 'shortening' of the leg. Joints need movement. so the more restricted they are, the more stiff they get.

Usually pain killers and anti-inflammatory drugs are prescribed and physiotherapy is recommended at the initial stage. Since this chronic condition is restricting your lifestyle, hip-replacement surgery could be an option. I can't really comment further on what your surgeon has told you, other than to say that, as you are only 47 years old, one replacement might be advice is to try there habilitation I outline below and then, if there is no improvement ask for a second opinion.

My approach involves compensating for the loss of cartilage. The weight-bearing joint surfaces are spared from hitting each other when we walk run or jump because of surrounding muscles that act as shock absorbers by contracting at the end movement; that is why when you jump from a height your ankles, knees and hips don’t crack. The muscles in your back, hip, thighs, calves and shins all contract together to prevent the trauma.

Therefore, you need to build up the muscles for the affected hip joint in order to prevent the joint surfaces from rubbing against each other to cause pain. However, you must first reduce the load by losing some weight. Usually weight gain is due to psychological, eating hormonal or genetic problems, or a side effect of pharmaceutical drugs such as steroids or HRT.

Natural Remedies and Cures for Arthritic Hip

    Diet and appetite control
  • Avoid foods that create appetite (acidic, sour, hot or spicy foods, alcohol); also citrus fruits, red meat, shellfish, cheese, oily or fatty foods and sugar, which may further inflame the joint. Reduce cravings by eating slowly and chewing your food very well. Neck massage will also help by increasing the blood flow, help in to stabilise blood sugar levels.
  • Exercise
    Build up the habit of doing at least 30 minutes activity every day.

  • Lie on your back, at right angles to a wall, with your feet on it. Bend your knees and push against the wall with force, counting to five.
  • With arms on the floor, by your sides, lift your right leg and, keeping it straight rotate to make a small circle then a larger one. Do this clock wise ten times, then anticlockwise another ten times. Repeat with the other leg.
  • Bend each leg at the knee and draw it to your chest then slide it back along the floor to straighten it.
  • Supplements

  • Take Joint and Ligament Support Capsules: take one twice daily for three months.
  • Massage

  • Using a little Joint Oil, massage the lower back and buttocks with fingertips and thumbs for three minutes. Do the same with the upper part of the thigh, right down to the knee, then the groin and inner top part of the thigh, finishing with the bony protrusion above the hip joint on the side, going up and down and around it.
  • Therapy

  • Try Acupuncture.
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