Start Hip OA Conservative Treatment with Physical Therapy
For conservative treatment of hip osteoarthritis to be effective, it must include some level of physical therapy and therapeutic exercise. While over-the-counter(OTC) and prescription painkillers may relieve the pain, they do nothing to counteract the increasing tightness of the muscles around the hip and decreasing range of motion(ROM) caused by hip OA. This is why physical therapy is so important in conservative treatment, as it can both relieve the pain and improve mobility, by stretching the joint capsule in the hip and relaxing the muscles around it. This reduces patients’ need for drugs and improves their ability to move around and exercise. That in turn decreases the possibility of other co-morbidities which often accompany the direct pain and other symptoms of hip osteoarthritis, making this a win-win for patients and the healthcare system.
Unfortunately, in the United States, many providers who diagnose hip osteoarthritis are not aware of how physical therapy and therapeutic exercise can provide natural pain relief and help patients maintain their quality of life in the period between diagnosis and their hip replacement surgery, which often extends multiple years. You can read more on this here. Patients may need to request physical therapy and a referral if needed.