Treatment for hip osteoarthritis may include a combination of lifestyle changes, exercise, medications, and surgery, among others.

Hip osteoarthritis is a degenerative condition that may cause stiffness, pain, and inflammation in your hips.

Treatment for hip osteoarthritis will depend on several factors, such as:

  • your overall health
  • the severity of joint involvement
  • the severity of symptoms
  • motion and weight-bearing limitations

A healthcare professional could help develop a treatment plan to help relieve symptoms, increase hip mobility and function, and increase your quality of life.

Keep reading to learn more about the available treatment options for hip osteoarthritis.

Maintaining a healthy-for-you weight is one of the most important parts of treatment for osteoarthritis.

Having obesity or overweight may increase your risk for osteoarthritis and increase disease progression.

Additional weight also puts extra strain on the joints, which may contribute to inflammation and pain. Losing 1 pound of body weight could take up to six times the total pressure off your lower body joints.

The American College of Rheumatology and the Arthritis Foundation (ACR/AF) recommend losing at least 5% of your body weight if you have obesity.

A healthcare professional could help develop a sustainable weight loss program to help improve osteoarthritis. This may include dietary changes and an exercise program.

Medication plays a key role in managing osteoarthritis of the hips, alongside exercise and weight management.

Over-the-counter (OTC) medications may help relieve symptoms and reduce inflammation if you have mild to moderate hip osteoarthritis. These typically include nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) and acetaminophen (Tylenol).

For moderate to severe hip osteoarthritis, a healthcare professional may prescribe stronger medications, including:

It’s important to speak with a healthcare professional about the possible side effects of medications for osteoarthritis. They could recommend the medications for your current condition.

Learn more about medications to treat osteoarthritis.

Exercise is essential for reducing the risk of osteoarthritis and slowing its progress, according to the ACR/AF. Exercise not only helps you manage your weight, but it also improves strength, flexibility, and mobility.

The American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons (AAOS) recommends choosing low impact exercises if you have hip osteoarthritis. These are less likely to put strain on a damaged joint.

Some exercises to try if you’re living with hip osteoarthritis may include:

A healthcare professional or physical therapist could help create a program that will suit you and minimize the chance of injury.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends getting at least 150 minutes of low impact exercise per week.

Learn more about exercising for osteoarthritis of the hip.

Regular stretching can help relieve stiff, achy, or painful hip joints if you’re living with osteoarthritis.

Here are some tips to help you stretch safely:

  • Do all stretches gently and build up flexibility slowly.
  • Stop if you feel pain.
  • Increase intensity slowly.

At first, you may find it hard to stretch very far, but your flexibility will increase over time, as you practice.

Here are a few possible stretches:

Forward fold

Start with your feet shoulder-width apart or sit in a chair. Slowly lean forward, keeping your upper body relaxed. You should feel the stretch in your hips and lower back.

Knee pull

Lie on your back. Pull your bent knee up toward your chest until you feel a stretch. If your body allows it, use your other leg to deepen the stretch.

Extended leg balance

This is the same exercise as the knee pull, but you start from a standing position. Place one hand along the wall for support.

Cobra

Start by lying facedown on the floor. Your palms should be on the floor at shoulder or chest height. Push against your palms to lift your chest off the floor. Feel the stretch in your lower back and hips. Hold this position for 10 seconds. Release. Repeat two or three times.

Learn more about hip flexor exercises for hip osteoarthritis.

Self-management is a key part of treating osteoarthritis, according to the ACR/AF. This includes:

  • learning as much as you can about your condition
  • knowing what your osteoarthritis treatment options are
  • taking an active part in managing your pain and other symptoms
  • discussing what is best for you with a healthcare professional

Some self-care tips for hip osteoarthritis include:

Learn more about natural remedies for osteoarthritis.

According to the ARC/AF, the following alternative remedies may help treat hip osteoarthritis:

You may also consider supplements to treat osteoarthritis. However, the ACR/AF don’t support supplementation due to the lack of research and standardization.

Similarly, the ACR/AF don’t recommend the following treatments for hip osteoarthritis:

Speak with a healthcare professional before trying alternative remedies for hip osteoarthritis. They could provide advice and information on potential side effects and drug interactions.

A walking aid may have several benefits if you’re living with hip osteoarthritis, such as:

  • taking pressure off the hips
  • providing additional joint support
  • reducing your risk of falling by improving your balance

Speak with a healthcare professional about the best type of walking aid for you. They may recommend a walking cane, walking frame, or other device.

A physical therapist could also help you develop a safe technique for using your new walking aid.

Learn more about assistive devices for arthritis.

If exercise, weight loss, and lifestyle measures don’t help you manage hip osteoarthritis, a healthcare professional may recommend hip replacement surgery.

According to the AAOS, this could help improve your quality of life by:

  • reducing pain
  • increasing mobility
  • lowering the risk of complications, such as dislocation of the hip

A healthcare professional could help you understand the benefits and risks of hip surgery and decide if this is a suitable option for you.

Learn more about hip replacement surgery for osteoarthritis.

How serious is osteoarthritis of the hip?

Hip osteoarthritis could range from mild discomfort to severe pain and stiffness that impacts your day-to-day activities.

Can osteoarthritis in the hip be fixed?

Treatment for hip osteoarthritis could help relieve symptoms, improve mobility, and increase your quality of life.

What is the best pain reliever for an arthritic hip?

Acetaminophen is the most common pain reliever for hip arthritis. If you require stronger pain relievers, a healthcare professional may recommend corticosteroid injections.

Is hip osteoarthritis debilitating?

In severe cases, hip osteoarthritis could limit your function and mobility, affecting your quality of life. However, treatment could help improve your symptoms.

There’s no cure for osteoarthritis of the hip, but treatment could help slow its progress and manage symptoms.

Your treatment plan may include a combination of lifestyle changes, medications, physical therapy, and surgery.

Work with a healthcare professional if you’re living with hip osteoarthritis. They could help develop the best treatment plan and healthcare team for you.