Another leading cause of hip pain is Rheumatoid Arthritis (RA). Most people tend to associate Rheumatoid Arthritis with the joints in your fingers, hands, and wrists, RA can also affect larger joints found in your hips, shoulders or knees.
What is Rheumatoid Arthritis?
In general, arthritis means any swelling, redness, warming, or stiffness found in the joints of your body. RA is a type of arthritis that typically affects joints on both sides of the body, symmetrically. This means joints on the left side and the right side of the body will experience the same symptoms concurrently. The bilateral joint pain is what classifies this kind of arthritis pain as RA pain. RA is an autoimmune disorder, which means that your body mistakenly attacks its own tissues.
What are the signs and symptoms of rheumatoid arthritis?
* Severe hip joint pain, swelling, or stiffness
* Rheumatoid arthritis hip pain may cause discomfort in the lower back, thigh, or groin in addition to the hip joint area
* Loss of appetite
* Morning stiffness in the joint that may or may not last for hours
* Weight loss
* Stiffness in other joints on your body
RA pain and symptoms can come and go without pattern. They can flare up suddenly and they go into remission for a long period of time. Symptoms will usually occur symmetrically on either side of your body. In RA hip pain, both hips will typically feel the same severity of symptoms.
What causes rheumatoid arthritis?
Because its an autoimmune disorder, RA occurs when the body's immune system begins to attack the linings around your joints and inflames the area. This inflammation thickens the linings and eventually the cartilage and bones can be destroyed by the immune system invasion. Tendons and linings get weaker and eventually your joints and affected areas can become weak or disfigured.
Doctors aren't sure how or why this process gets started, but most experts have agreed that there is a strong genetic component. People who suffer from RA pain generally have a history of RA in their family. Experts don't believe that your genes actually cause the RA to begin, but they believe that there is a recurring susceptibility to environmental factors that cause RA to start. Most doctors agree that infection by a certain bacteria or disease is responsible for starting the process of RA in a person. Currently, there isn't anything conclusive to prove what the actual cause of the breakdown of the immune system is. Research is continuing in this area.
How can I get RA pain relief?
At the moment, there is no cure for rheumatoid arthritis, but there are few treatment options that can help give you RA pain relief and slow down the process of deterioration in your joints. Discuss with your doctor to decide on the best treatment plan for you.
There are a range of drugs that are used to treat symptoms of RA, however, many of them can carry serious side effects. When you visit your doctor, they will prescribe you medication with the lower dose and the least side effects first. Your doctor may prescribe you stronger drugs or combinations of drugs depending on the progress of your RA.
Your doctor may recommend you to take physical or occupation therapy to help you deal with RA. An occupational therapist can help you find alternative ways to do every day activities that are challenging when affected by RA. For example, they might teach you how to use different muscles to pick things up, to open doors, or to cook.
Additionally, your occupational therapist can help in choosing and learning how to use assistive devices that can be used to do tasks if it is challenging or impossible to complete with your body. Examples include gripping or grabbing tools, when your fingers are not strong or flexible enough anymore. For RA hip pain, a cane or walker is the most commonly chosen assistive device. Your therapist can help you choose and learn to walk with them.
Surgery is a high risk treatment option that can be done to repair your damaged hip. Surgery can restore the use of your joint, reduce pain, and correct any arthritis caused disfigurement. But it may also carry the risk of bleeding, infection and/or pain.