Rheumatoid Arthritis

Rheumatoid Arthritis

Rheumatoid Arthritis is considered an autoimmune disease, which is a disorder where a person’s immune system attacks healthy tissue in their own body. In the case of rheumatoid arthritis, joint tissue such as cartilage and other protective soft tissue is the target resulting in chronic joint inflammation and other symptoms. This condition can develop in any of the joints in the body and can be experienced in multiple areas, which means rheumatoid arthritis in the hips is a common condition.

Causes

Anyone can potentially develop rheumatoid arthritis, but it is most common among people over the age of 60, particularly women. The specific causes of the disease are still not fully understood, but medical researchers believe there are genetic factors as well as environmental and lifestyle components that can elevate risk. 

Some specific risk factors that associated with the onset of rheumatoid arthritis include:

  • Smoking or secondhand exposure to smoke
  • Obesity
  • Possessing a specific gene, known as the human leukocyte antigen class II genotype

Conservative Treatment

The most common medications and nonsurgical treatments for rheumatoid arthritis include:

  • Disease-modifying anti-rheumatic drugs (DMARDs) that help slow down the disease and prevent joint deformity
  • Biological response modifiers
  • Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) to relieve pain and inflammation
  • Corticosteroid injections to help with severe pain and inflammation

Combining these treatments with a healthy lifestyle, including eating a nutritious diet, managing weight, and staying active, many patients with rheumatoid arthritis in the hips are able to successfully manage this condition on a long-term basis.

Symptoms

Although the wrists, knees, and hands are among the most common locations to experience rheumatoid arthritis symptoms, many people can experience them in the hips as well. These symptoms can be particularly debilitating, as the hip joints are so critical for nearly any movement. People living with rheumatoid arthritis in the hips generally experience:

  • Aches and pains in the hips
  • Stiffness, locking, immobility
  • Visible swelling and tenderness
  • Muscle weakness
  • Chronic fatigue
  • Visible deformities

Unlike osteoarthritis which usually develops on one side or the other, rheumatoid arthritis typically develops on both sides.

Diagnosis

Patients are usually diagnosed with rheumatoid arthritis after seeing a doctor regarding any of the above symptoms. To determine the underlying cause, a doctor will ask about pain and symptoms, review medical history, perform a physical evaluation and order various diagnostic tests such as x-rays or bloodwork. In some cases, patients may be referred to a specialist for additional testing to confirm an autoimmune disease such as rheumatoid arthritis.

As a progressive condition, it is important to treat rheumatoid arthritis as early as possible in an attempt to slow the progression of the disease and successfully manage inflammation. This can often be accomplished through conservative treatments. 

Surgery

While conservative treatments are often effective, many patients with rheumatoid arthritis in the hips can develop serious joint damage. If other therapies have been exhausted, a surgeon may recommend total hip replacement surgery. These procedures can be performed using muscle/soft tissue-sparing techniques that enable an outpatient procedure.

After undergoing any form of hip surgery, physical therapy and rehabilitation play a critical role in regaining hip function and maximizing the probability of a positive outcome. 

Get In Touch with The Experts at BEST Health System

To learn more about the comprehensive array of treatment options at BEST Health System that can help improve the quality of life for patients living with rheumatoid arthritis in the hip, contact us today. Our caring and dedicated team are passionate about helping people get their lives back from debilitating pain. 

If you have experienced any of these symptoms or recieved a diagnosis and need treatment, BEST can help. Take the first step towards relief today.

Related Articles

Headshot of Yoga Poses for Individuals with Arthritis

Yoga Poses for Individuals with Arthritis

Conservatively Treating Arthritis Your arthritis of the spine treatment does not have to include surgery or pain medication. While these options can be beneficial, some […]