Elder CareResearch shows that one in four people will experience symptoms of hip osteoarthritis by the age of 85. Osteoarthritis occurs when the cartilage that protects the joint breaks down because of injury or inflammation in the joint. Unfortunately, the body doesn’t create new cartilage to replace the damaged cartilage. The result is pain, swelling, and deformity that can make it hard for older adults to move around. While osteoarthritis can be treated, knowing how to manage the pain can make life easier for seniors with hip pain.

Causes of Hip Osteoarthritis

Doctors don’t know the exact cause of hip osteoarthritis, but they have identified some factors that may increase the risk for the condition, such as:

  • Joint injury. 
  • Obesity.
  • Increased age.
  • Improperly formed joints.
  • Inherited defects in the cartilage.
  • Stress on the hip due to certain activities.


Osteoarthritis in the hip can be hard to diagnose because the pain can be in locations other than the hip. It may appear in the groin, knee, buttocks, or thigh. The pain itself can also be different since it can be either stabbing or a dull ache. Other symptoms of hip osteoarthritis are:

  • Swelling, tenderness, or pain in the hip joint.
  • The hip joint being stiff when the senior gets out of bed.
  • Stiffness after sitting for a while.
  • A sound or feeling that indicates bone rubbing against bone.
  • Difficulty removing the hip to do normal activities.

Managing the Pain

There are many treatments used for hip osteoarthritis. The goal of treatment is usually to reduce pain and improve mobility so that a person’s lifestyle is improved. Some possible treatments are:

  • Resting the joint.
  • Using a cane to take pressure off the hip.
  • Pain relief techniques that do not involve medications.
  • Weight loss.
  • Exercise.
  • Medications.
  • Surgery.
  • Ultrasound.
  • Electrical stimulation.
  • Heat and cold.

You may be familiar with or know someone who has had hip replacement surgery. This surgery completely replaces the ball of the hip with a metal ball. Another surgical option is hip resurfacing in which the damaged surfaces of the hip are replaced with metal. This surgery is often used to delay hip replacement surgery.

If you have a senior family member with hip pain due to arthritis, an elder care provider can help. An elder care provider can allow the older adult to rest the hip joint while they handle household tasks, like cleaning, cooking, and laundry. An elder care provider can also assist the senior with walking, helping them to move around safely and avoid injury.


When you are in need of care for a senior loved one, consider caregivers provided by Golden Heart Senior Care. We have offices nationwide. For more information, call us today at (800) 601-2792.

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