Osteoarthritis of the hip

Question

I am a 44 year old female and have been experiencing right hip pain since 2001. I excercise vigorously 6-7 hours per week alternating between spinning class, stationary bike and elyptical trainer. I also participate in strength training 2-3 times per week. My pain is persistent throughout the day worst with weight bearing activities such as climbing steps. I am currently taking ibuprophen 1800 mg per day and glucosamine condroitin with hilaronic acid which does not relieve the pain. The only time I am truly pain free is at rest. An orthopeodist performed a plain film diagnosing me with arthritis, recommended that I continue my current activity and prescribed Peroxicam 20mg a day – I took this for a month and found it to not help at all. My question is regarding my current activity. Literature supports excercise but could I be doing more harm than good? Have I been diagnosed accurately? I feel that I am extremely young to be having this much pain. Would appreciate your perspective and suggestions.

Answer

See our section on exercise. Unfortunately, much more research needs to be done. Weight bearing exercise does not cause arthritis but how it affects existing arthritis is unknown. It certainly makes sense that repetitive weight bearing exercise (running for example) for someone with hip or knee arthritis could make things worse. It certainly can cause more pain. I would continue exercise but focus on non-weight bearing activities such as swimming, elliptical trainers, etc.

Alan Matsumoto, M.D.

About Alan Matsumoto, M.D.

Part-time Faculty, Division of Rheumatology
Johns Hopkins University