Pain from the hip joint is often experienced deep in the groin region, but can also be referred into the lower buttock, the lateral thigh, lateral leg, and not uncommonly, the medial knee. The patient with OA of the hip may experience low back, buttock or thigh pain with lumbar range of movement testing, as these tests also place stresses upon the hip joint and good hip joint mobility is required for full pain free lumbar range of movement. In these cases, examination of the hip may be ignored as the presentation may suggest lumbar pathology.
Treatment for OA of the hip includes mobilisations of the hip joint (capsular stretches into the ranges that have been decreased, medial rotation in extension, for example), exercises for strengthening the glut max and medius muscles, exercises for lengthening and strengthening the iliopsoas muscle, hydrotherapy (strength, stretching, mobility and fitness), and land based stretches for any specific tight muscles in the lower limbs. The earlier the restricted hip is treated, the more likely the function of the hip can be restored and the pain diminished and the patient commenced on a home exercise program to maintain and even further improve strength, mobility and function.