We all know that there are many health benefits to losing weight. Many previous studies indicate that a weight loss and fitness program can help decrease the symptoms of knee arthritis. It seems there is a lack of information about weight loss and improved symptoms and function in people with hip pain from arthritis.
A recent study published in the Physical Therapy Journal shows that exercise and weight loss may be beneficial in the treatment of hip osteoarthritis (OA). The study included 35 patients with evidence of hip OA. They were introduced to a lifestyle change program for 8 months which included dietary instructions and individual and group exercises. A home exercise program was also included as part of the intervention.
The primary outcome measure in the study was a self reported physical function scale, and other outcomes were pain and walking tests, like the 6 minute walk test (6MWT). Weight was also measured prior to starting the program. Outcome measures were taken at the start, at the 3 month mark, and at the end of the study.
The results showed that the patients who participated in the program reported a 32.6% improvement in physical function. Also, pain scores decreased by 25%, and an 11.6 % improvement was noted in the 6MWT. No control was available, so these results certainly could be the result of some other confounding variable.
If you have hip OA, your doctor may refer you to physical therapy to learn exercises to help improve your hip range of motion and strength and to decrease your pain. If you are overweight, combining exercise with dietary and lifestyle changes can have a positive effect on your overall condition.