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Hip arthritis symptoms may vary, depending upon the type of arthritis involved. There are typically two types of arthritis that can affect the hips, inflammatory arthritis and osteoarthritis. Each one may cause different, though often similar, symptoms. Common hip arthritis symptoms can often include swelling and inflammation of the joints, pain in the joints, and joint stiffness.
Osteoarthritis is considered the more common form of hip arthritis. This type of hip arthritis usually occurs when the cartilage of the hip joint wears away, leaving the unprotected bones to rub together painfully. Osteoarthritis typically causes the hip arthritis symptoms of stiffness and pain in the hip joint or joints. Age, body weight, and activity level can contribute to this type of hip arthritis. Genetic factors and hip injuries can also contribute to this condition.
Inflammatory arthritis is considered a less common form of hip arthritis. This type of hip arthritis is generally the result of an inflammatory disease. Rheumatoid arthritis, lupus, and ankylosing spondylitis can cause inflammatory arthritis in the hips and other joints.
The typical symptoms of inflammatory hip arthritis can include pain and stiffness in the hip joints, groin, buttocks, and outer thigh. The joints often become swollen and may feel warm to the touch. While the symptoms of osteoarthritis in the hips generally worsen with activity, inflammatory hip arthritis symptoms may improve with joint movement, and worsen again during periods of rest.
Hip arthritis symptoms often become more severe as joint damage progresses, but often the progression of symptoms isn't steady. Symptoms may worsen or improve from one day to the next. While mild to moderate physical activity can sometimes improve the symptoms of inflammatory hip arthritis, strenuous exercise often makes them worse. Any joint movement can exacerbate the symptoms of osteoarthritis in the hips.
Body weight can also contribute to worsening hip arthritis symptoms. Heavier people may experience more severe symptoms. They heavier one's body is, the more strain and pressure one's joints must endure. Losing weight can help improve the symptoms of both kinds of hip arthritis.
Changes in the weather can also aggravate the symptoms of hip arthritis. Many patients find that their symptoms improve during fair weather, when barometric pressure is high, but worsen during foul weather, when barometric pressure is low. Certain foods, including alcohol and red meat, can also exacerbate hip arthritis symptoms in some patients.