Moderate left Hip Osteoarthritis and mild in the lower back

I am 50 years old and I have had symptoms of pain in the hip for almost 3 years and have finally had a diagnosis from xrays of the left SI Joint, lumbar back, and left hip - 10 xrays were taken in all in different positions.

I have pain that radiates down to the knee and feel groin pain. Some days are worse than others for pain. I went bowling a month or so ago and this has really flared something up; symptoms seemed to have gotten a lot worse - the xrays were taken about 2 weeks ago so it was after the bowling.

Before the bowling incident I could grocery shop and go out but it is very limited now and I push a cart and kind of limp around and the pain increases. I was taking glucosamine sulphate for a month but have discovered I am allergic. I had pain in my throat area; it wasn't sore to swallow though, and also tightness in my chest area too like sore muscles and also in the front sides of my neck. I was also going pee about 25 times a day and up 2 or 3 times in the night as well; after I stopped taking the supplement the symptoms went away.

Can you recommend any other supplements? I have stiffness in the morning; I do sleep okay and not woken up much by pain. I went to my first physio and have a couple stretching exercises to do and they will try tens. I was told by the therapist to get into a specialist and look into hip resurfacing so that I can avoid a total hip replacement til I'm 65.

I had a D&C surgery which was a simple procedure when I was 35 and I had excessive bleeding and my blood pressure dropped very low and they had to keep me in the hospital to monitor me. My blood pressure tends to be low 100/75 and it dropped a lot during this surgery. I'm afraid of having a major surgery and want to avoid this at all costs. Can you advise any other supplements to try and what other things I can do.

I am overweight and have lost 30 lbs over the last 6 months and am still working on more weight loss; probably another 40 or 50 lbs to go. I'm going to try yoga and swimming as well but I am unable to get down on the hard floor for exercising so I do what I do on the bed.

I take a regimen of vitamins - multi, calcium, vit d and c, omega 3.. I also have a fruit smoothie in the morning made with fresh fruit and green tea instead of fruit juice - also add cinnamon & lemon juice to it. I will now cut out starches from what I read they are not good and all sugars as well.

I eat a lot of vegetables and little meat - mostly chicken and fish; some hamburger. Any help would be appreciated. Thank you so much.

Well done, Cheryl, you've made a great start to regaining control over your health.

Research shows that the SINGLE MOST EFFECTIVE TREATMENT FOR HIP ARTHRITIS is to lose weight. So, a fantastic start, but do go all the way. Quite right, avoiding the starches is the easiest way forward.

Not only will this weight loss greatly help with your hip condition, but of course reduce the chances of stroke, diabetes...

The glucosamine chondroitin sulphate research is very weak. So no surprise it didn't help you. What is proven is fish oil. Actually, the omega-3 oil in fatty fish. I would also start taking flax seed oil, and grinding up your own flax seeds for mueslis, hummus and so on.

Don't be concerned about the fat where omega-3 is found. These are healthy oils, and it's very dangerous to go off all fats. Just change to the good oils, particularly from the olive, fish and flax. Walnuts too.

If you have access to a pool, start swimming regularly, the best exercise for an arthritic hip or knee.

Chiropractic: I have an aggressive treatment for hip arthritis that is quite effective. Usually, I'm afraid it doesn't help always, but usually chiropractic mobilisation of the hip, adjustments of the sacroiliac joint and a back rehab programme make a huge difference.

But that's your decision. If you're happy with the PT treament you're getting, stay with it.

Good luck, keep going... one other thing, fruit is high in carb, but I notice in the Weigh Less programme they don't count the calories from fruit. I go along with that, eat more fruit, though perhaps be conservative with the very sweet fruits.

A chicken bone extract has been proven to help with the inflammatory arthritides and may help your hip. Nice anyway, makes a great veg soup. See our Chicken Bones page at C-H.

Dr B

Comments for Moderate left Hip Osteoarthritis and mild in the lower back

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Feb 08, 2013
SI Joint versus hip joint
by: Cheryl

Hi Barrie; I sure appreciate your comments. I'm working on losing the weight and it is making a difference for sure. I still have some bad days; it seems the wind or really cold weather affect me. Most of the time I don't take anything for the discomfort. I have a small pea size lump in the bottom of my right foot which has been painful; not sure what happened there. I've been kind of limping and my bad hip has been trying to compensate for that and managing okay. You were so right to say that weight loss is key here. Yes, I been doing the recommended exercises before getting up in the mornings and then again when I go to bed. I was reading over your comments on my MRI results that I sent you and I have a couple questions. Hypothetically; if I have to go through a Hip replacement down the road; do they do anything to also replace the SI joint issue as well? Is that all connected? Also, you say that my condition is mild to moderate. What part is mild and where is the moderate damage? And the cysts? Is it possible for them to resolve on their own down the road and also the effusion? Do either of these things go away? I have been going faithfully to the chiropractor; he uses the actuator method and he has also given me some printouts of exercises to try. Thank you for your comments.

Hello Cheryl,
Ask your chiropractor to look at your foot. Anything that makes you limp will disturb the apple cart.

The hip and SIJ degenerative change are connected, but no, there's no replacement for a SIJ available.

I believe I used the terms mild / moderate from what you said. Actually, cysts are not so mild.
Kellgren Lawrence Grading Scale …

Frankly, it's unlikely the cysts will go away, not the effusion. A total hip replacement is guaranteed to last only about 15 years, so your aim initially is not to have it before sixty, otherwise it may need to be repeated.

Ask your chiro to go through the exercises with you. Important to do them right. Be choosy, not all exercises will be helpful; start slowly and listen to your bod. Swimming and cycling, because they are non-weight bearing will be good.

Eat as much fatty fish and freshly ground flax seed as you can. The omega-3 fatty acids have been proven to help.


Good luck.

Dr B

Jan 17, 2013
MRI results
by: Anonymous

Hi, I went to the dr yesterday for my MRI results. I have been working on losing weight and not doing too bad; plugging along. I've been taking Celadrin 3 times/day and that seems to have been helping along with krill oil. This is what my MRI results say. What kind of exercise to do and what you feel is my prognosis and what stage the OA is at now. "On the left there is signal alteration in the weight-bearing adjoining surfaces of the acetabulum and femoral head. (not sure what that means) There is subchondral cyst formation on teh acetabular side of the joint and the articular cartilage along the weight bearing surfaces is relatively markedly thinned (are cysts a concern - do they go away or grow) There is also irregularity of the supralateral labrum (is that a tear?) There is a a small effusion around the left hip joint (is that a bone spur? or what is that?) There is moderate degenerative change in the inferior aspect of the SI joints on the left with sclerosis and subchrondral cyst formation, particularly on the iliac side of the joint." My dr is a GP and just stressed that it's osteo and to try physio and to hang in; I wouldn't be looked at for a hip replacement til I'm 65; I'm 51 now. Do you have any tips to slow this process? Your thoughts and comments on my report would be greatly appreciated. Cheryl

Hello Cheryl,
Well, did you get the 16lbs off by Christmas? A lot harder than swallowing pills, but remember the research shows it's the single most effective treatment. Want to escape the knife and wheelchair?

Treating a lady right now with the same issue at your age, but in her knee. She's lost 19kg in a year. It really can be done. Look at our Free weight loss programs ... In particular, absolutely cut out the high Glycemic Index foods like white rice, boiled potato and white bread, and of course sugary drinks and foods.

Unloading the cartilage is what research now proves enables the cartilage to regrow.

You have mild, moderate hip arthritis, but enough to make you miserable. Those cysts aren't good - they show that there are defects in the endplate allowing fluid to leak into the bone.

An effusion is fluid. Swelling.

No labral irregularity is not a tear. It's wearing, and perhaps you also have a condition called FAIS. Have you tried faithfully those hip exercises I suggested? EVERY morning before you get out of bed? They will help that arthritis thay is also developing in the SI joint too.

Time to see a chiro, Cheryl. But everybody is going to tell you the same thing. Get if off or suffer. Sorry to be so brutal, but really you can do it. Many, many others have chosen the pain of weight loss over disability, a stick at 50 odd and the prospect of a wheelchair. Do it!

Dr B

Aug 29, 2012
Moderate Osteoarthritis in Left hip
by: Cheryl

Thank you Barrie for getting back to me with some helpful information. I will try to fish oil - 2 capsules a day as recommended on your site.

Do you recommend taking naproxen every day to control pain and inflamation? Or just do chiro and physio along with the daily stretches and swimming.

I am continuing on the weight loss but am really slow; about a pound a week now because of the limited exercise I can do. Are there any other supplements you can recommend? Have you heard of ASU or Celedrin? I can not take glucosamine. I do not want hip surgery; not even the resurfacing; not at my age of 50 anyways and possibly never because of surgical complications that can arise because of my low blood pressure and excessive bleeding issues. Does that mean I will be destined to a wheel chair and lots of pain some day?

Thank you for your comments.

Hello again, Cheryl,
A pound a week is just fine, just keep it up. Keep reminding yourself that all the research shows that getting that weight off is the SINGLE MOST EFFECTIVE treatment for hip arthritis.

So, keep at it, or probably the wheelchair. Easy choice, eh!

No, I don't know about ASU or Celedrin.

Take the anti inflammatories if you simply can't live with the pain and it makes you totally miserable. But taken day in and day out they have some horrific side effects, worse than the arthritis. Much worse...

Rather than more supplements, keep going back to healthy eating. More fatty fish, like salmon, ground up flax seed every day in your hummus, or cereal, or sprinkled on your salads, walnuts on your salads, olive oil and low,low starches.

And gently exercise that hip several times a day but pulling the knee to the chest and gently rotating.

16 pounds by Christmas, go for it!

Dr B

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