Combating Hip Osteoarthritis: A Physiotherapist’s guide to managing arthritis pain

Travis Kluckhenn
by Travis Kluckhenn

Do you suffer from pain and stiffness in your knee when you first get out of bed in the morning? 


Perhaps you get it trying to get up out of a chair after sitting for longer periods of time? Or maybe you get it walking or climbing stairs? Unfortunately these are all common symptoms of knee osteoarthritis (OA).


Before you jump in and say, “It’s just part of getting old!”, as Physiotherapists we’re frequently amazed at the results some of our clients see when they tackle the problem head on.


But first, what is Hip osteoarthritis?


Hip osteoarthritis, commonly referred to simply as “arthritis”, is one of the most common conditions in people over the age of 50, characterized by the degeneration, or “wear” of the hip joint cartilage, leading to pain, stiffness, and reduced mobility. 


While there may be no cure for hip osteoarthritis currently, effective management strategies exist to help alleviate symptoms and improve quality of life. In this blog post, we’ll explore how physiotherapy, along with exercise programs like GLA:D (Good Living with Arthritis: Denmark), can play a crucial role in managing your hip osteoarthritis and help you keep doing the activities that you love.


How do Physiotherapist treat Hip Osteoarthritis?


Physiotherapy plays a crucial role in the overall management of hip osteoarthritis. Unlike medications or surgical interventions, physiotherapy focuses on improving joint function, reducing pain, and enhancing mobility through a combination of manual therapy techniques, exercise therapy, and patient education. Physiotherapists are trained to assess and treat musculoskeletal conditions like hip osteoarthritis using evidence-based interventions that can be tailored to your specific needs and goals.


Many Physiotherapists are now also trained in implementing the GLA:D program for people suffering from Hip and Knee Osteoarthritis. Originally developed in Denmark, GLA:D is an evidence-based education and exercise program which focuses on teaching participants about osteoarthritis, self-management strategies, and specific exercises aimed at improving joint function and reducing pain.


Participants of the GLA:D program will typically exercise twice per week within a group run by a Physiotherapy clinic.


Physiotherapy-led treatment options for Hip Osteoarthritis:


A variety of physiotherapy interventions can effectively manage hip osteoarthritis. Manual therapy techniques, such as joint mobilization and soft tissue massage, can help improve joint mobility and reduce pain. While exercise therapy, including strengthening, stretching, and range of motion exercises, can enhance muscle strength, flexibility, and joint stability. 


Most importantly, Physiotherapists will recommend a treatment plan in collaboration with you, to help you achieve the goals that are important to you. For some, this may include going for long walks or climbing up stairs at home. For others it may include staying on the tennis court, or out on the golf course. 


The Benefits of Physiotherapy and the GLA:D Program for Hip Osteoarthritis:


The benefits of physiotherapy, along with participation in the GLA:D program, are numerous. Physiotherapy can help alleviate pain, improve joint function, and enhance overall quality of life for individuals with hip osteoarthritis. By addressing underlying biomechanical issues and promoting proper movement patterns, physiotherapy and the GLA:D program can help individuals with hip osteoarthritis perform daily activities with greater ease and confidence. Many patients also report a reduction in reliance on pain medications and an increased sense of control over their condition after undergoing physiotherapy treatment


Collaborative Approach to Hip Osteoarthritis Management:


Effective management of hip osteoarthritis often requires a multidisciplinary approach involving collaboration between physiotherapists, orthopedic surgeons, GP’s, and other healthcare professionals. Physiotherapists work closely with other members of the healthcare team to develop comprehensive treatment plans that address the unique needs and goals of each patient. 




In conclusion, physiotherapy, along with evidence-based programs like GLA:D, is a valuable and effective treatment option for people managing hip osteoarthritis. By relieving pain, improving function, and promoting strength & mobility, we can help individuals with hip osteoarthritis live more comfortably and independently. 


If you or a loved one are struggling with hip osteoarthritis, consider consulting with a physiotherapist who offers the GLA:D program to explore how these interventions can help you regain control and improve your quality of life.


If you’d like to book an appointment to see one of our fully trained Physiotherapists, you can book  online. Or if you’d like to speak with us to learn more, you can call one of our friendly staff at the clinic on 0397522368.


Or read this Blog to Learn more about the GLA:D Exercise program for Hip & Knee Osteoarthritis