A two year study conducted by a team of medical researchers recently concluded that the use of glucosamine has no meaningful effect on the pain in patients with arthritis of the hip, as posted in the Annals of Internal Medicine.
Dr. Rianne M. Rozendaal and colleagues at the Erasmus Medical Center in Rotterdam, the Netherlands randomly assigned 222 patients in the early stages of hip arthritis to either glucosamine or a placebo. The research team took careful precautions to ensure the integrity of their results, including requiring that the supplier of the glucosamine double check that the tablets were of the correct dose. In spite of the carefully controlled conditions, the treatment had no significant effect on pain scores, stiffness, or physical function.
Many consumers have turned to glucosamine as a way to treat hip arthritis pain as an alternative to pain medications. However, despite various studies, definitive proof of glucosamine being effective as a treatment for pain associated with arthritis of the hip is lacking. So that leaves consumers wishing to avoid frequent use of pain medication with a big question: "If glucosamine does not help, then what does?"
If you wish to avoid unnecessary strain on your hip, and in doing so relieve hip pain, a variety of independent living products are available that allow you to continue enjoying your usual lifestyle. Many who suffer from hip arthritis are unaware that by making small adjustments to their everyday routine, they can enjoy a relatively pain free lifestyle without the use of narcotics.
Sitting and Standing in the Living Room and Kitchen
Arthritis of the hip can make sitting down and standing up a painful experience, and make standing for a long period of time virtually impossible. With the correct products around the home, however, you can go about your normal routine with very little change to the lifestyle you have grown accustomed to.
Standing up from a chair or couch can be especially difficult, especially if soft foam causes you to sink low into the seat. Not every couch is "hip arthritis friendly": couches rarely sit high off the ground and often the armrests are not positioned in a way that makes them ideal for support when you stand up. The CouchCane is an easy to install solution that provides you with a sturdy, comfortably positioned handle that you can lift yourself up with. The weight of your couch holds it in place while the rubber feet on its base prevent slipping and protect your floor. The CouchCane features an adjustable height hand grip, quality steel components, and an adjustable base that fits either end of a variety of couch sizes and styles.
If you lack hand and arm strength, or if you have arthritis in your hand as well, a handle to lift yourself up will not be of much help. Pride Lift Chairs make an attractive addition to any room's décor and smoothly lift the user to an almost standing position. Available in a variety of styles, such as Casual Line, Gentle Line, and Luxury Line, Pride Lift Chairs feature an assortment of high quality fabrics in a wide range of colors. The soft upholstery and comfortable arm position make them comfortable enough to sleep in while the durable scissor-style mechanism and powerful motor ensure years of operation. The Luxury Line lift chairs allow the user to adjust the angle of the backrest and ottoman separately for a custom fit, which allows those with hip arthritis to find the leg position that best works them.
Cooking, working at a counter, or washing dishes can require you to stand for long periods of time, which can be extremely painful for your arthritic hip. Barstools can provide the necessary height for your work, but typically have very uncomfortable seats and have a tendency to leave your legs in uncomfortable positions. The Drive Adjustable Arms All Purpose Stool is a cost effective alternative that gives you adjustable height, a soft padded seat, and a seating angle that allows your feet to rest on the ground. By keeping your feet on the ground as opposed to dangling, the all purpose stool takes the pressure off of your hips and knees. It makes an attractive addition to your kitchen and is easily cleaned with a damp sponge.
Bathroom Safety and Convenience
Because hip arthritis limits the use of your legs and makes standing or stepping very painful, the bathroom can be the most difficult room in your home to navigate. Getting in and out the bathtub, standing up in the shower, and getting on and off the toilet are activities that put extra strain on your hip joints.
The Pride Lift Chair is great for getting you on your feet in the living room, but don't you wish you had something like that for the bathroom? The Ergonomic AirLift Bedside Commode is exactly what you are looking for. Functioning as either a stand-alone commode or a toilet-mounted seat, the AirLift features air powered struts that give the user an extra boost when standing up. The struts are adjustable based upon the individual's weight. The Ergonomic AirLift is also constructed with ergonomic armrests, a comfortable seating surface, and a specially designed "Guest Seat" stand toilet seat that can be easily mounted in place of the AirLift when company is expected. The AirLift is priced much lower than similar toilet lifting systems and is easy to assemble and install.
When arthritis of the hip begins to cause pain, enjoying a warm bath, or at least getting in and out of it, can be virtually impossible. Depending on the setup of your bathroom and the severity of your arthritis, there are two options available. The first would be a bath lift, such as the Sterling 303. The Sterling 303 is more affordable than most bath lifts that are advertised on television and in magazines, yet it has more features. In addition to the side flaps that make transferring in and out of the tub much easier, the Sterling 303 Bath Lift includes a sealed rechargeable battery, a reclining backrest, and thick covers over the seat and back for added comfort. The Sterling Bath Lift can be folded for travel or storage and features suction cups on the bottom for stability and security without the need for a permanent installation.
For a more permanent solution to hip pain while bathing, the Safety Bath Walk-In Bathtub can be installed in place of your current bathtub. The only walk-in bathtub that features a "swing out" door which will not leak, the Safety Bath comes with all of the necessary plumbing fixtures. It uses your home's hot water as opposed to a separate water heater to save energy costs, uses less water than a standard bathtub, and eliminates the need to step over the edge of a tub. Those with arthritis of the hip will benefit the most from the optional heated seat and 12 jet massager. The Safety Bath can be installed with very little trouble by any qualified plumber.
Getting In and Out of Your Car
Whether you drive a compact car or a large SUV, arthritis of the hip can make getting out of your vehicle a painful experience. For starters, twisting in your seat to find the proper position to stand up or situate yourself in your car can be excruciating. However, a simple and inexpensive device such as the Portable Swivel Seat Cushion eliminates the need to twist by allowing you to rotate easily. It features an attractive grey or camel-colored velour cover which can be easily removed for washing and a comfortable polyfoam padded seat.
Once you are in a position to stand up, the Handybar 3 in 1 Car Aid provides a sturdy, conveniently-placed handle for you to lift yourself up with. Simply insert the smaller end into the striker on your car's door pillar; the specially designed tip holds the Handybar firmly in place while you stand up. The ergonomically designed grip is easy on your hand and wrist.
Pain Relief Through Far Infrared Heat Therapy
Heating pads are the oldest form of pain relief and the most effective. Everyone from arthritis sufferers to athletes relies on heating pads to soothe muscle and/or joint pain. While traditional electric heating pads and microwave heating pads are still quite popular, the most effective way to get deep, penetrating heat to your muscles and joints is by using far infrared heat therapy.
Infrared is a band of light that we perceive as heat. Divided into three segments (near, middle, and far), infrared heat makes up the majority of the sun's energy output. Through a process called "conversion", far infrared has the ability to heat objects such as human tissue without heating the air in between. This effect can be felt on a partly cloudy day; when a cloud obscures the sun, you immediately feel cooler even though the air temperature has not had enough time to change. The cloud blocked the far infrared rays from penetrating your body.
Far infrared heat therapy has taken the traditional heating pad and made it even more effective as a way to combat pain through heat. The Thermotex Infrared Heating Pad combines far infrared heating elements with a soft, machine washable, nylon and cotton cover that features convenient velcro straps to help hold it in place. Unlike standard heating pads that are limited in their heating ability without causing discomfort, the Thermotex Infrared Heating Pad can penetrate your body up to three inches while keeping the pad's surface temperature at less than 130 degrees Fahrenheit. Besides being great for arthritis and hip pain, the Thermotex Infrared Heating Pad is ideal for fibromyalgia, back pain, and tendonitis.
The most effective and most relaxing form of far infrared heat therapy is a far infrared sauna. Unlike conventional saunas that can reach temperatures in excess of 220 degrees Fahrenheit, far infrared saunas stay below 150 degrees and stay ventilated with fresh air as opposed to stale, humid air. This allows for longer, more effective treatments and additional amenities such as a CD player and reading light (both included). Far infrared saunas use a fraction of the electricity that a standard sauna. They are also much easier to assemble and heat up faster. The penetrating far infrared heat of this sauna not only eases hip pain, but it also increases circulation and removes toxins from your skin.
Relief of Hip Pain Does Not Have to Come From Pills
The recent study conducted at the Erasmus Medical Center further proves that taking pain relievers and supplements is not the only way to deal with arthritis of the hip. By making simple adjustments to your lifestyle, which can benefit you in other ways, you can reduce the strain on your hip joints and enjoy a pleasant, independent, and less painful lifestyle.