What Causes Hip Arthritis To Flare Up?

What Causes Hip Arthritis To Flare Up?

If you live with hip arthritis, you know that some days can be better than others. When your arthritis symptoms become more intense or worsen, it’s known as a flare-up. Flare-ups can occur unexpectedly and take a toll on your daily life. At New York Sports Medicine Institute, we’d like to share some information about the causes of arthritis flare-ups and how our team can help manage your hip pain. 

What is Hip Arthritis?

Hip arthritis is a condition that causes loss of the cartilage of the head of the thigh bone and the socket of the pelvis where this bone fits into the joint. The cartilage in this area allows the bone to glide in the socket as you move. When this cartilage is damaged or lost, the constant friction can cause pain, tenderness, inflammation, and limited mobility. Different types of arthritis can affect your hip, including:

  • Osteoarthritis – Osteoarthritis is arthritis of the bone and is the most common form of this disease. It is typically found in older adults as it is often a result of age-related wear and tear. 
  • Rheumatoid Arthritis – RA is a systemic disorder that affects the entire body, not just the hip joint. The inflammation is caused by an immune system response rather than wear and tear. 

What Causes A Hip Arthritis Flare-Up?

If you have arthritis, you’ve probably experienced an intense flare-up at some point in your life. These periods of increased activity often come without a clear warning or cause and take a toll on your physical and emotional health. Flare-ups vary significantly in duration, frequency, and intensity and can be triggered by several factors. Some of the leading causes of hip arthritis flares include:

  • Too much activity – Osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis often flare after overexertion of the affected joints. Too much activity can stress your joints and the surrounding tissues and cause pain. 
  • Weather – Have your joints ever felt worse in cold or humid weather? Atmospheric pressure changes and humidity can exacerbate joint pain. 
  • Infection – Infections can cause a flare-up in patients with RA, as they affect the immune system. 
  • Stress – Stress is bad for your health for several reasons, and it can also induce flares. 


An unexpected flare-up of hip arthritis can include the following symptoms:

  • Pain in the hip joint, including pain in the outer thigh, groin, or buttocks. 
  • Redness,
  • Stiffness in the hip. 
  • Tenderness.
  • Swelling.
  • Warmth.
  • Difficulty moving or walking with a limp. 

Over time, you will discover what triggers your flare-ups and notice the signs that one is on the way. Before a flare, you may notice fatigue or dull pain in your joints. Early treatment from our orthopedists at New York Sports Medicine Institute will help you manage them. 

Treating Hip Arthritis 

Our team at New York Sports Medicine Institute understands how debilitating an arthritis flare-up can be for patients. While there is no cure for arthritis, we will evaluate your condition and determine the appropriate treatment for your type of arthritis and lifestyle. Treatment for arthritis flares may be as simple as resting and taking over-the-counter pain medication for a few days until the symptoms subside. It’s essential to work with the right team to manage your arthritis and reduce the frequency of flares. Some of the ways we treat arthritis include:

  • Corticosteroid injections to block joint inflammation. 
  • Exercises to build up strength, improve flexibility, and maintain muscle tone. 
  • Lifestyle changes like losing weight and modifying your activity to minimize hip stress. 
  • In cases where the hip is severely damaged, total hip replacement surgery. 
  • Hip osteotomy surgery. 

Contact Us

If you have hip arthritis, it’s essential to work with the right team early on to minimize flare-ups and manage your painful symptoms. At New York Sports Medicine Institute, we’re here to help minimize the effects of hip arthritis and guide you towards a healthier, pain-free lifestyle. Be sure to contact us today to schedule an appointment