I have osteoarthritis; do I need a joint replacement?

Most people will never need a joint replacement and can manage their symptoms conservatively.

Can I have a steroid injection for my hip pain?

Physiotherapists are able to perform steroid injections for greater trochanteric pain syndrome, but not for hip osteoarthritis pain. Whilst injections can be very effective in the short term, research shows medium to long term relief is not often achieved, and physiotherapy is the best long-term option for pain relief. Your physiotherapist will be able to discuss if an injection is appropriate if you are being seen within the Physiotherapy Outpatient Service.

Do I need a walking aid?

If it is too painful to walk and you are limping then a walking aid will probably help. You could try a walking stick or a pair of crutches.

When should I go to A&E?

You should go to A&E if you have had a serious fall or accident, if you are unable to bear any weight or unable to move your leg, or if you have hip pain alongside a fever/ generally unwell.

I think I have a tendinopathy, should I rest it?

It is important not to overdo exercise if you feel you may have a tendinopathy. Equally it is important not to completely rest. Find a suitable amount of daily activity that you can manage and try to gradually increase this as the pain subsides.

My hip is snapping when I move it, what should I do?

A clicking noise or ‘popping out’ sensation is common at the hip. This is often where the tendon flicks over the pelvis – it does not mean something is breaking and is nothing to be concerned by. Often strengthening the hip muscles can help.

Do I need a scan to diagnose my shoulder pain?

There is often not a single simple explanation for your shoulder pain, and findings on scans often reveal changes which are normal signs of ageing rather than the root cause of your pain.
For instance, degenerative changes in the rotator cuff tendons, cartilage damage and arthritis, are all often found when scanning individuals with no shoulder pain or weakness.
Shoulder pain is likely to be caused by a multitude of factors which can often be addressed with exercise.

How will exercise help my shoulder pain?

Research has proven that exercise is often as effective as surgery for treating shoulder pain. However, exercise doesn’t just improve your pain, it does so much more:
  • Promotes healing
  • Strengthens your muscles and tendons
  • Increases your confidence and trust in your shoulder
  • Reduces your pain and fear to move
  • Builds your capacity and tolerance for activity
  • Helps you return to living a full and busy life once more

If I have a tear in my rotator cuff tendon, is surgery the only option?

Tears of the rotator cuff are very common and are a normal part of the ageing process. Most rotator cuff tears do not cause any pain or problem.

The rotator cuff tendons are all connected to create a large broad flat structure around the top of your arm bone, rather like a blanket. So when one tendon is torn, you can picture it like a hole in this blanket. A hole in a blanket doesn’t mean a blanket becomes useless, and this is the same for a tear in your rotator cuff.

Exercises strengthen the rest of the blanket to compensate for this ‘hole’ and are very safe to do. Exercise will reduce your pain and fear as well as improve your function.

Do I need to wear a collar for my neck pain?

Neck collars are no longer recommended for neck pain or injury unless you’ve been told to wear one by a specialist for a specific reason as they have been shown to actually slow recovery. It’s better to keep you neck moving despite some pain initially to avoid any lasting problems and get back to normal as soon as possible.
Muscles and joints in the neck can stiffen up very quickly if they are being kept still so avoid using a collar and get the neck moving again straight away. Remember – Motion is lotion!
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