Does anyone know of a way to regenerate the hip joint once it is bone on bone.

Posted , 26 users are following.

Stem cell, natural ingredients such as bone broth/glucosamine/ chondrotine/etc?

If not, what are the best natural pain solutions?

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  • Posted

    I think working on the soft tissue to align not only the hip joint but your whole body would be the biggest improvement that you can make.

    Joint degeneration is always accompanied by major muscle imbalance. It's hard to separate which symptoms are coming from the joint itself and which are coming from the muscle imbalances. Some people have mild joint wear and bad symptoms and others have severe joint wear and no symptoms.  It always makes sense to do everything you can to address muscle imbalances - not only to improve symptoms in your hip joint but also to protect all your other joints and stop them degenerating too!

    glucosamine and chondrotine supposedly don't work according to research. I know someone that's had stem cell treatment to his hip but from what he's told me I'm pretty sure it would be no use in your case.

    First step - figure out the source of your pain. From personal experience (and I'm not 100% pain free, although my joint wear isn't so severe as far as I know):

    Irritated nerves can cause hellish pain - aching, throbbing, electrirc shocks etc. It's normally treatable.

    'Knots' and strained areas in the muscles and fascia (trigger points) are perhaps responsible for most OA pain and stiffness. Again, treatable.

    All in the mind - seriously! When you've had pain for a long time your brain can start to over-react to normal sensations and make you feel them as intense pain. The pain feels very real, but there is no real physical cause for it. Again, treatable.

    Tendonitis/Tendonosis/Bursitis - all of these things can occur when the soft tissue is irritated due to abnormal joint movement. Again, treatable.

    Don't assume that your pain is a result of your worn joint. Some of even all of it may be due to something else completely. The specialists all swore blind my pain was from my joint. It wasn't - a combination of the above. I'm now symptom free, although it's likely I still have plenty of joint degeneration.

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    • Posted


      "First step - figure out the source of your pain. From personal experience (and I'm not 100% pain free, although my joint wear isn't so severe as far as I know):"

      Should Read

      I am **NOW** 100% pain free!

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    • Posted


      I was diagnosed with hip osteoarthritis but my MRI tells tendinosis gluteus medius, this was last year, have undergone physical therapy, but pain stii persist there are good and bad days, developed lower left back pain, now i have left knee pain. Before, i was active going out on trips, now I couldnt even walk for 10 minutes, right hip would hurt, need to stop and sit for awhile. Also my right leg has weakness. Im 42 yrs old, i dont know what to do. Based on what you mentioned, tendinosis is treatable hope you could help me out to improve my life.

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    • Posted

      Hi Patricia,

      When you develop a muscle imbalance in your body muscles, tendons, joints etc are all put under abnormal strain. Almost certainly a muscle imbalance has caused your tendonosis - and the pain caused by your tendonosis will make your muscle imbalance worse which will in turn lead to more strain in your body. Hence the back and knee pain.

      You have a one sided problem therefore you need to be thinking in terms that you've got a twisted pelvis (guaranteed to be the case). You won't address the problem focussing on the hip. You need to get the whole body balanced out.

      Tendonosis occurs when tendons are under strain and the actual cells become abnormal. Tendons have a poor blood supply so lack of oxygen and nutrients slows healing. It's therefore helpfull if you can find a way of getting plenty of blood pumping through the tendon without causing any aggrevation. Examples that *might* work for you are cycling, a step machine? Just rhythmic movement of your hips - tiny movements are fine. The important thing is not to aggrevate the painful muscle.

      Another thing that's good for tendonosis is eccentric movement. So for example, a side lying leg raise would work and strengthen the glute med. The eccentric part of that exercise is the lowering. So a possibility might be to use a rope around your foot to assist in raising your leg but lower slowly under your own steam. This helps with tendonosis healing. Again, it shouldn't aggrevate. Just enough to promote healing.

      Mainly though you need to address the muscle imbalance to take the load off the joints. That is not easy. Stay with your physical therapy even though it seems not to be helping. Add in some things. Something to look up is 'cross crawl'. When you have a one sided problem you will develop twisting down your spine and pelvis which wreaks havoc. Mostly this is caused by the brain. Think how hard it is for most people to move their toes individually. Physically they're capable but the brain/nervous system never learned how to do it. Something similar happens in our bodies when we develop imbalances. Our brain forgets how to move correctly. There are exercises that can help with this. Google for 'crawling patterns'. It won't work miracles on it's own, but it will help. The other thing to search for is ideas of correcting a twisted pelvis.

      There isn't a quick fix, but keep learning about what's going wrong. Understand that it's a whole body issue and you should slowly start to get it back under control.

      I hope this helps in some way. The important thing is tenacity. Don't give up.

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    • Posted

      Hi! Thanks so much for the input. Will look into the things you mentioned. My story, i had an accident which led to a a very slight acetabular fx, i didnt need surgery but was home bound for a month, when i resumed work everything was fine, i did a lot of travel, then after 3 years, i felt pain on my right hip, xray shows normal. It was on and off so i had an mri which showed the mild gluteus medius tear.although i did recover but the pain persis from good to bad days vice versa, then last december my left knee hurts, normal xray but limited bone space. I could stii go out but everything needs to be planned the distance etc. I live alone, my sister comes after a week. I envy people who could walk far, do normal stuff. While, i just sit there imagining if i didnt have this disease i would have done so many things, explore life.

      After you didnt feel any pain, did the doctors requested for you an MRI, what did it show? If its winter in your place, does it really hurt the most? Mine would hurt if a rain will come and if its a cold day. Didnt you have problems before, walking far? What made you decide not to have a THR and last, how is your life right now? Thanks again

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    • Posted

      I was diagnosed with hip OA 10 years ago - at age 42. Prior to that I was very active - involved in martial arts at a high level. My problems started when I was slowly walking on a treadmill after a very hard workout. I suddenly felt a mild tweak in my groin. I thought nothing of it expecting it to be gone by morning. Within a few days I'd lost hip range of motion in all directions. Xrays showed degenerative changes in both hips. I was told by a specialist that I had a classic case of hip OA and that there was no chance my symptoms could be down to anything else. Best I could hope for was no further deterioration.

      Because my fitness levels were so high I managed a lot in the early stages. In the early stages I refused to give into it and started training for 10k running races. I managed that fine getting a respectable 54 min 10k in my first race. But whilst I could manage that I couldn't walk 100 yards to the letter box without my entire body going into spasms and tired very quickly.

      I stopped running at the advice of a physio and started working on rehab. I went downhill fast and soon couldn't run either. I had knee pain, neck pain, foot pain, back pain and sever shoulder impingement at one point. Couldn't move shoulders at all.

      I always had a gut feel that it was mucle imbalance. Just couldn't get it sorted out despite spending thousands on chiros, physios etc. It was when I got my head around the fact that I had a twisted pelvis (from too much one sided karate practice) that I started getting things back on track.

      I'm fine now. Hip is 100%. I still have some mild imbalances that mean my biomechanics aren't yet perfect but most people would never notice and I certainly don't have pain or discomfort.

      I now run, strength train - and despite my so called incurable shoulders I can now do a pretty impressive 15 deadhang pullups. Not bad for anyone let alone a middleaged woman riddled with OA!!

      I'm going to send you a link to a website that I've set up (by private message). I feel that very many people with OA and joint problems really have what I had - muscle imbalance. It's not easy to fix, but when you look at all the facts, the resources, the research you start to realise that it makes sense for EVERYONE with joint problems to tackle muscle imbalances and soft tissue problems. How far you get will be partly down to exactly what is wrong with you and how much work you're willing to put in. I was a CLASSIC case - I'm 100% cured.

      I'll pm you. I am in the process of putting together loads of info to help people tackle these imbalances. It's taking me a while though but perhaps what is already there will help. Look at the blog for the entry on trigger point therapy. I think that could help yo ua lot.

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    • Posted

      HI Susan ... thanks for the info.  Do you have the website link you referenced above? I would really like to see it.  Muscle inbalance is very important, but how do you know where the inbalance is and what needs to be workded on?  Hoping the website will be of assistance in this area.
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    • Posted

      Hi dean, I'll pm you the link to the website. So far it's mostly reassuring people that OA **CAN** be curable - that it can really be down  to treatable muscle imbalances. You need to believe that you can fix this before you start else you'll give up. And blind faith is no good - you need to see the research - understand that popular belief...even what many docs and OA charity websites say isn't strictly true. A good starting point is the NICE guidelines to discover that OA isn't the doom and gloom story that most think.

      I'm working hard to put together info that will get people started along the path of addressing their imbalances. Problem is that we're all different in starting point and lifestyle. Also in the way we think. I explain things a certain way to one person and it just clicks and they progress in leaps and bounds. The exact same explanation falls flat with the next person and they come back to me totally deflated. So the difficulty is finding a way to get people onto a path that resonates with them - so they can fit it into their life and proceed with confidence.

      I'm always happy to help out via email where I can in the meantime so don't hesitate to contact me via the website. It's that interaction with people that's helping me to figure out what kind of explanations help and what doesn't!

      I'll drop you a pm with the link.

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    • Posted

      hi Susan

      Thanks for the info...hope really...I would also like to access the website you referred to and any additional info you might have. I was recently diagnosed, am in my mid 30's , I also know that I have a twisted pelvis (had consulted with a bio-kineticist who picked this up long before OA diagnosis).

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    • Posted

      Hi, you'll find the website address in my profile.

      I'm getting inundated with email right now - i'm repeating all the same things to each person so I've decided to put all this info in a couple of blog posts. I'll do that in the next few days so check back for more info then.

      I am putting everything into a book but there's so much info that it's taking for ever to write - still a good 3 months away for that.

      But don't be afraid to email me if you need help with anything. Just be aware that I'm getting a bit slow to respond as I'm snowed under!

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    • Posted

      Hi Susan, 

      Please can you pm me the link to your website too? I'd be very interested to hear more about your thoughts on OA, as I think I'm heading for a THR at the moment.



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    • Posted

      What came first, the osteoarthritis or the tendinosis? In my opinion it was the osteoarthritis. The initial pain in your hip has changed the way you walk. The change in gait created the tendinosis of the gluteus medius. I would start with lots of stretches: piriformis, hamstrings, gluts, ITBand an so on. Then very simple range of motion exercises. There is an imbalance between your hip muscle groups and a good therapist will be able to strengthen and continue stretching the right muscles. You can access the link below to read more about your diagnosis. Please contact us if you have any questions. Good luck!


      Moderator comment: I have removed the link(s) directing to site(s) unsuitable for inclusion in the forums. If users want this information please use the Private Message service to request the details.

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    • Posted

      Hi Susan,

      OA involves physical deterioration of cartilage, so I'm interested in how, in your case, cartilage was either regenerated or recreated? You mentioned shoulder impingement, as well. How was this diagnosed and was there any arthritis found in either joint? 

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    • Posted

      Hi Holly,

      Strictly speaking, OA doesn't necessarily mean deterioration of cartilage.  All the diagnosis really means is 'unexplained joint pain'. There is no test for it - it is a diagnosis of exclusion. That surprises most people, but take a look at the NICE guidelines and you'll find that, in the UK at least, this is the reality. What doctors and researchers used to believe about OA is slowly but surely being debunked by research.

      Nowadays, x-rays aren't recommended when diagnosing OA in over 40's. Reason being that research shows no correlation between symptoms and the state of the actual joints. OA is even diagnosed in people that are KNOWN to have no sign of degeneration in joints. 

      By late life, most people will have what's known as 'radiographic OA'; evidence of joint degeneration on film. However, many/most will have zero symptoms. Do you class someone that is 100% symptom free as having OA? Well, it depends what definition you use. Most people are only interested in 'symptomatic OA'.

      I know I DID  have degenerative changes in both hips (my symptom free hip was apparently far worse). Also in neck and low back. Pretty much every joint in my body was symptomatic - severe pain at times. The symptoms are now gone. I haven't been re x-rayed but I think it highly likely that I still have 'radiographic OA' - like most people of my age! Interestingly, I never did develop symptoms in my left hip - the one with the most severe degenerative changes. 

      Here's the thing:

      As I explained, most people develop radiographic OA in later life but remain symptom free, what happens if they later go on to develop pain and stiffness from a treatable overuse injury? The reality is that professionals aren't very good at diagnosing and treating muscle imbalances/overuse injuries - if you're over a certain age it's more likely to be written off as 'joint pain with unknown cause' AKA OA.

      It certainly seems to be the case that people with Hip OA share a common, whole body muscle imbalance. Certainly everyone that's been in touch with me. Now, that could be the RESULT of restriction or pain in the actual joint, OR it could be the cause of benign degenerative changes in the joint. It's impossible to tell which is the case. All you can do is treat the muscle imbalance and see what, if anything, remains. 

      A sports physiotherapist diagnosed my shoulder impingement - although he couldn't fully correct it. It was part of the same imbalance that was causing me hip pain - similar mechanism too! I never had shoulders x-rayed. It's rare for shoulders to be bothered by OA as the gap between the bones is usually big enough to accommodate lumps and bumps on the bones. 

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    • Posted

      Hi Susan,

      Thanks for your reply, although I disagree with you on what osteo arthritis is and how it is diagnosed and defined by the global medical community, naturopathic or traditional.  I'm not sure what you mean by radiographic OA, except that means it is OA indeed confirmed by seeing it on an x-ray.  

      After seeing some of the top arthritis specialists in my state, they all confirm that this is a disease which is caused by the deterioration and then absence of cartilage (severe degenerative). Pain may or may not be present as a symptom, but doesn't void out the diagnosis and presence of OA, which is actually classified as a disease with heredity components. There is alot that can be understood by symptoms of pain and swelling, stiffness and loss of ROM, but to have a perfect diagnosis plain x-rays are still the gold standard to show cartilage damage and define the extent.  Otherwise, pain, stiffness, and other symptoms could potentially be caused by something else.  Even the muscle imbalances you describe could be a symptoms of OA but not the cause, which is cartilage deterioration.

      From the Arthritis Foundation, "Osteoarthritis is the most common type of arthritis. When the cartilage – the slick, cushioning surface on the ends of bones – wears away, bone rubs against bone, causing pain, swelling and stiffness. Over time, joints can lose strength and pain may become chronic.

      From the Mayo Clinic, "Osteoarthritis is the most common form of arthritis, affecting millions of people worldwide. It occurs when the protective cartilage on the ends of your bones wears down over time."

      I strongly believe in diagnostics in order to receive a proper diagnosis. Otherwise the condition (cause of pain) can't properly treat the condition. 

      It is possible to have OA without much or any pain, in the early stages, but that would still need to be determined by imaging and not symptoms or lack or them. 

      It seems like you had a lot of joint pain, but I'm curious how did you know what you had without being diagnosed through imaging, especially the degenerative forms in your hips?  Degenerative arthritis would mean you had little to no cartilage left, by the standard and definitions used in the science community. If you were healed and doing well today, there would be need to be physical changed to cartilage causing it to regrow and regenerate, which at this point in time is not possible - this also confirmed by the science community and top arthritis doctors and researchers.  How did you know you didn't have something else going on that has been resolved by now?

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    • Posted

      I don't know about the USA, but here in the UK things have moved on! 

      I'd post the link to the NICE guidelines on OA that all doctors in this country are supposed to follow - but we're not allowed to post links. You'd find it if you googled for it though.

      I was diagnosed with hip OA about 12 years ago now. I did have x-rays and as I said, it showed degeneration changes in both hips - the hip that had ZERO symptoms was significantly worse - yet I never went on to develop a single symptom in that hip. 

      And this is what researchers are now cottoning on to. Most people with x-ray/mri evidence of joint degeneration (defined as 'radiographic OA'wink don't have symptoms. So, in order to return to an active, symptom free life you clearly don't need to regenerate cartilage - you just need to get rid of the symptoms. You still have 'radiographic OA' but who cares what your joints look like on film if they're robust and symptom free?

      So, my right hip WAS symptomatic for 10 years. And yes, x-rays showed degenerative changes. X-rays also showed 'severe' degenerative changes in my neck and at times I needed emergency medical treatment for the pain.  

      In my case (and in the case of others, I'm not alone) the cause of symptoms  turned out to be a complex muscle imbalance that rippled through my whole body. When I corrected the muscle imbalance ALL pain went away. Yes, I'm sure I still have 'radiographic OA'. I'm quite sure my joints haven't 'healed'. 

      The whole point is that your joints don't need to heal. Research shows that most joints with degenerative changes aren't symptomatic. It's not certain that your joints are causing your symptoms. The only way to know for sure is to treat any muscle imbalances/over-use injuries etc and see if any symptoms remain. Sadly, that's not easy to do and health pros aren't trained to do it. It's quicker and easier to get people popping pills and going under the knife!

      You're looking at very outdated information. Look up the NICE guidelines on OA and have a good read through. That looks at all the research and consults numerous experts in the field. 

      Interestingly, finger OA often gets better on it's own - from memory 40% of cases will run their course. Knee OA often gets better too. A friend of mine was diagnosed with severe knee OA. He was ordered to stop running, but ignored the advice. Several years (and thousands of miles - he's an ultra distance runner) later he's pain free. That was with ZERO intervention. Hip OA rarely gets better - I suspect because it's a more complex imbalance behind it.


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    • Posted

      Osteoarthritis is most definitely a diagnosis of exclusion. There is no test for it. The NICE guidelines are quite clear about this. 

      Studies indicate that 11% of over 45’s have radiographic evidence of OA in hip joints yet only 5% are symptomatic; 25% have radiographic evidence of OA in knee joints yet only 13% are symptomatic; 41% have radiographic evidence of OA in hand joints yet only 3% are symptomatic.

      If you were to make a diagnosis based on x-ray/mri findings only then most people given the diagnosis would be 100% symptom free. So what's the point in a diagnosis that lumps people with severe symptoms in with people that have nothing wrong at all?

      The important thing is eliminating the symptoms. Clearly the presence of radiographic OA doesn't mean you'll have symptoms so the sensible goal would be to get the symptomatic folks into the same boat as those that have zero symptoms. For many - that's achieved by eliminating muscle imbalances. The thing is though - my symptoms (caused by muscle imbalances) were apparently (according to doctors/specialists/physios) IDENTICAL to the symptoms of those that go on to have joint replacement surgery. In other words, you can't tell which cases will respond to physical therapy and which won't. 

      So, going back to the statement made in the NICE guidelines about OA being a diagnosis of exclusion. How can you possibly diagnose OA without first ruling out muscle imbalance? You can't. Yet how many have muscle imbalance ruled out before getting a diagnosis? 


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    • Posted

      I apologize Susan, I must have missed when you clarified that you had x-rays, and I did see the NICE website. On it, I do see diagnostics as a first step, but yes I do see the guidelines are recommending a lot of other things to identify and treat the condition/disease. 

      My question WRT me -  I have severe degenerative OA in my right shoulder with bone spurs identified by x-rays and MRI. No matter how I use the shoulder, it is excruciatingly painful. There is no more cartilage and complete bone on bone. I was in physical therapy for 4 months last year, the the therapist finally gave up and told me there was nothing more she could do. I do believe I have muscle imbalances now, but as a symptom and result of the OA. I had always had very good muscle balance and my shoulder was in peak condition until I had an acute traumatic injury to the joint in 2014.  I went to p.t. afterwards and tried to resolve it, tried to work through the pain by keeping the strength up, but finally due to the hi grade labral tear which was a result of the injury, the continued movement only served to prevent the soft tissues to heal and the eventuality of OA. 

      I'm always interested in if there is something new  in the science that is backed up by evidence.  

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    • Posted

      Forgive me for using non-technical terms here, but I can't remember all the names of bones in the shoulder! 

      Generally speaking, there's a big gap between all the bones that make up the shoulder joint. Therefore, in a correctly functioning shoulder (one with correct muscle balance) it shouldn't matter too much whether you have bone spurs or cartilage - there should be plenty of room for everything to move without things catching and rubbing.

      Due to variation in the shape of bones, some of us have more forgiving shoulders than others. Some people could have massive bone spurs and all sorts of lumps and bumps on bones and everything will continue to work normally. In others, there is much less space between bones and the slightest abnormality can result in catching and pain.

      Shoulder impingement occurs when the balance between various muscles that act on the shoulders gets out of whack. Often, muscles in the chest pull the shoulders down at the front, and the muscles that control the movement of the shoulder blades stop working correctly. This causes the gap between the bones to decrease and tendons etc can catch and rub leading to severe pain. Now obviously, if you've also got bone spurs etc then that catching and rubbing will be worse.

      However, it's possible that if you work hard at restoring correct balance to the shoulders that the pain will go away completely - even if you do have bone spurs etc. 

      Physiotherapists aren't very good at this. Yes, they're the experts, but still they're not very good. They get results with simple cases, but with more deeply ingrained cases you often have to do your homework and figure it out for yourself. 

      Muscle imbalances very often start as the result of an injury. Muscles weaken whilst you're in pain and unable to move correctly. Sometimes  that weakness remains long after the injury has healed up. 

      What comes first? Muscle imbalance or joint degeneration? I don't think anyone knows. A muscle imbalance can be completely symptom free for many years then suddenly it becomes painful (probably due to an overuse injury caused by the imbalance). The joint could have been wearing for years - a bit like how tyres on a car wear when the tracking is off. Yet that joint wear could be completely benign. A red herring. The sensible course of action is to do everything in your power to eliminate all muscle imbalances. It's guaranteed to help if not completely eliminate your symptoms.  


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    • Posted

      I'm looking at several diagrams of the glenoid humeral joint right now, and I"m not seeing any gaps that you describe nor has any dr told me about this phenomenon. I'm not even sure which specific muscles would be "imbalanced". Could you be more specific on the exact muscle name? For example, the rotator cuff is a muscle divided into 4 main parts-supraspinatus, the infraspinatus, teres minor, and the subscapularis.The humeral head is held first by the labrum and then 4 parts of the rotator cuff. If the humeral head develops spurs, there is friction against the glenoid socket that can apply pressure to nerve endings. Not all bone spurs cause pain, but I can assure some can. The cartilage material in that joint acts as a shock absorber and once it's gone, there is a possibtiy for pain and instability. 

       I would go back to the original definition of OA, which is depletion or absence of cartilage. In my case, I had much better than average strength and range of motion before the injury, and no matter how hard I try now , I can't work this out on my own. The pain is very real and similar to someone taking a sledge hammer and non stop pounding to my shoulder 24/7.  

      After viewing x-rays and and MRI, several ortho drs have showed me I have a diseased joint with no more cartilage. I wish it were not the case.

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    • Posted

      Look up shoulder impingement - it's well understood. (Although it's not always so easy to treat!). I would suggest a private sports physiotherapist as your best bet, but don't expect them to resolve the problem completely. You need to do your homework. 

      There's an excellent series of articles by Eric Cressy - Google for "shoulder savers - part 1" "shoulder savers - part 2" "shoulder savers - part 3". These will give you a better understanding of the mechanism behind impingement. 

      Think of all the ways in which your shoulder can move - abduction, adduction, internal rotation, external rotation, extension and flexion. For each 'direction' there are muscles that pull the bones in the joint towards them. When you have a muscle imbalance, the muscles that pull the bones in a certain direction are tight all the time - the bones in the joint are permanently pulled out of position. That causes abnormal wear to the joints and strain on muscles, tendons and ligaments. 

      The key thing is that abnormal wear of the joint isn't necessarily a problem. Plenty of people with loss of cartilage are pain free. Maybe you could be too - maybe not. The catch is that the only way to find out is to re-balance the muscles and see what you're left with. 

      You ask which muscles - it will vary from case to case depending on the exact nature of your imbalance. It is however common for the shoulder to be internally rotated at rest - so the rotator cuff muscles responsible for that is Subscapularis - it's would be overactive and the external rotators - Infraspinatus and teres minor would be weak. So you'd use MFR and stretching on the tight muscles and activation exercises for the weak muscle.

      However, you need to look way beyond the rotator cuff - I personally think physios put too much emphasis on that. Another part of the problem is that the scapular doesn't move the way it should. As you move your arms the scapular should retract/protract/depress/elevate - so you need to look at the muscles involved in that - rhomboids, pec minor, seratus anterior, upper traps. Muscle imbalances ripple through the body - you need to look at the big picture.

      Doctors aren't trained to do this. They make a diagnosis without possessing the most basic knowledge of the likely cause of this kind of thing - muscle imbalance. To be fair to them, they have no one to refer to. Physiotherapists in this country are pretty much trained to teach old grannies how to take their pain meds!!! (exaggeration, but hopefully you get my drift).

      OA was once thought to be a joint disease. Surgeons were put at the top of the tree - considered the experts. They know next to nothing about muscle imbalances. Is it any surprise that surgery is typically recommended when heavy duty pain relief stops working?

      Yes, the pain is real. When I had shoulder impingement I had ZERO pain free movement and only very slight movement with pain. It took years for me to get things moving properly - still there's a little bit of imbalance remaining. Also, I had to do most of the work myself. I didn't know anything about it but I wasn't prepared to live my life in pain so I got on line and googled for info until I found the way forwards. The info is out there. I've attached a pic of where I am now - aged 54. In my late 40's I was told to move everything around at home so I didn't need to reach overhead - I was told I'd never get full range of motion back.

      At the end of the day it's up to you. Any doctor worth his salt will tell you that for OA the best treatment is exercise. That's what research tells us. Whatever the root cause of your problems, finding the most appropriate exercise will only do good. If the root cause of your problem is muscle imbalance it *could* lead to complete resolution of symptoms. 

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    • Posted

      Hi Susan,

      I looked up the definition of shoulder impingement and it's classified as a  syndrome: "it is a clinical syndrome which occurs when the tendons of the rotator cuff muscles become irritated and inflamed as they pass through the subacromial space, the passage beneath the acromion. This can result in pain, weakness and loss of movement at the shoulder."

      All imaging reveal a normal RC and tendons.  Those tendons are the only part of my shoulder that do not show injury or inflammation. 

      "The most common symptoms in impingement syndrome are pain, weakness and a loss of movement at the affected shoulder.The pain is often worsened by shoulder overhead movement and may occur at night, especially if the patient is lying on the affected shoulder. The onset of the pain may be acute if it is due to an injury or may be insidious if it is due to a gradual process such as an osteoarthritic spur. The pain has been described as dull rather than sharp, and lingers for long periods of a time, making it hard to fall asleep at night. Other symptoms can include a grinding or popping sensation during movement of the shoulder.[

      Yes I do have pain which is extraordinarly sharp and occurs all day - not just at night.  It's not really worsened by overhead movement since it's there 24/7,wheher lifting overhead or not, but it's certainly makes lifting overhead a challenge.  It doesn't matter whether I lay at night on the affected shoulder - the pain is alway sharp (not dull) all night and day. Imaging also shows many bone spurs. I do have some popping noises but they are rare. According the the definition of impingement syndrome, it doesn't appear that I have this.  

      As far as exercise, I use intense exercise with my shoulder muscles daily when I a am caring for livestock here at my ranch. It may not be at a physical therapist office, but I force my shoulder to move in both active and passive motions, in spite of the terrible pain. I am doing this because it's my job. After going to a physical therapist last year, I learned that it wasn't helping and ditched it. This work keeps some level of ROM, but it's getting more limited as time goes by. I also didn't mention to you in our conversations that I practice restorative yoga to the extent that I can on a daily basis. 

      I'm not discounting that may muscles play a role and a part in restoring the joint, but the pain of bone on bone is becoming more debilitating as time goes by

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    • Posted

      Hi Susan

      Really interested to read this

      I have been diagnosed with OA in my right hip following pain and stiffness

      X-rays show very little cartilage left and consultant has said hip replacement will be necessary within a year. Despite the fact Rabat I have always been very active walking playing tennis and dancing I am struggling with movement due to stiffness and wake frequently during the nigh with pain which keeps me awake. Can this really be just muscle imbalance ? I really don’t want surgery yet (just approaching 60) but feel I andegwnerating very quickly and unexpectedly at present. Any further I do would be appreciated ! 

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    • Posted

      I can't give any guarantees, but definitely it's POSSIBLE that it can all be down to muscle imbalance and in my opinion it's almost certain that at least SOME of your symptoms are down to muscle imbalance. The only way to know how much is caused by the joint itself and how much by the imbalance is to fix the imbalance and see what remains - unfortunately that's hard to do, but certainly worth trying before going under the knife!

      I first shared my story on a thread in these forums - there's loads of info there, and in that thread I was persuaded to set up a website and later to write a book. Both of which I did. Starting point would be that thread - although be aware that in the early stages of that thread I was still trying to figure out the pattern and how best to help other people. 

      The book is getting good results with many saying they're now free of pain and some have said they've canceled ops. But start with the thread on here as that will give you lots of info and you can decide if you want to give the book a try.

      Use google to search for the thread on these boards - the title is "Problems diagnosed as osteoarthritis can be cured in some cases". 

      If you have questions feel free to contact me - happy to help in any way that I can.

      First thing I'd try to control the pain and give you a bit of faith that you can help yourself with this is Trigger Point treatment (basically self-massage - plenty of free info online if you google).

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    • Posted

      Hi Susan,.. I read your story with great interest. I had successful replacement surgery on my right knee in January last year. All seemed well except for mild symptoms of groin/thigh strain. I was told that this could have been a residual effect of the operation and had to live with it. A year down the line now I am experiencing acute pain in the right hip.After having an x ray which has indicated osteoarthritis there, I believe this may have been caused by muscle imbalance during post op recovery exercising.

      I would really appreciate the opportunity to access your website to understand more of your findings to help me recover from this

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    • Posted


      It's even possible that the muscle imbalanced that caused your knee OA later went on to cause a problem at your hip. In my case, what started as right hip OA later went on to cause shoulder, neck and back pain. Additionally, foot pain (OA in base of toe) came years before the hip problem and that too went away when I fixed the imbalance. In retrospect I know the muscle imbalance was developing for decades before I became aware of it due to hip problems.

      Whatever the cause of your joint pain though it really is always worth working very hard on identifying and treating muscle imbalance.

      If I can help in any other way please don't hesitate to contact me. 

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    • Posted

      Hi Gabriel,

      I have the same type of symptoms you wer speaking to Susan about. It has been two year so I wonder what ended up happening for you? I have Susan's book and have been working on getting better but still have pain in my legs after rolkerblading or running although the hip pain is subsiding. Just curious how you faired


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    • Posted

      HI Susan,

      I just joined and have OA in both hips, right worse than the left.  I know this request is two years since your post, but was wondering if you would share your website. I am taking notes on what you have written and I know for sure through PT I have a muscle imbalance. Your advice is encouraging.

      Have you finished your book?


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