Question:I am only 54 years old, but already I'm noticing changes in the way I walk. I can't seem to put my full weight into my left hip without twinges of pain. Is there anything I can do about this? I don't want to lose any more ground.
The natural aging process does cause increased stiffness throughout the body, but usually this is equal on both sides. When you have pain or symptoms in one joint, you may be experiencing more than just natural aging.
Early degenerative arthritis of the hip, called osteoarthritis, can bring about changes in the way a person walks. The body compensates in order to take pressure off the problem joint. The stride gets shorter, so the person takes shorter steps at a slower speed. Sometimes the number of steps taken per minute decreases, too.
It may be wise to bring these changes to your doctor's attention. He or she will evaluate you and determine if anything more serious is going on. If you have early arthritis, it is important to keep up exercise and physical activity. Your doctor may recommend a physical therapist who can help you find just the right program for your condition.
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