Re: Osteoarthritis in my hips
I'm sorry that you're in so much pain as I know how it feels. I'm not a doctor, but from articles I have read and posts I've seen on here, one of the most common places to feel pain from hip arthritis is, in fact, the groin. I think the pain can even go down the front of the thigh somewhat. I think, though, if you're feeling pain in your rib cage and around your back, I do not think that could be from the hips, though maybe pain across the pelvic area might be. It's always possible that you might have something going on in your spine or elsewhere to cause the back and rib area pain. You should probably have that checked out.
X-rays can certainly show bone problems, but an MRI can also show soft tissues. If x-rays have already confirmed your hip OA, I'm not sure if an MRI could show more in regards to how bad it is. It could show if you also have any soft tissue problems/tears, etc.. in that area.
I was diagnosed with hip OA in 2006, I think, though MRI results showed it was only mild. Mind you, right before I had those MRI's, I had lower spine surgery. My spine surgeon thought I might possibly have something going on in my hip(s), so he referred me to his group's hip specialist. The hip specialist wanted to first make sure that I didnt' have osteonecrosis b/c I also have lupus and it's easier to get this if one has lupus. All it showed was mild hip OA.
Some of your symptoms sound a bit like mine. In 2006, I think I had more lower spine problems than hip pains. But now I am wondering if my hips got worse. I get a lot of groin pain, much more so in my left leg. And actually I have a lot of pain in certain positions in the area where the top of the leg meets I guess the bikini line in the front of my left leg. I cannot cross my legs anymore at all. I have to be careful how I bend my leg. However, I also wonder if I might have a soft tissue problem because mine also feels sort of like a pulled muscle. Sometimes it hurts more than other times and I've had bouts where it killed me to roll over in bed and I couldn't lay on that side.
As far as tests for OA, as far as I know, there is only imaging tests for that (like x-ray and MRI). There is no blood test yet to diagnose OA. Even for different arthritis like RA, Lupus arthritis, etc..it can be very hard to diagnose with different blood tests.
I am not sure, either, if OA can really be stopped. I've read that exercise might help it, but I think in some people, it might help with the pain. Also, i've read losing weight if one is overweight can help with the pain because there would be less weight on the joints. Some people get OA and only have mild pain forever, while in others it can progress to disability. There is no way to predict that, though. I have read about glucosamine chondroitin but recently read a real medical study that studied the effects of this over 2 years in people with knee OA. The actual medical study found it had no effect on the people's OA. But I guess it can't hurt to try it. There is something medical that MIGHT help somewhat called Limbrel and it's prescription only. It's a pill, but it's not considered a medication, per se, by the FDA. The FDA classifies it as a medical food. The pill has very high concentrations of bark and root extracts, much higher than anyone could take in healt food store supplements or by eating. In medical studies, it has been found to help some find some pain relief. It's considered very safe, but it is expensive and probably not covered by most insurance. If this interests you, I am doubting that a primary physician would have even heard of this. I got mine through my Rheumatologist, who is an arthritis specialist. He gave me a box of samples, though, and it didn't seem to help me, so I didn't bother to get a prescription for it.