There are no “natural” cures for hip dysplasia because hip dysplasia is an abnormality of the socket that causes the joint to wear out faster than normal. This can be compared to a tire on a car that is wobbling because the wheel is not parallel to the other wheels. That wheel is traveling down the highway at a slant compared to the other wheels. Attempts to make the tire stronger may help but eventually that tire will wear out because it is crooked. All the natural cures for hip dysplasia are similar to efforts to make the tire stronger instead of correcting the wheel that’s out of alignment. These natural efforts cannot be successful without treating the anatomical mismatch between the ball and the socket of the hip joint.
Some “natural” treatments do have an element of truth of they wouldn’t be used. However, the people who are helped are usually suffering from other types of arthritis than hip dysplasia. When the joint surface starts to wear out there is inflammation of the soft tissues around the joint. This inflammation may benefit from concentrated cherry juice, avocado oils or other dietary supplements. Pulling on the joint temporarily unloads the raw joint surface that’s pressing on the deficient socket. Glucosamine and Chondroitin are very helpful for dogs, but have no proven value for humans because of differences in the digestive tract of dogs and humans. Some supplements have been proven to benefit some people with arthritis and those include the following:
- UC-II – This is a type of cartilage that is smaller in size than glucosamine and chondroitin so it has benefits for humans. As the joint surface deteriorates, there are small particles of cartilage from the joint that are released into the joint fluid and cause inflammation. UC-II helps slow down the inflammation and discomfort, but UC-II does not stop the small particles from being released from the grinding that’s occurring between the ball and the socket
- ASU – This is an extract of avocado and soy that seems to help toughen the joint surface. It helps lubricate and preserve the remaining joint surface so it doesn’t wear out quite as fast even though the ball and socket do not match up. Several months are needed for this to help toughen the surface of the joint
- Boswellia serrata extract – This is an anti-inflammatory that’s been used for thousands of years in the Middle East to help rheumatism. Another type of Boswellia extract is Frankincense that is used for perfumes and for aromatherapy. The Boswellia serrata extract acts in a different method from aspirin but has pain relieving and anti-inflammatory properties similar to aspirin. However, unlike aspirin, Boswellia serrate extract has also been used to calm irritable digestive tracts. One caution is that both Aspirin and Boswellia have a mild anti-coagulant effect. This is why low dose aspirin is used to help decrease the risk of heart attack and stroke. This benefit has not been tested for Boswellia, but people who are on blood thinners or people who are preparing for surgery should avoid aspirin and Boswellia.
- Aspirin is also a “natural” treatment for arthritis that’s been around for over 200 years. Aspirin was discovered as an extract from the bark of Willow trees. Some very expensive “natural” products advertise Willow Bark Extract. This is basically the same as aspirin and should cost no more than a few cents each day instead of the excessive price for the unsuspecting customer who doesn’t know that Willow Bark Extract is aspirin by another name. Other proven pain relievers for arthritis include ibuprofen and Naprosyn that are provided in commercial products such as Advil® and Aleve®.
The wearing down of joint surfaces will continue until the anatomical problem of hip dysplasia is corrected. “Natural” and other home remedies may provide temporary relief, but correcting the problem surgically is generally the best option as long as there is some joint surface to preserve. Once the joint surface is totally destroyed, the only option is joint replacement. Sometimes it is possible to delay joint replacement with pain relieving medicines, but standard over-the-counter medicines such as ibuprofen and Naprosyn have the most proven benefit for people with hip dysplasia that’s too late for preservation surgery.