Visiting a chiropractor for hip mobility is a great asset if you’re looking to increase your hip range of motion, relieve hip pain, and be more active. From my experience, if there’s one thing that the majority of active people, especially CrossFitters, struggle with its hip mobility.

Chiropractic care for hip mobility is a great treatment option because chiropractic physicians are not just experts on back and neck complaints, they’re joint experts. Our Cary chiropractors are official providers for 5 local gyms and address hip mobility restrictions every day. Hip mobility, in most cases, is something that can improve with the right strategic treatment plan and some hard work.

In this content, I’ll discuss: “Why Hips Get Tight” and “Can Chiropractic Help Hip Mobility?”

Why Hips Get Tight

Tight hips and lack of hip mobility has a few basic components to it, hip joint immobility and hip muscle or tissue restriction.

With hip joint immobility, part of the problem is that the joint is not able to move through its complete and normal range of motion. There are a few reasons for this:

  1. You haven’t pushed your hips through a full range of motion for extended periods of time. If you haven’t done this, then your hips have became confined to moving only in certain directions and into reduced ranges of motion.
  2. You may have bone build up, like bone spurs (called osteophytes) or bone thickening (called sclerosis), around your hip joint. These changes are progressive and together referred to as degenerative osteoarthritis. They result from a combination of your genetics, long-term lifestyle choices like diet and activity, and previous injuries or trauma to the hip.
  3. You may have thinning joint space in the hip. For the same reasons as above, you may have lost cartilage in the joint which doesn’t allow your femur to move smoothly in the hip socket (acetabulum) any longer.

The second component to why hips get tight is hip muscle or tissue restriction. Here are a few reasons that this happens:

  1. Adhesions can develop in fascia, also known as connective tissue, around the joint. These adhesions are sort of like scar tissue that’s holding your hip hostage and keeping it nice and tight in a reduced range of motion. If you don’t address these fascial adhesions, it may continue to progress.
  2. Tightness in specific muscles of the hip doesn’t allow your hip to move how you want it to (and how it should move.) Certain muscles are tight and short while others are overstretched and long creating a muscular imbalance. Some of these muscles will be weak as well.
  3. Trigger points are making your muscles “sick.” Trigger points are commonly called “knots” and are regions of muscular fibers that are stuck in a contracted state with little blood or oxygen that they need to function correctly.

The good news is that no matter which of these is affected you, you may still get some benefit from joint manipulation. Chiropractors can manipulate the joint and allow it to move better, and usually with less discomfort. If it’s severe, we may take an x-ray to evaluate, and refer you to an orthopedic clinic for comanagement.

Can Chiropractic Help Hip Mobility?

Chiropractic care to increase hip mobility and flexibility is a good therapy to try if you’re suffering from hip issues.

Ultimately you need to spend time working on your hip with stretches, exercises, and therapy. Many of us find it’s enjoyable to push ourselves when we workout, but not as fun to stretch, roll, and invest time in our shortcomings. If you’re lifting weights, running, doing Brazilian Jiu Jitsu, CrossFitting, or really exercising at all, you may lose hip mobility if you don’t invest time into it. Here are a few ways your chiropractor may be able to help:

  1. Chiropractic Adjustments (Chiropractic Manipulation) – This can help restore motion that has gradually reduced in the hip joint.
  2. Manual Stretching – I often use PIR or PNF stretching to help the patient get more flexibility in the hip muscles.
  3. Dry Needling – This treatment can release muscle tension, restore length to muscles, and eliminate trigger points in the muscles.
  4. Graston Technique IASTM – GT, for short, can help remodel some of the fascial adhesions involved in limited hip mobility.
  5. Stretches and Corrective Exercises – Our chiropractors will create a specific rehab program based on your exam and progress you through a routine to improve balance in your muscles and keep the problem from returning.

Hip mobility issues often come with pain. If you’re having hip pain, I’d advise you to see a chiropractor to address it. Our chiropractors see hip mobility issues and hip pain on a daily basis. They’re a great resource to diagnose your hip issues, as well as formulate a plan of attack to improve hip mobility and reduce pain. Our goals are to get you back to being active and pain-free as soon as possible while showing you how to avoid future episodes.

Concerned you might have a Psoas muscle issue that’s affecting your hip? See this content I wrote on how to address this –> How to Release a Tight Psoas Muscle

Want to read some research on the topic? Here’s a nice article regarding home exercise strategies for hip mobility in addition to in-office treatments –> Restricted Hip Mobility: Clinical Suggestions for Self-Mobilization and Muscular Re-Education

Dr. Jason Williams DC is a chiropractic physician practicing at AccessHealth Chiropractic in Cary, NC. He treats neuromusculoskeletal pain and injuries using chiropractic manipulation, dry needling, acupuncture, rehab exercise strategies, and other supportive therapies. Primary areas of focus include back pain, neck pain, muscular pain, extremity pain, and orthopedic injuries. Dr. Williams is experienced in treating athletes, especially those in the CrossFit, Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu, Muay Thai, and MMA community.

If you’re interested in whether he or another AccessHealth provider can help you, navigate to our contact page or follow this link to request an appointment.