How to Release Tight Hips

How Active Release Techniques® works to release tight hips

You might be feeling pain in your lower back or knee, but did you know that your pain may actually be rooted in tight hips? 

The flexibility and mobility of your hip joints is important to how you walk, run and do other normal daily tasks. Tight hips can lead to changes in how you walk and move, which can lead to pain in areas like your knees and lower back. Figuring out how to release tight hips is something that a physical therapist can help you with. Your physical therapist may be able to help you release your tight hips by using Active Release Techniques (ART). 

What is Active Release Techniques?

Active Release Techniques combines several types of physical therapy into one helpful treatment option. The “Release” part of this technique involves a physical therapist using their hands to apply pressure to the affected area. The movements your physical therapist’s hands make are similar to a massage. The goal of this pressure is to release tension that has built up in your soft tissue and formed knots, or adhesions. 

The “Active” part of ART is where you get involved directly. It means that your physical therapist will have you perform a specific movement or series of movements to stretch the affected area. On their own, these movements are known as therapeutic exercises. 

How Active Release Techniques works to release tight hips

There are several steps your physical therapist is likely to take when using ART to release your tight hips. These steps can include: 

  1. Examination — Your physical therapist will usually perform a physical examination of the affected hip before beginning ART. This exam allows them to get a better sense of how restricted your hip is. 
  1. Shortening the affected tissue — You will then be shown how to shorten the tissue that needs to be released. 
  1. Stretching the affected tissue — Your physical therapist then has you do a specific stretch to elongate the affected tissue. Don’t worry. They’ll show you exactly how they want you to stretch the area. 
  1. Applying pressure — As you stretch the area, your physical therapist applies pressure to the affected area using massage-like movements.

Find out more about how to release tight hips at SOL PT

Are you struggling to figure out how to release your tight hips? Our SOL Physical Therapy team is primed to help you with this common problem. We can perform a thorough physical examination of your hips to pinpoint the tight areas. Then, our physical therapists can build you a personalized treatment plan that may include ART and other effective physical therapy methods. 

Contact our team today for more information about how we can assist with your hip problems or to schedule an initial appointment. 

About the author

Sports + Orthopedic Leaders Physical Therapy & Performance Training serves the communities of Oakland, Alameda, Berkeley, Walnut Creek, Orinda, San Francisco and beyond. SOLPT’s award winning team of Physical Therapists, Performance Coaches and movement experts has helped thousands reach their rehabilitation and performance goals to move beyond pain. We're committed to helping anyone of any fitness level move effectively and more powerfully for a lifetime. We offer rehabilitation and performance services to all populations, with specialties in Sports Rehabilitation, Active Release Techniques, and Manual Therapy Techniques plus Personal and Small Group Training, Sport Clinics and Wellness Services.