Technique Highlight: Hip Long Axis Distraction | Modern Manual Therapy Blog

Technique Highlight: Hip Long Axis Distraction

Yesterday's post on FAI inspired me to share this instruction video on hip long axis distraction. This is a common technique that is in most PTs bag of tricks. I wanted to show a few variations I've picked up over the years plus a thrust manipulation with belt stabilization. Note, I only use belt stabilization for the thrust, not the mobilization.

Indicated for

  • hip capsular pattern - IR > flexion > abduction
  • hip FAI - normally having tender and hard end feel with passive OP in hip flexion
  • treating the neural container of lumbar derangement or radic with LE complaints
  • patients with knee pain - often have hip dysfunction referring to the knee
  • unilateral derangements often having hip dysfunction on the ipsilateral side
  • hypermobile SIJ commonly has ipsilateral restricted hip
I normally perform the mobilization in grade 4 for 3-5 minutes or until it changes. The variations are progressions to increase the stretch or decrease depending on patient tolerance. The thrust I perform twice. Important to note, the cavitation is normally felt by the patient and clinician, but not normally auditory, just like in the video. Enjoy!


  1. Is there an exs they can do on their own after this to maintain the gains made in the clinic?

    thanks, Bill Siebers, PT

  2. Bill, since most hip motion loss is IR first, this ex works great for home.