The hip consists of a “ball-and-socket” joint that is formed between the Femoral Head and the Acetabulum, a part of the Pelvic Bone. As a result of its shape the hip joint is capable of a wide range of motion in all directions – forward and backwards, side-to-side, and rotation inwards and outwards.
An important motion that must occur at this joint is flexion (think about bringing your knee to your chest). This motion is needed when we sit, walk, run, and bike, and should occur when we bend, lift, and squat.
When this motion is lost or painful, it is important to correct as it can lead to other compensatory issues.
The loss of hip motion in this plane is can be both structural or functional or both. Functional loss can be present due tight soft tissues and/or stiff joints.
If the hip is arthritic or femoroacetabular impingement is present, then this motion may always be limited. However, when there is a structural contribution it is important to continue to address the motion as functional tightness will typically be found.