Should You Really Pop Or Crack Your Hip Yourself?

After a good workout or strenuous activity, that feeling of stiffness in the joints is pretty typical. And even not doing much — like sitting or standing for prolonged periods of time — can make the body feel tight. As physical therapist Alyssa Charbonneau notes, our body gets accustomed to the stresses it's most often put through. And hips are often one of the most neglected parts. Sometimes activity, or lack thereof, can effect range of motion, as per Healthline, and thus prompt the need (or compulsion) to crack or pop your hips.


There are some stretches you can safely do at home that will help release the joint and, in general, provide overall body health.  

Of course, if you have regular, chronic pain, there may be an underlying issue like snapping hip syndrome or osteoarthritis. So always consult a physician first, and don't continue these exercise if they cause pain.

Certain excercises can help release the hip

There are a number of hip stretches and exercises you can do at home — many you might already be familiar with. Both Healthline and Medical News Today suggest common stretches like the butterfly stretch (pictured), side lunges, and the pigeon pose, where you bring your leg around to cross in front of the other leg, bringing that knee down to the floor and extending the opposite leg all the way back. Lower your hips, and bring your torso down to the floor as comfortably as possible. Hold for a 20-30 seconds, and repeat as needed.


Because your hip flexors can be a significant area of tightness, stretching them can help release the tension. Kneel down on one leg, bringing the other out front and bent forward. Slowly bring your torso and hips forward until you feel a good stretch. Hold for several seconds, and repeat.

A final basic adjustment you can safely do yourself involves you lying on the ground and raising your leg with in the air 90 degrees (you can also bend the knee for comfort). Take that leg and cross it over to the opposite side as far as you can go comfortably and hold. Repeat the maneuver as needed.

Some adjustments are perfect for the office

Other simple stretches can be done while sitting or standing — perfect for when you might not have space for floor work, for when you need a quick adjustment while at the office, or for when you're on the go. 


To do a stretch while sitting, sit straight in your chair, bringing your knee up to rest on the opposite leg. Gently press your the knee towards the floor, and hold that position for several seconds and then relax. Continue that stretch as needed. 

A standing stretch is as easy as a torso twist — they key here is slow, deliberate movements, twisting as far as is comfortable. Hold for several seconds each side, resetting to center each time. 

As a general rule for every stretch or adjustment you do on your own, make sure to warm up first to avoid exacerbating the problem hip. Also, never stretch beyond what's comfortable, and avoid any that are too challenging or could increase risk of injury.