Patient HipTrac™ Protocol

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Using HipTrac

The HipTrac can perform traction while you are lying on your back (“supine”) or while you are lying on your side (“side-lying”). We recommend that patients work with their healthcare provider to develop an individual protocol that is best suited to you. Your protocol covers how often, what position, how much time and how much pressure you use with your HipTrac. Your physical condition and diagnoses may affect your protocol.

Goals for using HipTrac for long axis hip tractionYour initial goal is to begin using your HipTrac gradually and start to discover what combination of position, time and pressure give you the most pain relief and improved mobility. At, you will find several introductory videos that will explain how to prepare for using HipTrac. The protocol below will guide you through the first three weeks. After that you will be able to adjust your use and discover how Hiptrac can help you the most.

As you become more experienced with HipTrac over 6 to 8 weeks, we encourage you to “discover” what angles/positions give you the greatest relief and capsular mobilization as desired. You may feel greater mobility changes and pain relief in a lower position. Patients with hip osteoarthritis (OA) do not follow one strict protocol for their specific needs; each individual should discover the positions in which they achieve the greatest benefits for pain relief and mobility.

Initial Protocol

Day 1 GraphicDay 1-7: 1 minute holds under traction at 20-30 PSI, release halfway for 5-10 seconds. Repeat 6-8 times.

Day 8-14: Begin to increase to 1-3 minute holds at 30- 50 PSI, release halfway for 5-10 seconds. Repeat for a total of 12-15 minutes of traction time. Choose the amount of traction and time that is most comfortable for you.

Day 14+: 1-5 minute holds. Progress gradually over time to as high of PSI (40-100+) as you deem comfortable for a total of 15-20 minutes of traction time, with release halfway for 5-10 seconds. Choose the amount of traction and time that is most comfortable for you.

Getting ready to use the HipTrac

Step 1: Put on the ankle binding securely.
Step 2: Put on the knee binding securely.
Step 3: Hook them together with the leg strap at the back of the leg and tighten.

Ankle Binding lnitial HipTrac Use

Hook at the back, just above the ankle bone

Knee Binding HipTrac Initial Use

Knee binding just above the kneecap

Positioning the HipTrac

Positioning HipTrac

Set the flexion / height in the teeth on the HipTrac.

Positioning yourself on HipTrac

patient laying down with illustrative arrows black and white small

How to set your leg and hip while hooked in on HipTrac.

Pain Relief

If your goal is pain relief, you want to perform traction in as close to what we call the “loose-packed position” as possible: 30 degrees of flexion (HipTrac set to highest/ 3rd set of teeth), 30 degrees of abduction (move your torso out to the side to a 30 degree angle while keeping your hips straight and parallel to the HipTrac and the leg on the HipTrac relaxed in as much natural available external rotation (toes leaning out) as is possible.

Increase Range of Motion (ROM)

If your goal is to stretch and increase range of motion, you want to perform traction in as close to what we call the “closed-pack position” of the hip: 0 – 10 degrees of flexion (HipTrac set to lowest, 1st set of teeth), while still maintaining the abduction and external rotation for comfort. Some patients can improve this stretch even further by using the HipTrac in side-lying position so that they can perform traction with their hip extended behind them and rotating internally slightly. (see videos at or our YouTube Channel).

Discovering What’s Best

We encourage each patient to “discover” the position, time and pressure in which he or she obtains the greatest relief and improved mobility. Oftentimes, patients will feel greater mobility changes and pain relief in a lower position. You can increase the intensity (the pressure) as high as you feel is comfortable. You may feel slight discomfort and pressure where the binding attaches to their ankle initially, but using HipTrac should not hurt.

Consistent, Regular Use

It is important to use HipTrac regularly in the presence or absence of pain to maintain consistent relief and mobility, and also as needed when any flare-ups occur from harder physical days at work or home. When you first use HipTrac, pain relief may only last minutes or while you are on the HipTrac. As you progress, relief will begin to last longer and up to days after use so that you may be able to reduce use to 2-4 times, rather than 10-20 times, per week. Most patients report that they do not need to use HipTrac as often as time goes on as the results accumulate over time.