About HipTrac, Hip Traction and Hip Pain

The HipTrac Story - Dr Tony Rocklin with HipTrac 1st medical device for home hip traction

Our mission at HipTrac.com is to inform and educate patients and healthcare providersabout how HipTrac, the first medical device that provides hip traction, can relieve hip pain and increase mobility for individuals suffering from hip osteoarthritis (OA), femoral acetabular impingement (FAI) and other hip conditions, allowing them to return to more exercise and activities and ultimately, providing a improved quality of life.

HipTrac is the first medical device that provides hip traction (“long axis traction”) for a patient’s independent use, in the same way that a physical therapist, chiropractor or physician would manually perform it. The traction stretches and mobilizes the hip joint, decreasing pressure in the joint and relaxing the muscles around it, resulting in decreased pain.  Using HipTrac increases mobility, functionality and quality of life for patients with hip osteoarthritis.

HipTrac was developed by Dr. Tony Rocklin DPT, COMT, a licensed Doctor of Physical Therapy for more than 18 years.  As a partner in the nation’s largest privately-owned physical therapy company, Tony works with many patients suffering from hip osteoarthritis and other hip joint pathologies. Many of his patients  consult with an orthopedic surgeon to determine their need for hip replacement surgery.  Many times, they are told that their problem is not yet severe enough;  that they should use a cane, try to lose weight, take medications and wait for their condition to get bad enough to warrant surgery – as long as three to six years.

Many of these people want to exercise and lead an active life, but have too much pain to do so. Instead, they become inactive, depressed and reliant on pain medications – both over the counter and dangerous narcotics – to get through each day. As a result, they are at risk for multiple other health issues. Dr. Rocklin treats these patients using a combination of hands-on joint and soft tissue techniques that reduce the patient’s pain and increase their range of motion. This increases their ability to exercise for improved mobility, strength and weight loss, and enjoy a greater quality of life during the wait between diagnosis and surgery.

Due to health insurance restrictions and costs, year-round therapy is not an option for most people. And until the introduction of HipTrac,  patients had no way to safely and easily perform the most frequently used hands-on technique – long axis hip traction – independently at home.  This situation inspired Dr. Rocklin to create a device that could replicate this most-widely used technique to provide quick pain relief and improve mobility. From a very crude first attempt (literally just a plywood ramp with pulleys), Dr. Rocklin worked with mechanical engineers and product designers to create multiple design iterations before eventually arriving at the current sleek, lightweight and ergonomically efficient HipTrac design. In 2012, the FDA cleared HipTrac for direct consumer sales.

HipTrac has been used in Dr. Rocklin’s office for over two years, as well as hundreds of other clinics in the US and around the world, with great success.   HipTrac is now available for rental or purchase here. If you’d like to keep up with the latest news on HipTrac and best practices in conservative treatments for hip osteoarthritis, please sign up for our newsletter.