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Uneven hips: Why is one hip tighter than the other?

Uneven hips: Why is one hip tighter than the other?
3 minutes, 12 seconds
Is one of your hips tighter than the other? There’s a medical term for that: lateral pelvic tilt. There are a few reasons why this occurs, which we’ll get into below. We’ll also tell you about the signs to look out for if you think you have uneven hips and what you can do to correct the problem. Keep reading to find out.

Causes of uneven hips

There are a few possible reasons why one of your hips is tighter than the other:
  1. Poor posture — When you get in the habit of putting more weight on one leg than the other over long periods of time, you can create a muscular imbalance. One leg’s muscles get much stronger than the other at a much faster pace, causing that muscle to get tighter while the other leg gets looser and weaker. When this happens, not only will you feel like you have uneven hips, but the asymmetry can become visibly noticeable.
  1. Difference in leg length — Your legs might not just look like they’re different sizes; they might actually be different lengths. While most people’s legs are slightly different in size, a difference over 4 centimeters can cause complications like a limp or uneven tightness. Whether your legs have been uneven since birth or are that way due to an injury or illness, this is one possible reason why one of your hips is tighter than the other.
  1. Scoliosis — This is a condition in which the spine curves or bends. It can be mild, moderate or severe but can “lift” one leg slightly in more extreme cases. Over time, the added pressure placed on one leg will cause that leg to build more muscle and make the other leg weaker. This condition affects between 2% and 3% of the American population (6 to 9 million people), so this could be one reason why your hips are uneven.

Symptoms of uneven hips and lateral pelvic tilt

Does one of your hips feel tighter than the other but you’re not sure? Here are some symptoms of hip misalignment:
  • Lower back pain.
  • Hip or buttock pain.
  • Gait problems or loss of balance.
In severe cases, you might also experience these symptoms:
  • Pain that radiates down toward or past the knee.
  • Groin pain.
  • Misalignment of the spine.
  • Inability to walk or even stand.
If you experience any of these mild or severe symptoms, talk to a doctor or physical therapist in your area. They’ll diagnose the problem and develop a course of treatment to help you realign your hips and manage any related pain. 

Can you fix uneven hips at home?

It’s not recommended to try fixing your hip misalignment at home on your own. The conditions that lead to lateral pelvic tilt — scoliosis, etc. — are serious and should be managed under the supervision of a professional. Realigning your hips requires targeted exercise, stretches, and possibly wearing a brace or assistive device. You’ll likely see the best results if you call an expert for help.

Seeking physical therapy for pelvic tilt

Physical therapy can help realign your hips and correct any postural issues that cause one hip to be tighter than the other. Your physical therapist will coach you through exercises that help strengthen your hip muscles and improve the flexibility of your joints so that both hips are moving in sync and with less stiffness. They will assess your condition and develop a customized treatment plan that targets your specific condition. Over time, this treatment can help relieve chronic pain and prevent future pain from returning.

Alliance PTP is ready to help you find top-notch PT for hip misalignment

At Alliance Physical Therapy Partners, we’re proudly bringing together physical therapy practices across the country to help people get the high-quality PT they need. Want to see a physical therapist in person? We can put you in touch with an Alliance PTP partner that’s close to you and that can help you realign your hips and manage any related pain. Not keen on in-person PT sessions or not close to an Alliance PTP partner? No worries. We also offer effective and affordable virtual physical therapy through our Agile Virtual Physical Therapy platform.  Contact our team today so we can help you find the most effective physical therapy services for your injury or condition.

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