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How to Fix Snapping Hip

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How to Fix Snapping Hip

Have you heard of snapping hip, dancer’s hip or runner’s hip?

Snapping hip is a fairly common finding where you feel a “popping” in the front or outside of your hip. It usually occurs with moving your leg forward as in running or rotated out to the side as in dancing. Thankfully most of the time it is very treatable once the proper diagnosis is made by a licensed physical therapist.

There are three common types of snapping hip:

1. External popping on the lateral side of your hip often associated with iliotibial band (ITB) syndrome which is usually caused by a muscle called the tensor fascia latae as it moves over a prominence on the femur bone called the greater trochanter.

2. External popping in the front of your hip or groin usually stemming from a muscle called the iliopsoas: the iliacus muscle originating from the ilium or pelvis, and the psoas muscle originating from the anterior lumbar spine. The iliopsoas muscle can cause a snapping feeling as it moves over a bony protuberance called the iliopectineal eminence.

3. Internal joint or cartilage popping in the front or groin area of the hip which usually involves the hip labrum or other structures of the hip joint commonly also including FAI: femoral acetabular impingement.

Our physical therapists can perform differential diagnosis testing to determine what category your snapping hip falls into and treat you accordingly. Most times this is an easy fix starting with manual therapy including dry needling. You will also be given stretches and core strengthening exercises that are specific for your situation. Most often there is also a biomechanical component to snapping hip which requires the trained eye of a physical therapist to find. They will look at your movement patterns and recommend specific strengthening and muscle re-education to correct the problem.