What is snapping hip?
Snapping hip, also known as dancer’s hip, is a chronic pain condition where the hip joint makes snapping or popping noises whenever it bends. When walking, most patients will feel chronic hip pain in addition to hearing the sounds coming from the hip joint. Snapping hip is also known as dancer’s hip since many of the patients who experience this type of chronic hip pain are dancer’s or engage in the same type of hip movements as a dancer would.
What causes snapping hip?
Like hip tendonitis, snapping hip results from the overuse of the tendons around the hip muscles. Snapping hip is more often seen in younger patients due to the tightness throughout the hip muscles and tissue. The actual snapping sound occurs when the tendons are moving over the pelvic bone or femur. Younger patients have tighter tendons so this tightness in the hip is the main cause of snapping hip. Repetitive movements or routines seen in dance and gymnastics can lead to snapping hip symptoms as well. The main snapping hip causes are:
- Overuse of the hip joint with repetitive moves
- Swollen tendons in younger patients
- Sports activities that require continuous hip movements like dance, gymnastics, soccer, biking, track, etc.
A snapping hip diagnosis can identify a certain part of the hip that is responsible for the snapping. Snapping hip may refer to the front of the hip toward the groin and inner thigh or it can be more toward the buttocks and backside of the hip.
How do I know if I have snapping hip?
Patients who suffer from dancer’s hip may find their normal activities have become more difficult or challenging due to chronic hip pain. The snapping hip condition can start with occasional pain. Once snapping hip has grown into a consistent pain that will not heal with rest and home remedies, patients may experience more symptoms as well. The two most identifiable snapping hip symptoms are chronic hip pain and snapping sounds from the hip. Other symptoms of snapping hip include:
- Feeling weak and sore when walking or lifting the leg
- Sounds coming from the hips like snapping or popping
- Swelling and redness around the hip joint
- Tightness through the hip, thigh, buttocks or legs
- Unable to perform normal activity for the hips or legs
How do I prevent snapping hip?
Overuse of any joint or set of tendons can lead to chronic pain conditions. For the hip, snapping hip results from the same movements repeatedly done by patients. Especially in younger athletes, caring for the hip joint and tendons will help prevent snapping hip symptoms. Take caution before and after playing sports or working out. Even though snapping hip may not be an immediate problem, this condition may occur or reappear in patients in a later age. Prevention can save the entire hip joint. Patients can prevent snapping hip by:
- Create a workout regimen that gradually tests and strengthens the hip muscles
- Remembering to warm up and stretch before physical activity
- Resting the hip after performing repetitive hip routines
- Wearing the right kind of shoes depending on the sport or type of activity