Snapping hip syndrome

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The hip is a joint which makes a person capable of sitting, walking, jumping and running. It is categorized as a ball and socket joint that is formed by the round ball like surface of the femur which is also known as the thigh bone and a bowl-shaped cavity which is known as acetabulum of the hip bone. The thigh bone mounts into the bowl-shaped opening of the hip bone while ligaments, tendons and cartilage that are attached to this joint maintain their stability.

Snapping hip syndrome is a condition where there is a snapping sound when moving the legs while walking, running, rising from a chair and swinging the legs while dancing.

Snapping hip syndrome is also known as dancer’s hip and there is pain and weakness that hamper with performance. A snap can be felt when the tendon or muscle moves over the hip joint, but normally the condition is harmless and painless. With repetitive movement and overuse of the lower extremity, it will make the joint susceptible to snapping hip syndrome.

Snapping hip syndrome
The person is usually symptomless, except for the snapping feeling or sound and depending on the tendon that is affected, the snap happens on the outer portion of the hip especially when bending the hips.

What causes snapping hip syndrome?

  • It can be caused by the tightening of the tendons and muscles which surrounds the hip joint.
  • The snapping sound is created when a cartilage breaks or a small piece of bone blocks the reliability of the hip joint and lead to pain and disability.
  • Repetitive bending and straightening can cause inflammation and scarring of the tendons and can cause snapping hip syndrome. In addition, the iliotibial band is usually affected besides the iliopsoas tendon.
  • Playing contact sports or collision sports, athletic activities and some physical work that requires repetitive bending, lifting such as in dancing
  • Individuals who have flatfeet
  • Snapping hip syndrome can when the ball found at the top of the thigh bone fits into the socket in the pelvis to form the hip joint. The snapping will happen when the rectus femoris tendon will move back and forth across the ball when the hip is bending and straightened.

Symptoms of snapping hip syndrome

The person is usually symptomless, except for the snapping feeling or sound and depending on the tendon that is affected, the snap happens on the outer portion of the hip especially when bending the hips. The snapping sounds can be heard and felt in the inner side of the groin if the ilipsoas muscles are affected.  Repetitive movement causes pain and weakness of the hip joint which are common in dancers and people playing sports.

Treatment

  • Rest the hip from activities that causes snapping
  • Apply an ice pack to the affected area which helps in minimizing the inflammation.
  • Avoid engaging in repetitive movement of the hip such as dancing and sports activities.
  • Use an orthotic device especially for those who have flat feet.
  • Take anti-inflammatory medications in order to minimize the pain and inflammation
  • Seek the help of a physical therapist for exercises that helps strengthen and stretch the tendons and muscles of the hip.

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