Snapping Hip Syndrome

Snapping hip syndrome is a physical condition characterised by a snapping feeling when the hip is extended or flexed. This may be accompanied by a popping noise and discomfort or pain. Through rest and less activity, the pain usually subsides. This kind of injury is commonly seen in runners, gymnasts, soccer players, horse riders, and ballet dancers.

The injury is associated with other symptoms, such as audible snapping noise as the tendon of the hip moves from flexion to extension. Less than a 1/3 of patients feel the pain when snapping, but after the extended exercise, pain or discomfort may occur. If not treated immediately, it may last for months or years and can be very painful. Common causes include repetitive and physically hard movements, as well as heavy weightlifting or too much running that cause excessive thickening of the tendons in the hip region.

If the condition is painless, there is no further worry or concern. Correcting the abnormalities is the goal of treatment in order to prevent recurrence. Self-treatment may also be administered, following the HI-RICE procedure: Hydration, Ibuprofen (medication given), Rest (to regain strength), Ice (cold compress to relieve swelling), Compression, and Elevation. These should be performed within 48-72 hours of the injury. If self-treatment does not work, consult a health professional. Other treatments and diagnostic procedures include ultrasound, MRI, injections based treatments, surgical treatment (if necessary), and physical therapy that will serve as rehabilitation after the surgery. In some instances, the rehabilitative measures take 6-8 weeks prior to the surgery and therapy.