Snapping hip syndrome, also known as dancer’s hip, is a condition in which you hear a snapping sound or feel a snapping sensation in your hip when you walk, run, get up from a chair, or swing your leg around.
In most cases, snapping is caused by the movement of a muscle or tendon over a bony structure in the hip. The most common site is on the outside of the hip where a band of connective tissue known as the iliotibial band passes over part of the thigh bone. When you stand up straight, the band is behind the trochanter. Changing from a bent over position to a standing one causes the band to move over the greater trochanter, and this may cause the snapping noise. The iliopsoas tendon, which connects to the inner part of the upper thigh, and the rectus femoris tendon, which runs from the inside of the thighbone up through the pelvis, can also snap with hip movement.
For most people, the condition is little more than an annoyance and the only symptom is the snapping sound or sensation itself. But for dancers or athletes, snapping hip syndrome symptoms may also include pain and weakness that interfere with performance.
Unless snapping hip syndrome is painful or causes difficulty in sports or other activities, many people do not see a doctor or have it treated. If treatments is needed, it may include:
- Reducing or modifying activity
- Applying ice
- Using over-the-counter pain relievers
- Physical therapy with emphasis on stretching, strengthening and body alignment
- Surgery, in severe cases