Raasay Waters Sports Therapy Cape Town

Snapping hip syndrome

Snapping hip syndrome

Snapping hip syndrome is a condition where one feels snapping sensation in the hip while walking, getting up from a chair or while swinging the leg around. This is accompanied by popping or snapping noise. Pain and discomfort is felt in some cases. This pain decreases with rest and diminished activity. Hip snapping can either be external (lateral) or internal. 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.

Causes of snapping hip syndrome

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 that juts out, called the greater trochanter. When you stand up straight, the band is behind the trochanter. When you bend your hip, however, the band moves over and in front of the trochanter. This may cause the snapping noise.

Snapping hip has been attributed to multiple mechanisms associated with the skeletal architecture of the hip and pelvis and with the muscles, tendons, and ligaments around the hip. Snapping hip has been described according to the location of the mechanism as external, internal, or posterior. Despite the many descriptions of possible mechanisms, the most common causes of snapping hip include either subluxation of the iliotibial band over the greater trochanter or sudden movement of the iliopsoas tendon.


Sports massage works well to release muscle tension especially the tight hip flexor muscle and Iliotibial band tightness. Correcting any contributing biomechanical abnormalities, strengthening exercises for the hip flexors may also be an appropriate component of the program. Once symptoms have decreased a maintenance program of stretching and strengthening can be initiated. Light aerobic activity followed by stretching and strengthening of the proper hamstring, hip flexors and iliotibial band length is important for reducing recurrences

We offer treatment for Snapping hip syndrome in Cape Town