If you can hear a clicking sound or feel a snapping sensation when moving your hip, chances are you have snapping hip syndrome. Many people ignore the snapping because they don't have pain at first.
But the longer you wait to seek treatment, the higher your risk of having the condition progress into a painful condition that takes you out of action.
Tony Zemlinsky, DC, and the team at Active Rehab Clinics in Park Ridge and Chicago, Illinois, specialize in diagnosing and treating snapping hip syndrome. They offer customized care and advanced techniques that help you regain healthy hip movement, prevent future snapping problems, and return to your active lifestyle.
Learn what causes snapping hip syndrome
Snapping hip syndrome occurs when one of your hip tendons slides over a bony structure. If you have external snapping hip syndrome, the tendon passes over a ridge or bump-like structure on the side of your upper leg. Internal snapping hip syndrome involves a different tendon sliding over a ridge on your hip bone.
The top causes and risk factors of snapping hip syndrome include:
Tight or short muscles
Snapping hip syndrome develops when the muscle and tendon responsible for the snapping are too tight or in some cases, too short.
Young athletes are highly vulnerable to snapping hip syndrome because their hip muscles tighten when they go through growth spurts.
Repetitive hip movements
While a tight tendon alone may cause the problem, your risk for snapping hip syndrome skyrockets if you enjoy activities that require you to frequently bend or rotate your hips.
Your risk is especially high if you regularly engage in sports. The risk rises even more when your activity routinely pushes your hips to the farthest edge of their normal range of motion.
Sports that most often cause snapping hip syndrome include:
- Weight lifting
- Martial arts
- Short distance running
The condition is commonly called dancer's hip because it affects a high percentage of ballet dancers.
You can also develop snapping hip syndrome if you have a labral tear, hip or ligament injury, or joint instability.
Prepare for symptoms beyond snapping
In the beginning, most people only have the snapping sensation or sound. The condition may be nothing more than an annoying sensation for a long time.
But as the tendon keeps rubbing across your bone, it becomes inflamed, and you can develop chronic tendonitis. That's when you start to experience other symptoms such as:
- Hip instability
- Hip locking
- Leg weakness (when lifting forward or sideways)
- Limping, especially after exercise
- Difficulty rising from a chair
In most cases, you notice the symptoms only when you're active.
Treatment can relieve snapping hip syndrome
Before creating your customized treatment plan, we learn about your activities and carefully evaluate your hip. We also assess your overall body mechanics, gait, and balance, paying close attention to the dynamic movement between your legs, hips, and spine.
In addition to targeting your tight tendon and muscle, we also want to be sure you don't have other musculoskeletal imbalances. An imbalance in the muscles supporting your hip may lead to the snapping. Or you could develop an imbalance as a result of your hip problem.
You may need to temporarily limit your activities or modify your sport to avoid repetitive hip movements. Otherwise, your treatment plan focuses on easing your pain and stretching, relaxing, and strengthening the muscles and tendons responsible for the snapping.
We offer a wide range of physical therapy modalities, as well as chiropractic techniques that help people recover from snapping hip syndrome and regain optimal function. Your treatment may include any of the following:
- Passive and active stretching
- Range-of-motion training
- Trigger point release
- Soft tissue mobilization
- Therapeutic ultrasound
- Strengthening exercises
- Therapeutic massage
- Posture training
- Burdenko water and land therapy
The team's water therapy and ground-based exercises relax tension in your hips, buttocks, and thighs, which restores muscle balance and eliminates excessive tightness in your tendon.
When you need exceptional treatment for snapping hip syndrome, call the Active Rehab Clinics office most convenient to you or book an appointment online today.