If you feel a clicking or a snapping sensation in your hip when you move your leg around, you may have what’s called Snapping Hip Syndrome.
This snap is a hip muscle or tendon rubbing on the hip socket bone and affects up to 10% of people. Often times it comes on gradually and is due to an imbalance of the hip musculature where some muscles are tight or weak.
It could also be due to the structure of the hip such as a small pelvis width, a large thigh bone head or a previous injury that has changed the angle and fit of the thigh bone in the hip socket.
There are 3 types of Snapping Hip Syndrome:
- External – ITB or glute tendons rubbing on the outside of the hip.
- Internal – Hip flexor tendon rubbing on the front of the pelvis.
- Intra-articular – Hip capsule structures catching; feels deep in your groin. This isn’t caused by muscles or tendons and is least common.
For a lot of people Snapping Hip Syndrome can be just a mere annoyance. But if you find it getting uncomfortable or painful and affecting the way you move or your ability to perform in sporting activities, stretching and strengthening exercises can help.
However, just stretching and strengthening the problem area is only a short-term fix. Most of the time muscle imbalances aren’t isolated to the area with symptoms and involves multiple parts of the body.
A physiotherapist or exercise physiologist can assess your whole body and solve for the root cause of the problem.
Below are some exercises you can start with:
- Clam shells – Lie on your side with the affected leg on top.
- Keep your legs together and bend your knees to half way.
- Lift your top knee as far up as you can whilst keeping your feet together.
- Lower your knee back down.
- Repeat as many as you can.
- Perform 2-3 sets
Hip flexor stretch
- Go into a half lunge with your affected leg at the back.
- Push your affected hip forward until you feel a good stretch in the front of your hip.
- Hold this stretch for 30 seconds.
- Perform 2-3 sets.
- Lie on your back with knees bent at 90 degrees.
- Raise your hips up so that your hips and knees are in a straight line.
- Hold at the top for as long as you can.
- Perform 2-3 sets