What Is Snapping Hip Syndrome?
Snapping hip syndrome, or dancer’s hip, can occur internally or externally.
External snapping hip syndrome is characterized by:
- Pain on the outside of the hip
- Commonly caused by a tight iliotibial (IT) band rolling over the femur and making a “snapping” noise during hip movement
- Athletes in high-mobility sports like soccer, gymnastics, and running are more likely to develop snapping hip syndrome
Internal snapping hip is characterized by:
- Pain in the front part of the hip
- Often caused by the iliopsoas tendon rolling over the hip bones during flexion and external rotation
- Tightness in your quads can also be a cause
- Seen often in ballet dancers due to repetitive leg movements, such as lifting and/or rotating
Some ballet moves, like the grand battements and développés, require strong and flexible hips to perform in continuous sequences. Dancer’s hip can make these movements uncomfortable and sometimes painful, which could set back your athletic training.
Building up your hip flexibility and strength can help reduce your chances of getting a hip injury like snapping hip syndrome.
Tips To Help Prevent Snapping Hips
Snapping hip syndrome is often considered a nuisance, but if left untreated the symptoms may worsen and lead to joint issues. The good news is that conservative treatment can help alleviate snapping hips. Stretching the iliopsoas and quadriceps while strengthening the core and hip muscles can help mitigate pain. Below are a few other ways to keep snapping hips from breaking your stride.
1. Wear Proper Shoes
One effective way to avoid tight, weak hips is to wear proper shoes that give appropriate arch support. Since ballet slippers and other dance shoes offer little to no support, ballerinas, and dancers need to wear appropriate footwear off-stage. Shoes should be comfortable and provide arch support.
2. Warm Up
Before practicing any sports or activities, including dancing, remember to warm up properly! The goal of warming up is to stretch and loosen your muscles, get your heart pumping, and prepare your body for any exercises it’s about to perform. Take a few minutes to warm your body before a workout to reduce your risk of developing snapping hip syndrome while keeping your body flexible.
3. Stay Hydrated
Hydration is a key player in overall health and wellness. Specifically, proper hydration keeps your joints lubricated which can help increase the range of motion in your hips. Additionally, water moves essential nutrients throughout the body to improve muscle performance, allowing you to build hip strength and stability.
4. Stretch It Out
Stretching your legs and hips after a workout can help relieve any lingering areas of tightness or pain. Additionally, stretching your hips and legs can help improve mobility.
*Disclaimer: Always consult with your doctor before starting any exercise program. If you experience any numbness, tingling, or reproduction of your symptoms, stop this exercise and please contact your doctor.
Kneeling Hip Flexor Stretch
- Begin in a half-kneeling position.
- Engage the glutes to tilt your pelvis backward, flattening your lower back and stretching the front of the hip.
- If a greater stretch is needed, lightly press your hips forward keeping your back flat and body upright.
- Complete 2 sets of 1-minute holds.
5. Strengthen Your Hips
Stronger muscles make a stronger body. Strengthening your core and hips can reduce your risk of developing dancer’s hip. Below are some simple exercises to help you target those specific muscle groups!
- Lie on your side with your legs bent at 90 degrees and knees stacked on top of each other. Your thighs should be about 45 degrees away from your body.
- Open your legs slowly, like a clamshell, while keeping your hips still.
- Complete 3 sets of 10 repetitions on each side.
- Start by lying on the mat facing up.
- Bend your knees and place your feet firmly on the ground.
- Make sure your feet are in line with your knees.
- Activate your glutes by slowly pushing your hip upwards.
- Lower yourself back down.
- Complete 5 sets of 5 repetitions.
A Fast Fix For Snapping Hips
Snapping hip syndrome can hinder your quality of life and make it hard to enjoy your favorite activities. However, you should always talk to a medical provider, as hip pain can have various causes.
If you’ve been having issues with hip or leg pain, schedule an appointment with Airrosti today. Our Providers can help address your pain through hands-on manual therapy, often in an average of three visits (based on patient-reported outcomes).
For more information, call us at (800) 404-6050.
Read our Medical Disclaimer here.