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What is snapping hip?

There are three different types of snapping hip. We will describe the most common variety. In that case, it is a tendon, the IT band (tractus iliotibialis) that sits on the outside of the hip and extends down the thigh to the outside of the knee. The IT band passes over the lump on the femur, the trochanter major, which sits on the outside of the hip. In load when the leg is moved forwards and backwards as when walking or running, the tendon slides stretched over the trochanter major and snaps past it and the patient feels that it snaps. Not infrequently you can hear the sound when it happens. Some experience that it feels as if the hip is about to dislocate but snaps back into the right position, but that is not what happens.

About 10% of the population is affected by this. It seems that it is more common for women to be affected. This is an overload injury that usually affects athletes in sports such as running, handball, football, dance, athletics. Weakness in the hip abductors that sit on the outside hip, hypermobility, pronation in the foot insertion (that the foot falls inward under load) are other factors that increase the risk of pinching hip.


Book treatment for snap hips


Symptoms of snapping hip

As the name indicates, this problem is characterized above all by the fact that it snaps on the outside of the hip under load when walking, running or other specific movements. Often, pain is not a problem initially, but gives the most discomfort as it snaps on the outside of the hip. If this is allowed to continue without action, then an irritation can occur in the actual friction area between the tendon and trochanter major and pain occurs under load. On the one hand, the tendon can become irritated and thickened, and on the other hand, a mucous sac that bolts between the tendon and the bone can become irritated and cause pain.

Treatment for snap hips


It is important to identify what may be causing the snapping hip and reduce any activity, to calm the area. If you pronate, we recommend anatomical shoe insoles in combination with stabilization training for the ankle / ankle. The patient often gets  shock wave therapy  on the outside hip and seat in combination with circulation and strength training for the hip, thigh. If the patient is running, a running analysis is performed, in order to optimize the running step so that we minimize the risk of relapse when running is gradually resumed.

If there is no improvement, the patient is examined with an ultrasound diagnosis to see if only the tendon is affected or if the mucous sac is also irritated. If there is an impact there, we can offer one  ultrasound-guided cortisone injection  in the mucous sac in an attempt to break the pain. This is always done in combination with other treatment / rehabilitation.




With treatment and rehabilitation training in combination with a patient who follows the instructions well, the problems usually subside after about 6-8 weeks. In the event of no improvement, the patient is referred to an orthopedist for a decision on any surgery. However, it is unusual that we need to refer the patient further and even more unusual that surgery is performed.

Physiotherapy his Alta Vita Physiotherapy

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