Snapping Hip Syndrome: 7 Exercises For Your Clicking Hip

By Dr Ken Nakamura+

Snapping Hip Syndrome-Hip Pain: Toronto Downtown Chiropractor

Does raising your leg trigger your snapping hip?

 

Have you wondered if your snapping hip will cause you problems in the future?

 

Read on, and I will answer the main reasons why you have a snapping hip and show you 5 exercises to help.

 

3 Causes of Snapping Hip

 

#1 Iliotibial band

 

A tiny muscle that starts in  the pelvis turns into a band running down the side of thigh called the iliotibial band (ITB) which is the main problem. The ITB gets too tight with excessive movement of the hips. With enough tightness the ITB starts to snap over the hip instead of smoothly gliding over it.

 

This is the cause of vast majority of people’s snapping hips.   Most of you with iliotibial band tightness causing snapping hip will have tightness or pain over the hip bone on side of the the upper thigh. The hip is not at the waist when we talk about anatomy.

 

If you are a runner, dancer, football player (soccer), American football player or involved with a lot of running you likely have a tight iliotibial band.  With overuse the muscle gets irritated, develops scar tissue and the scar tissue and muscle gets larger than it should.You could be prone to a tight iliotibial band if your hip bone is actually larger than it should be, or the angle of your hip is wrong, or if you had previous knee surgery for an unstable knee.[1]

 

Another cause of a tight and scarred  ITB is flat feet. For this problem simply wearing orthotics will help.

 

 

#2 Psoas Muscle & Iliacus Muscle

 

The Psoas and Iliacus muscles  allows your hip to bend at the waist ie hip flexion.  The two muscles can get irritated from overuse as it moves over the pelvic bone. When irritated and scarred enough the muscles will snap deep inside and feel like it’s in your groin area.

 

#3 Hip Joint Cartilage Tear

An accident or trauma to your  hip is the main cause of tearing of the cartilage that covers the hip socket. With the tearing of the cartilage, this causes a flap or little piece of floating cartilage in the hip. When you move your hip the flap or the little piece of cartilage acts like a wedge and causes your hip to lock-up.

 

You might feel pain in your groin, side of the hip or in the buttock area.  

 

Exercises For Your Snapping Hip[1-4]

 

#1 Stretch Your Iliotibial Band (3 different stretches)

  • Standing ITB stretch
  • While standing cross the band leg behind the other leg.
  • Lean side ways away from the bad leg as far as you can go.

 

  • Foam Roll the ITB 
  • Go on you side roll the foam roll from your hip all the way down to your knee (stay above your knee joint).

ITB Iliotibial band Foam Rolling- Toronto Downtown chiropractor

  • Seated figure 4 stretch
  • Sit down and cross the injured leg over the other leg.
  • Lean forward and you  will feel it in the back and sides of the hip.

#2 Stretch Your Hip Flexors

How to Improve Posture- stretch Psoas: Toronto Chiropractic Clinic

#3 Stretch the Piriformis

Plantar Fasciitis Exercise #3: Treat your Hip Muscles Piriformis,

  • Cross your bad side leg over the other knee.
  • Get a tennis ball, basketball or a medicine ball and sit on it with your buttock.
  • To treat the pififormis go lean at about a 45-degree angle.
  • Stop at each tender point and hold until each one is ironed out or feel less tender.

 

#4 Stretch the Gluteus Maximus

  • Do the same as stretch #3 the piriformis stretch except you don’t cross you leg.

 

#5 Stretch Gluteus medius and TFL

ITB Iliotibial band Foam Rolling- Toronto Downtown chiropractor

  • Lie on on your side- For your Gluteus medius stay in the hip area, For your ITB which you already did go lower down to your knee. (stay above your knee).
  • Put a tennis ball, medicine ball or foam roll underneath your waist bone. Start at belt level.
  • Stop at each tender point and hold until each one is ironed out or feels less tender.

#6 Stretch Your Adductors

Snapping Hip Syndrome-Foam Roll Adductors: Toronto Downtown Chiropractor

  • Bring out your bad leg.
  • Bend your other leg.
  • Put the foam roll just above the knee and put your weight on.
  • Stop at each tender point and hold until each one is ironed out or feels less tender.

#7  Strengthen Your Gluteus Medius

Snapping Hip Syndrome-Strentghtening gluteus medius: Toronto Downtown Chiropractor

Part I

  • Raise your leg up slightly behind your bottom leg
  • Slowly lower your leg down with a count of seven.
  • Do it 3 sets of 10

Part II

  • Raise your leg up slightly in front your bottom leg
  • Slowly lower your leg down with a count of seven.
  • Do it 3 sets of 10

 

Will Snapping Hip Syndrome cause you problems in the future? If left for decades the abnormally tight muscles will cause changes in the movements of the hip eventuallly leading to earlier osteoarthritis. It’s time to prevent pain and stiffness now! Why don’t you do the exercises until the snapping goes away.

 

Tell us what you think in the comments below and like us on Facebook. This Toronto Downtown Chiropractor will answer all questions in the comments section.

 

References

 

 1.  Byrd JW. Snapping Hip. Oper Tech Sports Med. 2005: 13:46-54 2.  Jacobson T, Allen WC. Surgical correction of the snapping iliopsoas tendon. Am J Sports Med 1990; 18 (5): 470-4 3.  Gose JC, Schweizer P. Iliotibial Band Tightness. J Orthop Sports Phys Ther. 10(10):399-40 4.  Andres BM, Murrell GA. Treatment of Tendinopathy. What Works, What Does Not, and What is on the Horizon. Clin Orthop Relat Res. (2008) 466:1539-1554

 2. Jacobson T, Allen WC. Surgical correction of the snapping iliopsoas tendon. Am J Sports Med 1990; 18 (5): 470-4

3. Gose JC, Schweizer P. Iliotibial Band Tightness. J Orthop Sports Phys Ther. 10(10):399-407

4.Andres BM, Murrell GA. Treatment of Tendinopathy. What Works, What Does Not, and What is on the Horizon. Clin Orthop Relat Res. (2008) 466:1539-1554


Author

Dr Ken Nakamura

Who is Dr. Ken? I’m a father, spouse, chiropractor, and I love what I do! I created Bodi Empowerment to bring you and everyone-else safe and effective methods for self-treatment by basing my articles on research to everything I can. Still many parts will be based on 18 years of experience, seminars, and collaboration with other health experts; which means you will get opinions as well. Sometimes my articles won’t agree with what is currently accepted, but I am not here to please everyone. I’m here to empower you through the knowledge that I give you. Dr. Ken works at Rebalance Sports Medicine in downtown, Toronto.

22 Responses to Snapping Hip Syndrome: 7 Exercises For Your Clicking Hip
  • Nermin Glibanović says:
    January 6, 2017 at 3:58 pm

    Hi dr Nakamura. I have a consistent problem with my snapping hip. Im 30 year old, and when I was 17 I had a knee surgery. I have noticed that something is clicking in my hip, but there was no pain. I quit football, and started with running. For past 3-4 years Im all into running, but lately the pain in my hip is getting worse. It’s there all over the day. I take 4-5 days without running, but when I walk, or after stairs, bicycling, the pain is just coming back. Now i feel pain and numbness in hip area, and down the leg. Also, Im working at desk, including 8 hours of sitting in chair. I have visited orthopedic and he told me to avoid activities that triggers it, but its only when Im in bed. And he mentioned even a surgery including grinding my hip, to make space for my ITD. Please, any advice.

    • Dr Ken Nakamura says:
      January 8, 2017 at 2:09 am

      Thanks for your question Nermin. Since you have numbness the problem is more likely nerve related which usually comes from the lower back. You need to see the best physiotherapist or best chiropractor in your area. This way they can diagnose the problem and give you the appropriate treatment. I am not so concerned about the clicking as I am the pain and numbness, which is more important from my point of view.

      Hope that helps your hip pain.

  • Connie says:
    November 2, 2016 at 12:54 am

    Hello Dr. Nakamura .Thank you so much for answering. My pain got litter but I just realize my right hip is tilted and the leg from the knee is not straight. It’s bent it bc of my condition job. I can’t straight it or stretch it. The bones from the lowest back right side is more outside and has a bump, which is from the tilted hip. So the problem with sciatica happened from sitting long time and using only the right leg pushing a pedal machine. Please any advise will be appreciated,what to do what doctor to see. Thank you so much Dr.Nakamura.

    • Dr Ken Nakamura says:
      November 8, 2016 at 11:01 pm

      Thanks for your question Connie. Sounds like you have a structural imbalance with the joints and possibly some muscles related to your work. I recommend you see a chiropractor to address this as well as giving you specific exercises based on your history and exam.

      Hope that helps your snapping hip.

  • Yoshiko says:
    October 31, 2016 at 7:22 am

    Dr. Ken,
    I’ve been lifting weights for two years and ever since then my hip began snapping and feeling pain. I was diagnosed with hip snapping syndrome. I’ve been visiting a PT once a week for follow up. I would do the exercises they instructed me to do every day. Although the pain is gone the snapping is still there. I have seen not much of an improvement of the snapping. Any advice??

    • Dr Ken Nakamura says:
      November 8, 2016 at 10:46 pm

      Thanks for your question Yoshiko. You can try the exercises here as they will likely be different. Keep in mind I haven’t had a chance to examine you so I am giving you an opinion and not a recommendation.

      Hope that helps your snapping hip syndrome.

  • Connie says:
    October 29, 2016 at 8:49 pm

    I was diagnosed with sciatica. Did PT. it was working a little for pain but still My top thigh is snapping , shorter leg and pain. Plseeeee any advise

    • Dr Ken Nakamura says:
      October 30, 2016 at 12:28 pm

      Thanks for your question Connie. Your biggest concern is sciatica and not the snapping hip I believe. You need to tell me a lot more about your sciatica, what makes it worse and what makes it better.

      Good luck for now with your sciatica and snapping hip.

  • Carnelia L. Fletcher says:
    September 26, 2016 at 8:57 am

    I am trying to improve my snapping hip syndrome. There is a lot of pain in the pelvic area. I want to
    achieve a pain free feeling without having surgery.

    • Dr Ken Nakamura says:
      October 6, 2016 at 11:21 pm

      Thanks for your question Carnelia. While your problem may be snapping hip, keep in mind self diagnosis may lead you down the wrong path. It can be coming from a loose sacroiliac joint or a labral tear. All will cause clicking. If the snapping is due to a “snapping hip syndrome” the exercises will likely help if you are consistent. If not you need to have someone examine you. This is an opinion not a recommendation.

      Hope that helps your snapping hip syndrome.

  • Olivia says:
    July 6, 2015 at 1:13 pm

    Dr. Ken,
    Thank you for sharing the information. Your blog is very helpful.
    I have a couple of questions regarding this article.
    Do we just stretch and do muscle strenthening on the bad side and leave out the normal side?
    Secondly, my bad leg is slightly shorter than the other leg when I sit with both leg in front; and the bad side’s foot turn more outside than the other when laying down (as you mentioned in the Periformis article). Should I do all exercises from both articles, or is it enough just following exercises above?
    Thanks again, Olivia.

    • Dr Ken Nakamura says:
      July 10, 2015 at 9:26 am

      Thanks for your question Olivia. I would do the exercises on both sides.

      Hope that helps yoru snapping hip syndrome.

      • Olivia says:
        July 17, 2015 at 10:16 am

        Thank you. I followed your exercises for about 2 weeks now. They really work magic. I feel much less pain now.

        • Dr Ken Nakamura says:
          July 21, 2015 at 9:30 pm

          You are welcome Olivia. Great to hear your snapping hip is giving you much less pain.

  • Erica says:
    September 27, 2014 at 9:32 pm

    I’m not sure if what I have is hip snapping. I have the majority of hip snapping while sitting down in an office chair with wheels. I slide the chair between 2 separate computers (left and right) at work. When I get up I feel sudden weakness in my hip and this happens for both from getting up from a seated position or sometimes from walking. I spent 13 years in the army. Thanks!!

    • Dr Ken Nakamura says:
      September 28, 2014 at 11:37 am

      Thanks for your question Erica. Sounds like you have snapping hip. You also might have wear and tear in the hip joint or the sacroiliac joints looseness. Try the exercises for a month. If that helps great. If it doesn’t help you likely have hip joint wear and tear or sacroiliac joint problems.

      So try the exercises for a month first.

      Hope that helps your snapping hip syndrome.

  • Imamaniim says:
    July 15, 2014 at 8:11 pm

    Thank you Dr Ken Nakamura I hope so 🙂

  • Imamaniim says:
    July 14, 2014 at 2:46 pm

    dr. ken i do it probably 2 to 3 times n’ i still having snapping hip when i bend my leg what to do!!

    • Dr Ken Nakamura says:
      July 14, 2014 at 8:50 pm

      Thanks for your comment Imamaniim. Doing any exercises 2-3 times will not get you better. Why don’t try and do it consistently everyday for a month than let me know how you are feeling.

      Hope that helps your snapping hip.

  • Imamaniim says:
    July 2, 2014 at 4:16 am

    does these exercises need warm up before doin’it then which one!! thx

    • Dr Ken Nakamura says:
      July 4, 2014 at 10:38 pm

      Thanks for your comment Imamaniim. You can do these exercises without a warm up. They are pretty gentle and not so dynamic so no warm is necessary. If you are a little hesitant though you can do 10 squats to get things moving and warmed up.

      Hope that helps your snapping hip.

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