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Why Does My Hip Pop?

Author:    Tyler J. Tonso, DC CKTP FMSC

Do you have a snapping pain in your hip?

Do you have a snapping pain in your hip?

It’s not uncommon for people to get an audible click in their hip while doing certain movements or activities. If painless, this is most often not important but could still show biomechanical issues that may need to be addressed. These biomechanical flaws can cause the condition to worsen which can make it harder to get rid of your “snapping hip”.

There are several different types of snapping hip but the most common types are lateral and internal. Lateral snapping hip you may notice on the side of your hip and have either local pain or tightness on the lateral part of your thigh. Internal snapping hip is usually associated with certain leg raising movements. A main complaint is often an uncomfortable click while doing ab or hip exercises that involve raising the legs in the air.

The popping is usually due to muscles or tendons rubbing over each other when they have either become inflamed or thickened due to injury or scarring. This is often accompanied by biomechanical flaws involving weak and tight muscles which further cause the injured area to worsen.

So what can you do?  The first thing to do is get an examination to ensure snapping hip is the problem and to evaluate your current biomechanics. If snapping hip is your diagnosis then treatment will consist of several different modalities. Supplements will often be given to decrease local inflammation. Soft tissue therapy and mobilization of the hip and low back are important to help decrease muscle tightness and normalize biomechanics. Heat, ultrasound, and electrical stimulation may also be used to increase healing time. Specific rehabilitation exercises also need to be emphasized in order to fully correct the abnormal biomechanics.

When all of these treatment modalities are utilized, snapping hip often responds well to conservative treatment and patients are able to return to normal activity.

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