Anterior Snapping Hip Syndrome

If you are frequently experiencing a snapping sensation in the front of your hip, you may have a condition called snapping hip syndrome. The snapping sensation is felt in the front of the hip when you walk, run, or even rise from a chair. This condition is especially common when training uphill runs and stair climbing. Snapping hip syndrome is caused by repetitive use of the hip flexor muscle called the iliopsoas which lies along the front of the hip. This muscle may become tight and inflamed from rubbing over the hip bone during bending and extending motions of the hip. In rare cases, hip cartilage may tear and cause the hip to lock. Pain will accompany this condition and increase in intensity as the condition progresses without medical interventions or a change in activity programs. Decreased active hip range of motion will result as the individual’s pain increases and movement patterns change such as limping.

Treatment for snapping hip syndrome consists of reducing or avoiding the activity that aggravates the pain. For instance, one could perform other cardio workouts such as swimming or the individual can stop running uphill. Applying ice to the irritated hip and taking over the counter anti-inflammatories (advil, aleve, ibuprofen, etc.) will help decrease the inflammation in the hip. If the pain is impacting your daily life, physical therapy is highly recommended. Physical therapy will focus on stretching the quadriceps and iliopsoas muscles, strengthening surrounding hip and core muscles, and realignment of the pelvis girdle. In severe cases, treatment such as a corticosteroid injection to the front of the hip can decrease inflammation and provide pain relief. If these symptoms sound familiar to you, please consult a medical professional to diagnose your symptoms and seek the appropriate treatment.

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