Snapping Hip Syndrome

Affecting between 5-10% of the population, Snapping hip (also known as dancer’s hip) is a condition where hip joint movement causes a snapping sensation that is either felt or heard (Musick and Varacallo, 2019). The snapping can be either painful or pain free and is often caused by overuse. People who perform repetitive extreme hip movements such as ballet dancers and weight lifters are most at risk.

Diagnosis of snapping hip can be performed in clinic and a physiotherapist will determine the structure responsible for the snapping sensation. The iliotibial band and the iliopsoas muscle group are the most common sources of the condition. 

The majority of snapping hip cases are pain free and do not require imminent intervention, however the snapping sensation can cause discomfort and become painful over time. The preferred treatment for snapping hip is rest and a return to activity with physiotherapy input (Jenkins, 2010). 

Once the structure responsible for the snapping has been identified, treatment for snapping hip generally involves stretching of the tight structures (Byrd, 2005) and eccentric strengthening (Brosseau et al., 2009). Once the stretching and strengthening of the related structures has been completed, a graduated return to activity can begin with an effort to avoid activities and movements which trigger the snapping.

If you think you may be suffering from snapping hip our friendly team at capital physiotherapy can complete a comprehensive assessment of your hip and design a targeted treatment plan to help you return to doing what you love.  We are conveniently located at South Yarra, Footscray, and Balwyn. You may call 0401 865 333 or drop an email at