Snapping Hip Syndrome

What is Snapping hip syndrome?

Snapping hip syndrome is a condition where one feels snapping sensation in the hip while walking, getting up from a chair or while swinging the leg around. This is accompanied by popping or snapping noise.

Pain and discomfort is felt in some cases. This pain decreases with rest and diminished activity. Hip snapping can either be external (lateral) or internal. For most people, the condition is little more than an annoyance and the only symptom is the snapping sound or sensation itself. But for dancers or athletes, snapping hip syndrome symptoms may also include pain and weakness that interfere with performance.

Causes of snapping hip syndrome:

In most cases, snapping is caused by the movement of a muscle or tendon over a bony structure in the hip. The most common site is on the outside of the hip where a band of connective tissue known as the iliotibial band passes over part of the thigh bone that juts out, called the greater trochanter. When you stand up straight, the band is behind the trochanter. When you bend your hip, however, the band moves over and in front of the trochanter. This may cause the snapping noise.

Snapping hip has been attributed to multiple mechanisms associated with the skeletal architecture of the hip and pelvis and with the muscles, tendons, and ligaments around the hip. Snapping hip has been described according to the location of the mechanism as external, internal, or posterior. Despite the many descriptions of possible mechanisms, the most common causes of snapping hip include either subluxation of the iliotibial band over the greater trochanter or sudden movement of the iliopsoas tendon.









Sports massage works well to release muscle tension especially the tight hip flexor muscle and Iliotibial band tightness. Correcting any contributing biomechanical abnormalities, strengthening exercises for the hip flexors may also be an appropriate component of the program. Once symptoms have decreased a maintenance program of stretching and strengthening can be initiated. Light aerobic activity followed by stretching and strengthening of the proper hamstring, hip flexors and iliotibial band length is important for reducing recurrences.

For more info on Snapping hip syndrome or treatment contact:

Raasay Waters – Sports Therapist, BSc(Hons)

079 814 5650

The Wellness Centre

The Quadrant

Wilderness Road

Claremont – Cape Town (Western Cape)


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About Paiter Botha

Paiter’s running career started when he was 8. Since his early teens he’s been running cross coutry and road races and at the age of 12 ran his first full standard (42,2 km) marathon - the Voet of Africa Marathon - in a time of 3 hours and 20 minutes. At 18 he won the Junior section of the same marathon. Paiter was one of the top senior middle distance, cross coutry and road athletes in the Western Province in the 80’s and 90’s during his school and university careers running 4 min for the mile, 30 min for 10km and 66 min for 21km. Paiter stopped running competitively in 1994 to pursue his profession and later also started a family. Paiter started training seriously again and doing trail running after being invited by one of his old friends in January 2013 to team up with him in the 3 day AfricanX trail run that was held in Grabouw. Although his team mate had to pull out during the second leg of the race due to a calve injury, Paiter went on to finish as the third fastest Veteran in the competition in a combined time of 7 hours, 55 minutes for the three stages. On most weekends you will find Paiter in the mountains around his hometown of Paarl.

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