What is a snapping hip?

A snapping hip is a condition where the individual feels snapping or hear a cracking sound in the hip when walking, swinging the leg or getting up from a seated position. Remember that the snapping sensation occurs once the tendon or muscle moves over a bony protrusion in the hip. Even though snapping hip is harmless and will not cause pain, the sensation can be annoying to some. In some circumstances, snapping hip can eventually lead to bursitis which is the sore swelling of the fluid-filled sacs that are responsible for cushioning the hip joint.

Overview on snapping hip

It is important to note that snapping hip can occur in different parts of the hip where the muscles and tendon glide over the knobs in the hip bones.

  • The usual site of snapping hip is at the outer side of the hip where the iliotibial band goes through the greater trochanter.
  • The rectus femoris tendon can also cause snapping hip that is felt in the front of the hip.
  • If the snapping occurs in the back of the hip, it involves the hamstring tendon.
  • Cartilage issues which involve the labrum can tear and cause the snapping sensation.

What are the causes?

Snapping hip

Snapping hip is most often due to the tightness of the tendons and muscles that surround the hip.

Snapping hip is most often due to the tightness of the tendons and muscles that surround the hip. Individuals who are involved in activities and sports that involve repeated bending at the hip are likely to experience the condition. In addition, young athletes are prone to develop it due to the tightness in the muscle structures of the hip during the growth spurt upon adolescence.

Home remedies for snapping hip

Many individuals will not consult a doctor for snapping hip unless they feel pain. In case the snapping hip bothers the individual but not to the point that seeing a doctor is required, there are home remedies that can be carried out. You can readily manage the discomfort if you will register for first aid training today.

  • Minimize the activity level and apply an ice pack over the affected area.
  • Provide the individual with non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) such as ibuprofen or aspirin to reduce the discomfort.
  • The individual should modify his/her exercise or sports to avoid repetitive movement of the hip.

If the individual continues to experience discomfort after these measures were carried out, a doctor should be consulted for proper assessment and treatment.

Diagnosing snapping hip

The doctor will initially determine the exact cause of the snapping by discussing the symptoms and medical history as well as conducting a physical examination. The doctor will ask the location where it hurts, activities that causes the snapping and if experienced a previous injury to the hip area.

An X-ray will provide a clear image of the dense structures. Even though the X-ray results do not show any abnormalities, the doctor will order an X-ray along with other tests to rule out other bone or joint issues.


The initial treatment usually involves a period of rest and activity modification. Depending on the exact cause of the snapping hip, the doctor will also recommend other conservative treatment options.


No comments yet.

Leave a Reply