2 3 Technical Tuesday Snapping Hip | Ballet Webb

Tuesday, July 12, 2016

Technical Tuesday Snapping Hip

Technical Tuesday Snapping Hip

A common complaint dancers have is the sensation of a “snapping” hip. It is called Snapping Hip Syndrome and is also referred to as coxa saltans, iliopsoas tendinitis, or dancer's hip.

This syndrome is caused by the movement of a muscle or tendon over a bone. Due to the angled shape of the top of the femur (thigh bone), when the leg turns out, it is not unusual to feel the sensation of the muscles in the hip moving over the bone. However, especially if the dancer is “sitting” in the hip, the feeling may be a definite and uncomfortable snap. Therefore, one way to prevent it is to concentrate on lifting the hips/pelvis (there’s that energy upward thing again!).

Here is the technical description of what happens during Snapping Hip Syndrome: “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.”

Most of the time, this is not a serious condition for dancers, but sometimes it can happen so frequently that pain, weakness, and/or bursitis can result. When this occurs, a trip to a doctor is probably necessary. Treatment may include: physical therapy to strengthen the lower abs and the abductors, adductors and hip flexors. Time away from dancing to allow healing and to avoid the necessity of turning out the legs may also be recommended.

From the Big Blue Book of Ballet Secrets:

Ballet Secret #117  
“Snapping hip syndrome is a common problem for dancers.”

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  1. The human body is an amazing machine. Athletes literally risk their bodies for their sport. Olympians are a prime example of how years and years of training can have a drastic effect on the body. We see even young athletes enter our hospital with snapping hip. Usually, dancers and gymnastics are the athletes we see struggling with hip pain the most. The snapping is one of the initial symptoms patients experience before chronic hip pain. This is an excellent post. Very well written. Thank you.