The muscle responsible for flexing your hip toward your trunk, is called the Psoas. This muscle begins on your lower spine and passes through your pelvis to attach onto the top of your femur (thigh bone). Along this course, the muscle travels across the front of your hip socket and over several bony prominences. If the muscle is too tight, its tendon may rub over these “bumps”. This occasionally produces an audible snapping sound, hence the moniker, “snapping hip”, aka “psoas tendinopathy”.
The tendon can be irritated by an acute injury, but more commonly from overuse- particularly repeatedly flexing your hip toward your trunk. The condition is also known as “dancer’s hip” or “jumper’s hip”, as movements associated with these activities are known culprits. Likewise, the condition is frequently seen in athletes who participate in rowing, track and field, hurdling, running (especially uphill), soccer, and gymnastics.
Your symptoms may include a “snapping” sound or sensation when you flex and extend your hip- although many cases are silent. Repeated rubbing causes inflammation and subsequent deep groin pain that can radiate to the front of your hip or thigh. Long-standing problems can trigger weakness or even limping.
The diagnosis of snapping hip is frequently overlooked. In fact, some studies show that identification is often delayed more than two years, while other potential causes are pursued. Fortunately, your problem has been recognized, and our office has several treatments to help you recover.
Psoas problems often start when one group of muscles is too tight, while another is too loose. Your home exercises will help to correct this problem. Depending upon the severity of your condition, you may need to avoid certain activities for a while. You should especially avoid repetitive hip flexion. Prolonged seated positions can encourage shortening of your hip flexors so be sure to take frequent breaks. Patients with fallen arches may benefit from arch supports.