Our bodies makes a wide range of sounds during the course of our lives, some can be very disconcerting especially when a painful sensation follows.

Common popping sounds can come from the outside or inside hip when walking, dancing, getting up from a chair, running or swinging your leg; this is called snapping hip syndrome or dancer’s hip. The majority of people this will be an annoying sound or sensation with a small portion actually experiencing pain!

The majority of time the sound or sensation comes from a tendon or a muscle moving over a bony surface. One of the most common sites are on the side of the hip where the Iliotibial Band (ITB), which is a thick sheet of fascia, as it pass over the outside of the Greater Trochanter of the Femur (thigh bone). When get up from a seated position the ITB moves from behind the greater trochanter forward over the area, causing a snapping sound.


Snapping sounds can come from parts of the inner hip as well as in front of the hip caused by muscles like the Iliacus, Psoas and Rectus Femoris. Less common causes of snapping hip syndrome can come from torn a torn labrum (cartilage) in the hip which can actually lock up the hip and cause pain!

why do my hips pop2

The actual origin of the hip snapping could be traced to a couple of possible causes:

1) Muscles that are too tight – hip adductors, Iliacus and Psoas causing the femur to rotate internally causing tendons to ‘snap’
2) Over use of muscles, possibly happening with repeated hip flexion or external rotation of the femur

There are other conditions that should be taken into account when snapping hip syndrome is suspected! It is always advised to seek the help of a relevant medical professional before self-diagnosing a condition. Differential diagnoses could be Femoral Head Necrosis, Hip Overuse Syndrome, Iliopsoas Tendonitis and Iliotibial Band Syndrome.

What to do if you have snapping hip syndrome:

1) Modify your activity if the cause is over use.
2) Stretch muscles that are tight. The ITB is a thick facial band and it’s length cannot be changed no matter how much you try and foam roll it, to affect a change look at releasing the attachment muscles, Tensor Fascia Lata and the Glutes.
3) Modify biomechanics of your activity from the ground up starting with the foot.

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