Snapping hip syndrome, iliopsoas tendonitis, coxa saltans
Dancer’s hip (snapping hip, coxa saltans, or iliopsoas tendinitis) is usually an overuse injury that is characterized by a snap or click in the hip that can be heard or felt. It occurs with certain movements such as raising and lowering the whole leg or rotating the leg to turn out. For some, there is pain and discomfort along with the click that feels better after resting. In most cases, snapping is caused by movement of a tendon, muscle, or ligament rolling over a bony prominence during movement. The snapping itself can be in different places depending on the type of snapping hip you have.
Internal Snapping Hip is the most common for dancers, particularly ballet dancers, from turning out. The iliopsoas tendon, composed on tendons from the iliacus and psoas muscles, drapes over the front of the hip socket and can become inflamed after injury, with overuse, or when the hip socket is too prominent. As the inflamed tendon rubs over the bone of the hip socket, it causes pain and clicking or snapping in the groin or front of the hip. Because the iliopsoas muscle acts as a hip flexor, symptoms are often worse when bending the hip, especially against resistance. Unlike the hip joint, the iliopsoas tendon is fairly close to the skin, so the front of the hip area or groin may also be tender to the touch.
External Snapping Hip is actually to more common of the two in the non-dancing public. It is cause by tightness of the gluteus medius or iliotibial band rolling over the side of the hip which sometimes looks and feels like you are dislocating your hip.
Dancer’s Hip Diagnosis
Your sports medicine physician can often diagnose iliopsoas tendonitis or snapping hip based on your symptoms and with an examination of the hip. Imaging like an x-ray or MRI is generally not required.
Prevention of Dancer’s Hip
Warm-up your hips- Dynamically warm up your hips by moving them is multiple directions with your knee bent
Hip flexors- Kneel on one knee, with the front leg forward at a 90-degree angle. With your back neutral, tuck under your pelvis. You should feel the stretch on the front of your hip. Hold for 30 seconds. Repeat 2-3 times daily
Quadriceps- While standing at the bar, keeping your feet parallel, bend your outside knee into your outside hand while keeping your knees together. You should feel the stretch on the front of your quad. Hold for 30 seconds. Repeat 2-3 times daily
Piriformis- Lying on your back with your knees bent, place one foot flat on the ground while turning out the other and resting that ankle on the knee of the other leg. That hold of the parallel thigh and raise it toward your chest until you feel a stress in the glute of the turned out leg. Hold for 30 seconds. Repeat 2-3 times daily
Ilitibial Band- Foam rolling the side of your leg between your hip and your knee is a great way to relax the ITB. You can also roll on the front of your thigh to get your quads and the back to get your hamstrings. 3 times per week
Rest- Be sure to have rest days in your dance schedule so your body has time to repair itself
For Full Newsletter April 2014