Coxa saltans ("Snapping hip")
(popping hip syndrome, iliopsoas tendonitis, coxa saltans, dancer’s hip)
In this medical condition patients generally complain of the “snapping” sensation, popping noise
and discomfort in back, front and outer side of the hip where tendons and muscles slide over
bony structures around the joint during flexion, extension or rotation of the hip. In severe cases
the pain also occurs and decreases with rest and diminished activity. Structures that most
commonly cause snapping symptoms by their sliding during hip movements are iliotibial band, m.
gluteus maximus, m. rectus femoris tendon, iliopsoas tendon, m. biceps femoris (hamstring). Les
often the lesions in the hip joint itself is the cause.
This condition is commonly seen in endurance sport athletes (distance running, triathlon, race
walking), contact or collision sports (football, hockey), gymnasts, horse riders and dancers. Risk is
increased with activities that require bending, lifting or climbing. Poor strength and flexibility of
core, flexors, hip and pelvic area, improper knee alignment and flat feet are more prone to this
Rehabilitation is focused on stretching and strengthening affected abnormally tight structures as
well as muscles that surround them. With correction in the hip joint movements during activities,
this exercises can alleviate the symptoms, restore strength, power and agility of hip, thigh, and
core muscles and reduce recurrences. If treated properly snapping hip syndrome usually resolves
within 2 to 6 weeks. If symptoms persist for greater than 6 months despite conservative
treatment, surgery may be recommended.
Prevention: properly warm - up before activity and stretching after, adequate recovery between
workouts, maintaining strength of flexors, pelvic area and core, training technique correction,
properly fitted and padded protective equipment, wearing proper sport footwear and arch
supports (orthotics) in a case flat feet and not ignoring the pain.