For those of you who have read my previous posts, you will know that dancing requires a lot of strength and flexibility. As you can imagine, there are a lot of stressors on the body and injuries are unfortunately common. Through this series of blogs, I am going to take you through a few common injuries.
One of the most common injuries for a dancer is “snapping hip syndrome” or “coxa saltans” in physio terms. When a dancer has this, they may hear and feel a clicking or popping sound in their hip when they lift their leg up. Sometimes the dancer may feel pain, sometimes it might just be the sound. It is an overuse injury so it occurs when the muscle is being used too much or in compensation for weaker muscles.
There are three types of snapping hip.
- Lateral snapping hip (Illiotibial band syndrome).
This is the most common and it occurs on the outside of your hip. The cause of this snapping is the iliotibial band moving over the greater trochanter (a large bone that you can feel on the outside of your thigh). A dancer may feel pain on the outside of their knee and hip. There may be a feeling of needles or stinging around the hip as well. This can be felt when lifting the leg but may become more painful with walking, particularly when the heel strikes the ground as well as climbing stairs.
- Anterior Snapping Hip
Anterior means “at the front”. So this is felt more at the front of the hip and presents as a clicking or snapping due to a tendon called iliopsoas. The iliopsoas tendon can flick over bones at the front of the hip and cause a flicking sensation. This is caused by tightness in this muscle or as an over compensation for weaker muscles such as the core.
- Intra-Articular Snapping Hip
Intra- articular means “inside the joint” and results from instability of the joint that is caused by a muscular imbalance, skeletal inconsistencies (changes in bone shape, previous injury or leg length discrepancy). Dancers may experience a decreased amount of hip movement and a painful clicking inside the joint which can be caused by boney changes or due to Femoral Acetabular Impingement.
So how does a dancer fix this?
Its important to strengthen the surrounding structures including the core, to improve flexibility, return to function but importantly, to prevent re injury!
The rehabilitation process will start with movement reeducation, a potential reduction in rehearsals/class participation and resistance training.
If you have any questions or concerns, our physios are here to help!