Snapping Hip Syndrome - Releasing Trigger Points in Gluteus Maximus


Snapping hip syndrome is a condition where a snapping or popping sensation is felt in the hip with hip flexion and extension

It is most commonly caused by a tendon snapping over a bony prominence. This syndrome may present with or without pain and is particularly prevalent in dancers.

External Snapping

External snapping hip syndrome can be the result of a tight ‘Iliotibial band’ (ITB) or gluteus maximus tendon snapping over the greater trochanter of the femur.

When landing from a jump, running, climbing or squatting these tendons are forced over the bony prominence of the greater trochanter. This can cause inflammation of the muscle and tendon.

Internal Snapping

Internal snapping syndrome may be caused by the iliopsoas tendon snapping over the iliopectineal eminence of the hip.

In more rare cases, tearing of the cartilage (labral tears) of the hip joint may cause snapping as well.

Cause of Injury

Tight ITB or gluteal muscles. Tight iliopsoas muscle. Labral tear.

Signs and Symptoms

Snapping sensation in the hip. May or may not present with pain (more commonly reported as discomfort).

Complications if Not Treated

Snapping hip syndrome can lead to irritation and possible bursitis if left untreated. The inflamed muscle becomes tight and can cause stress on other muscles as well.

Immediate Treatment

RICER programme. Anti-inflammatory medication.

Rehabilitation and Prevention

Rehabilitation starts with stretching and strengthening the muscles of the hip. A balance in strength and flexibility of all the muscles will help prevent snapping hip syndrome.

Proper warm-up of the hip muscles is important before beginning any activity that involves flexion or extension to make sure the muscles are adequately prepared.

It is also important to maintain fitness levels while resting, using activities that do not aggravate the affected area.

Long-Term Prognosis

Snapping hip syndrome seldom requires more than the initial treatment and rehabilitation to recover fully.

Only in very rare cases surgical intervention may be required to correct the problem.


Gluteus Maximus and ITB Trigger Points


Trigger Points

Trigger points are often at the root cause of snapping hip syndrome. Typically developed as a result of repetitive / overuse, trigger points cause their host muscle to become shorter, tighter and less efficient. 

Look for trigger points in the ITB, Gluteus, and Psoas muscles. Incorporate stretching especially with psoas to help accelerate the treatment.











This trigger point therapy blog is intended to be used for information purposes only and is not intended to be used for medical diagnosis or treatment or to substitute for a medical diagnosis and/or treatment rendered or prescribed by a physician or competent healthcare professional. This information is designed as educational material, but should not be taken as a recommendation for treatment of any particular person or patient. Always consult your physician if you think you need treatment or if you feel unwell. 




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Scraping, a manual, ancient practice where pain points are worked with a gua sha (smooth-edged tool), reportedly increases blood flow by up to 400 per cent more than foam rolling and massage guns. By breaking up old, damaged blood vessels to promote new growth and healing, these tools are useful for getting into the nooks and crannies of a pain point, especially in delicate areas like along the shin muscles and under the foot.

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The heated scraper device takes just three seconds to reach 50ºC. This helps muscles soften, making it easier to massage away tension, increase blood flow and promote healing. The scraper is specially great for alleviating delayed onset muscle soreness (DOMS) in the quads, and provides a relaxing switch-up from the foam roller slog.