Snapping hip? Side of hip pain?

It is not unusual to hear complaints from patients about front or side (lateral) of hip pain or snapping when shifting weight onto one leg, walking, or going up stairs.

Many times doctors assign one of the following diagnoses to this condition: bursitis, snapping hip, IT Band syndrome, or gluteal tendinopathy. Labral tears of the hip can also create altered mechanics of the hip that lead to lateral hip pain.

While knowing the diagnosis influences Physical Therapy interventions, the diagnosis does not indicate what the muscle imbalances are that must also be corrected. Physical Therapists conduct an evaluation to understand the muscle imbalances, as well as status of tissue healing, activity modification, and goals needed to develop a proper treatment plan.

Many times the associated muscle imbalance involves the lateral subsystem of muscles. This includes the gluteus medius, tensor fascia latae, adductors, and quadratus lumborum.

Here are some intermediate level exercises that can help strengthen this muscle system:

Side lunge

Side step up

Side band leg lift

Band side step

Skater jumps

Farmer’s walk

These suggested exercises do not replace appropriate diagnosis and treatment of any condition.  Exercises and progressions used in Physical Therapy are determined on an individual basis after the Physical Therapy evaluation has been completed.

This blog post was written by Meredith Butulis, DPT, ACSM HFS. She practices at our Eden Prairie location.