As many dancers know, your body can be placed under a lot of stress through continuous exercise and training. It’s extremely important to listen to your body to ensure that it is well looked after, allowing you to focus on what you do best – dance!

To discuss this in more detail, we sat down with Miranda a physio here at Barefoot, to understand what to look out for and what to do if this is happening to you.
Snapping Hip Syndrome:

Ballet dancers may often experience pain or discomfort with “clicking or snapping” at the front of their hips. This is often be accompanied by pain or weakness. There are three classifications of snapping hip syndrome.

1.  Internal; where the hip flexor (iliopsoas) tendon snaps over the inside femur (thigh bone) or pelvic bones.
2. External; where the iliotibial band or gluteus maximus runs over the outside of the femur (thigh bone).
3. Intra-artcicular; where soft tissue within the hip joint capsule is implicated.

Illiopasoas syndrome (internal snapping):

This type of snapping indicates the hip flexor (or bursa fluid filled sac) in the hip are responsible for the clicking. This is usually the case with dancers presenting with snapping hips.

Snapping can typically occur when the hip is flexed and externally rotated and or abducted. For example in passe or during grande battement, develope devant and al a seconde. This can occur when the iliopsoas tendon moves from the medial to lateral aspect of the top of the thigh bone. This condition most commonly occurs in female dance students under the age of 18 years.

If the snapping is not accompanied by pain or weakness it should be monitored. If pain or weakness is present physiotherapy can help abate symptoms and restore optimal movement.


Physiotherapy treatment typically consists of a combination of relative rest (for example keeping the legs at 45 degrees en lair in devant and al a second). Following this your physio will look at non steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, lengthening and strengthening of the iliopsoas and strengthening of the adjacent hip and core muscles that support the hip.

Your physio will also address any underlying biomechanical deficits. For example dancers who assume a lordotic posture (sway back) to achieve greater turn out predispose themselves to this condition as the thigh bone moves forward relative to the hip socket.

It’s so important to listen to your body – functioning at your best is what helps us live a full and healthy life.

If your snapping hips are not allowing you to perform at your best, book in with one of our Physio’s today! Click here to see times available & to get in touch.