Snapping hip syndrome is a condition characterized by a snapping or popping sound or sensation in the hip which occurs with certain movements. The snapping is commonly painless and merely presents as a nuisance but can become painful in some cases. The “snapping” noise heard or felt within the hip is usually caused by a soft tissue structure (such as a tendon) moving over a bony prominence of the hip or pelvis.
The structures most commonly at fault are the iliotibial band or the iliopsoas tendon. In cases where pain is present there may or may not also be accompanying issues such as a bursitis under the iliotibial band or a hip flexor tendonopathy.
The athletes most commonly reporting symptoms are dancers and hockey players, research is looking into whether this could be related to the amount of time they each spend working with the hip in an externally rotated position and moving into extension.