Have you ever been walking down the road or around your house and felt your hips clicking?

Maybe you’ve also heard your hips popping or cracking a little bit. If so, this may be the sign of an underlying problem.

The muscles that are primarily responsible for flexing hips when walking are known as the hip flexors, one of which is the Psoas. 

This muscle starts at the lower back and passes down through the pelvis. It attaches to the thigh bone (the femur), which enables it to perform its function of hip flexion. It's a novel idea; the hip flexor muscles flex the hips.

However, these muscles can often get weak and tight, especially in those who are sedentary and sit in an office chair all day with little to no movement or spinal breaks in the day. When this muscle is tight, it can cause a range of problems. Most people experience a sore lower back, aching buttocks, and clicking hips. 

The pelvic region is very bony and when the hip flexors are tight, it can cause the tendons to rub over the bony protrusions in the pelvis. It’s this interaction between your tendons and bones that can cause the audible clicking or grinding noises that appear to come from the hips. Not everybody who experience clicking hips is going to experience discomfort right away.

Over time, the tendon may become irritated and inflamed, which worsen's the problem. Certain injuries or overuse of the tendon can also result in inflammation and excessive hip clicking. This is a condition that is informally known as dancer's hip because many dancers experience these problems due to overuse of the joints. 

Hip pain is not exclusive to dancers, constant clicking or grinding is regularly experienced by athletes and runners as well.  

An audible click may not necessarily always precede hip pain other sensations like popping or grinding is common too. This is still something to be aware of and we encourage people to still take action to reduce the tension and bring symmetry and balance the hips before it becomes a bigger problem.

A lot of the time, the main treatment for dancer's hip or clicking hips is rest and recovery. In our clinical experience we find those who take a rest, recover and stretch approach are not addressing the root cause of their hip pain. After giving a few weeks off for their hip pain, it returns just as fast when they are active again. Chronic hip pain may result in arthritis to the hip or the low back, which leads to more challenges and struggles as being active feels good, and soon after they activity stops the discomfort sets in almost immediately. Not good!

Hip pain is actually rooted in biomechanical changes of the hip and low back that has developed over time. We believe that addressing the deficiency and integrating patients into an active lifestyle is the better option than rest and wait.

If you’re experiencing hip pain or clicking, grinding or popping, give our office a call 763-432-3932. We will perform a thorough assessment to determine the root cause of your hip pain and get you back on track.

Dr. Greg Beenken

Dr. Greg Beenken

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