Snapping Hip Syndrome: Exercises

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Your Care Instructions

Here are some examples of typical rehabilitation exercises for your condition. Start each exercise slowly. Ease off the exercise if you start to have pain.

Your doctor or physiotherapist will tell you when you can start these exercises and which ones will work best for you.

How to do the exercises

Iliotibial band stretch

Picture of iliotibial band stretch exercise
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slide 1 of 8, Iliotibial band stretch,
  1. Lean sideways against a wall. If you are not steady on your feet, hold on to a chair or counter.
  2. Stand on the leg with the affected hip, with that leg close to the wall. Then cross your other leg in front of it.
  3. Let your affected hip drop out to the side of your body and against the wall. Then lean away from your affected hip until you feel a stretch.
  4. Hold the stretch for 15 to 30 seconds.
  5. Repeat 2 to 4 times.

Hip flexor stretch (kneeling)

Picture of how to do hip flexor stretch (kneeling)
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slide 2 of 8, Hip flexor stretch (kneeling),
  1. Kneel on your affected leg, and bend your good leg out in front of you, with that foot flat on the floor. If you feel discomfort in the front of your knee, place a towel under your knee.
  2. Keeping your back straight, slowly push your hips forward until you feel a stretch in the upper thigh of your back leg and hip.
  3. Hold the stretch for at least 15 to 30 seconds.
  4. Repeat 2 to 4 times.

Piriformis stretch

Picture of how to do piriformis stretch
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slide 3 of 8, Piriformis stretch,
  1. Lie on your back with both knees bent and your feet flat on the floor.
  2. Put the ankle of your affected leg on your opposite thigh near your knee.
  3. Use your hands to gently lift the knee of your good leg off the floor. Gently pull that knee toward your chest until you feel a stretch in the buttock and hip of your affected leg.
  4. Hold the stretch for at least 15 to 30 seconds.
  5. Repeat 2 to 4 times.

Hamstring stretch (lying down)

Picture of how to do hamstring stretch, lying down
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slide 4 of 8, Hamstring stretch (lying down),
  1. Lie flat on your back with your legs straight. If you feel discomfort in your back, place a small towel roll under your lower back.
  2. Holding the back of your affected leg for support, lift that leg straight up and toward your body until you feel a stretch at the back of your thigh.
  3. Hold the stretch for at least 30 seconds.
  4. Repeat 2 to 4 times.

Bridging

Picture of how to do bridging exercise
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slide 5 of 8, Bridging,
  1. Lie on your back with both knees bent. Your knees should be bent about 90 degrees.
  2. Then push your feet into the floor, squeeze your buttocks, and lift your hips off the floor until your shoulders, hips, and knees are all in a straight line.
  3. Hold for about 6 seconds as you continue to breathe normally, and then slowly lower your hips back down to the floor and rest for up to 10 seconds.
  4. Repeat 8 to 12 times.

Clamshell

Pictures of clamshell exercise
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slide 6 of 8, Clamshell,
  1. Lie on your side, with your affected leg on top and your head propped on a pillow. Keep your feet and knees together and your knees bent.
  2. Raise your top knee, but keep your feet together. Do not let your hips roll back. Your legs should open up like a clamshell.
  3. Hold for 6 seconds.
  4. Slowly lower your knee back down. Rest for 10 seconds.
  5. Repeat 8 to 12 times.

Alternate arm and leg (bird dog) exercise

How to do alternate arm and leg (bird dog) exercise
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slide 7 of 8, Alternate arm and leg (bird dog) exercise,

Note: Do this exercise slowly. Try to keep your body straight at all times.

  1. Start on the floor, on your hands and knees.
  2. Tighten your belly muscles by pulling your belly button in toward your spine. Be sure you continue to breathe normally and do not hold your breath.
  3. Raise one leg off the floor, and hold it straight out behind you. Be careful not to let your hip drop down, because that will twist your trunk.
  4. Hold for about 6 seconds, then lower your leg and switch to your other leg.
  5. Repeat 8 to 12 times on each leg.

When you can do this exercise with ease and no pain, repeat steps 1 through 5 using your arms instead of your legs. Raise one arm off the floor, holding your arm straight out in front of you. Be careful not to let your shoulder drop down, because that will twist your trunk. Then switch to your other arm.

When holding your arm straight out becomes easier, try raising your opposite leg at the same time, and repeat steps 1 through 5.

Lower abdominal strengthening

Picture of how to do lower abdominal strengthening
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slide 8 of 8, Lower abdominal strengthening,
  1. Lie on your back with your knees bent and your feet flat on the floor.
  2. Tighten your belly muscles by pulling your belly button in toward your spine.
  3. Lift one foot off the floor and bring your knee toward your chest, so that your knee is straight above your hip and your leg is bent like the letter "L."
  4. Lift the other knee up to the same position.
  5. Lower one leg at a time to the starting position.
  6. Keep alternating legs until you have lifted each leg 8 to 12 times.
  7. Be sure to keep your belly muscles tight and your back still as you are moving your legs. Be sure to breathe normally.

Follow-up care is a key part of your treatment and safety. Be sure to make and go to all appointments, and call your doctor or nurse call line if you are having problems. It's also a good idea to know your test results and keep a list of the medicines you take.

Where can you learn more?

Go to http://www.healthwise.net/ed

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