Snapping Hip Syndrome

     A very common question you will hear asked by students in a dance class is, “Is it bad for my hip to pop every time I kick to the side.” Teachers always say, “If the popping doesn’t hurt, then you’ll be fine.”, but I have always wondered the cause of this loud noise. 

     It turns out that this popping noise is called Snapping Hip Syndrome. This snapping noise or sensation is caused by a tendon or ligament rolling over a bone. Although the popping is usually painless and harmless, it could eventually turn into bursitis, a painful swelling of the fluid-filled sacs that cushion the hip joint. The ball and socket joint of the hip bone fits into the cup shaped socket inn the pelvis (acetabulum), which is surrounded by strong fibrocartilage for support. Layers of ligaments and tendons surround the hip, connecting the muscles to the bones. Bursea, fluid filled sacs, are located around the bone to provide smooth movement. Any alteration, or tightness to a ligament, tendon, or muscle, will cause them to not correctly slide past the bone.

     The most common place for the snapping hip to occur is on the outside of the hip, when the illoitibial band passes over the thigh bone. When the hip is straight, the band is in front of the bone, but when the hip is bent, it has to move behind the bone. A dancers illoitibial band is usually tighter than the average person’s, so the smooth moving of the band of the bone becomes harder. 

     If a person has snapping hip syndrome, it is recommends to reduce the activity level and modify the sport. If pain persists, getting a doctor examination may be wise. From there they will examine you case and usually send you to physical therapy, where they will show you stretches for the illoitibial band and the piriformiis. Loosening these muscles should reduce the pain. If one’s body is not responding to the physical therapy, a doctor may recommend looking into having surgery. Although not many have surgery due to this syndrome, it sometimes is the only way for the injury to heal.

Source: http://orthoinfo.aaos.org/topic.cfm?topic=A00363   

Eversion Ankle Sprain

     Recently, I have been having ankle pain on the interior side of my ankle. Because the injury has not gotten better, I decided to look up the possible problem and ways to cease the pain. 

     Most ankle injuries, such as typical ankle sprains, occur to the ligaments on the outside of one’s foot. There is another type of sprain called an eversion ankle sprain, which injures the deltoid ligament (on the inside of one’s foot). This type happens if the ankle turns laterally beyond ligament and muscular control. This is common in activities that require a lot of jumping, like dancing. 

     To help heal faster, it suggested to do range of motion and strengthening exercises. The range of motion exercises include pulling back on a towel wrapped around your foot for a stretch and tracing the alphabet in the air with your toes. To regain strength, it is recommended to do thera band exercises and balancing exercises to make the ankle muscles stronger. 

The Structure of the Foot

     For dancers, the foot plays a large role in the ability to perform movements. It needs to be strong and flexible in order to endure much pressure and still look aesthetically pleasing at the end of lines and extensions. The foot contains 26 bones, 31 joints, and 20 intrinsic muscles. Each part of the foot plays a key role in creating a balance of mobility and stability. Ankle injuries such as sprains or injuries to the Achilles tendon occur frequently in dancers. A sprain is caused by rolling the ankle outward and rupturing the fibers of the external lateral ligament. The deltoid (internal) ligament is hardly ever injured because it is much stronger. Although also one of the toughest tendons in the body, the Achilles tendon is also prone to injury. This tendon is connected from the calf muscle to underneath the heel. The calf muscle is constantly working in dance, so when it is tight, it pulls on the Achilles tendon causing pain. Many other parts of the foot are connected higher up in the leg, so proper stretching and loosening of the muscles in the leg will reduce the risk of injury in your ankle.