What Does It Mean if Your Hip Feels Like It Needs to Pop But It Won’t?

July 15, 2023

After spending a long day going through strenuous activities, do you ever feel like cracking your joints? Maybe you stretch your arms, trying to loosen up because your body feels stiff. Perhaps engage in some toe touches, only to find a popping sensation pulse in your legs — more specifically, your hips. You try stretching out, hoping the joint will crack. However, it only ends up bringing an additional load of pain and discomfort. What does this mean? Why does your hip feel like it needs to be popped but won’t? Should you be worried? Once you’re done reading this blog, you will have a clear-cut answer to all your questions and more, so let’s get right to it.

Why Does My Hip Feel Like It Needs To Pop But Won’t?

Usually, a hip that feels like it needs to pop is a sign of tension or tightness in the surrounding area. Your hip joint may be strong and durable, but unfortunately, it is not invincible. With poor posture and sudden jerky movements, you can offset the alignment within your body, leading to excruciating pain.

At times, the uncomfortable feeling could also be due to a lack of lubrication between the joints, which can further lead to inflammation. Depending on the intensity of the pain, however, it is best to consult a medical professional for more details on the matter.

Causes of Hip Pain

Surprisingly enough, hip pain is quite a normal occurrence, and it can be brought on by the following causes:

  1. Arthritis
    Osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis are two of the most common reasons behind joint pain, including the hips. It can inflame your joints, breaking down the cushiony cartilage in between. This causes a lot of pain which tends to worsen over time.
  2. Bursitis
    Bursitis is a condition that affects the bursae, leaving them inflamed and irritated. Bursae are the tiny sacs of fluid that sit between your bones and muscles, protecting them from harm. If these sacs get damaged, the tissues and ligaments in your body will rub against each other, causing the hip joint to wear away.
  3. Hip Fracture
    While a hip fracture is rare, it is not impossible. People with weak bones or those who are older are much more likely to fracture their hips, especially if they fall on their side.
  4. Sciatica
    Sciatica is a condition that is known to be extremely painful since it is caused by a pinched nerve. It results from sports injuries and minor accidents like sleeping in the wrong position. Ultimately, sciatica can give way to pain and built-up pressure in the hip.
  5. Snapping Hip
    Dancer’s hip or snapping hip syndrome is when a muscle slides over the pointed bone of your hip. You could be standing, walking, running, or simply sitting, and a loud popping sound would illicit from your joints at the tiniest movement. This is typically painless, but it can get annoying if proper care s not taken in time.

How Do You Pop a Stubborn Hip?

The best way to pop your hip safely is by visiting a physical therapy specialist. You can also see your doctor and tell them about the sensation. An experienced medical professional will diagnose the problem much faster and issue a treatment immediately. You can also try icing the area and soothing your muscles by doing gentle yoga stretches.

Long Story Short

If your hip ever feels like it needs to pop, but it won’t actually pop, do not try anything extreme. Wait it out and see whether or not there is pain. Try following the RICE method. However, if the feeling does not go away in a day or two, reach out to Mufaddal Gombera, MD, at (713) 794-3457 for more information. You can also visit us in person at the Texas Orthopedic Hospital at 7401 Main St, Houston, TX 77030.

Dr Gombera Cover

Dr. Gombera

Dr. Gombera, earned his medical degree from Baylor College of Medicine and completed his orthopedic surgery residency at the University of Michigan. Expanding his expertise, he undertook a sports medicine and arthroscopy fellowship at Northwestern University in Chicago. Recognized as a Super Doctors Rising Star and honored for patient care excellence at the University of Michigan, he holds multiple certifications and licenses, solidifying his dedication to delivering exceptional medical services.



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