Will my hip popping affect my joint and muscles when I'm older?

There are multiple reasons why people may experience hip popping, and some of these conditions may be painful or painless. The long-term outcome of popping or snapping hips depends on the underlying problem as well as the chosen treatment. Snapping or popping hips, often called "coxa saltans," can be divided into three main categories: external, internal, and intra-articular. External and internal snapping hip causes are usually due to muscle tendons stretching and pulling over bony structures or bursa. Bursa are the "cushions" between tendons and bones, and these can often get inflamed and lead to long-term pain and scarring. The third type of snapping hip syndrome comes from within the hip joint itself and may be due to tears or breakdown of cartilage.

Prognosis of any of these snapping hip syndromes depends on the severity and the attempted treatments. Often rest, ice, and anti-inflammatory medication is sufficient for complete resolution with no long-term complications. In some cases, steroid injections into the hip will cure symptoms, or, in some cases, surgery is required. In general, snapping or popping of the hip usually means that there is an underlying problem, and unless properly examined and appropriately treated, it is possible that long-term problems could result.
Kathleen Porter
Alternative & Complementary Medicine
Chronic popping in the hip joint is often an indication of misalignment of the hip socket. Babies and toddlers are the role models for how to stand and bend, and those people in the world who never lose what we all learn when figuring out how to become upright, are the ones who age with easy flexibility and few joint problems, sometime even into old age. Tendons snapping across a bone can lead to a more serious problem down the road, such as destruction of cartilage in the joint, unless the misalignment that is causing the problem in the first place is not resolved.
Aaron Nelson
Sports Medicine
If you have chronic popping in the hip joint, you should have it examined by a orthopedist. The presence of pain is also a major indicator to have it examined. If the issue is not addressed, it is possible for athritis to develop as you get older. If the popping is being caused by a tendon snapping across a bone, you could develop issues in which the tendon and muscles weaken and cause chronic pain and inflammation.

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.