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Osteopathy for the dancer

Osteopathy for the Dancer

Dr Justine Garnes is an Osteopath with a love for treating musicians, performing artists and dancers.

The famous ‘clicky hip’

There are a few questions I get asked as an osteopath when I first meet them. And I have to say the most common question is:

“What is that click in my hips? Feel it, feel it…” CLUNK

So as a very simple guidline:

  1. The Front Kick Snap = Hip flexor dysfunction
  2. The Side Kick Snap = ITB dysfunction
  3. The Back Kick Snap = Hamstring dysfunction

.. BUT these are usually a secondary problem to a primary problem in the rest of the body.


Here is a classic example of what I regularly see in dancers:


A dancer has a snapping left hip, which is becoming painful. She favours her left leg front in the splits. She had problems getting in and out of the car. But no matter how much she stretches it isn’t helping.

spine picture justine


Her spine was curved (scoliosis) and rotated to the left. Her left hip flexor was not working properly due to the scoliosis. Thereby making an incorrect placement of the hip joint compared to the rest of her body causing a ‘click’

THEREFORE.. no matter how hard she tries to stretch her hips it does not improve because the spine needed to be adjusted back into alignment. Stretching your hips may actually be the wrong thing to do. It could actually be making your symptoms worse and it definitely could be over stretching your hip ligaments.


Advice and Treatment for the ‘Clicky Hip’

Get an appropriate assessment and a realignment of the spine. Make sure you obtain a good understanding yourself from your osteopath so you know you “Do’s and Don’ts” of your stretches.

Get an appropriate treatment and management plan. A dancer’s body is always put under some sort of strain. Maintenance treatment of once every 4-6 weeks can be a good idea once your spine is aligned.

Get that ‘click’ sorted sooner rather than later. The longer you leaver the longer it can take to improve.

And… DON’T OVERSTRETCH. Seek a practitioner who can tell you what is happening at your spine and get appropriate treatment.

Experienced osteopaths for dancers understand the strain your body is under and the need to recovery quickly for both employment and the passion for dance you probably have.

To book appointments:

online at

Phone: 03 9908 2844

Mobile (Text/SMS): 0421 087 564



Monday-Friday 7:30am-9pm

Saturday from 7:30am

Please feel free to call Middle Park Osteo for an appointment or any questions about our osteo clinic in St Kilda West. 03 9908 2844 or text 0421 087 564.

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