Hip Pain at Night: Causes and Treatment
Updated: Apr 27
Nothing ruins a good night's sleep like pain, and hip pain can be tough to bear. It can make it hard to fall asleep, keep you waking up multiple times a night and drain you of your energy.
Hip pain at night can be caused by multiple things, from uncomfortable positions to bad mattresses to various illnesses. It may be hard to find relief for hip pain at night, but if you figure out what is causing it, it's your first step to managing the problem and symptoms.
However, addressing the issue with a professional is the only way to progress and reduce suffering.
Keep reading to learn more about hip pain at night, its causes, and how to manage it and sleep better.
Most Common Causes of Hip Pain at Night
Hip pain during the day is generally caused by bearing weight on them, too much pressure, or movement. When we're lying down or sleeping, these causes are irrelevant. We usually experience outer hip pain (during the day and night) because of arthritis, tendonitis, bursitis, and similar conditions related to muscles, tendons, and ligaments.
To find the proper treatment for hip pain from sleeping on side or generally hip pain while sleeping, it's essential to get correctly diagnosed and get it done sooner rather than later.
Postponing the visit to the doctor when you experience hip pain lying down or waiting for things to "sort themselves out" can worsen the condition.
The most common causes of hip pain at night are:
Osteoarthritis & arthritis
Lower back pain
Bursitis is when your joint sacs full of fluid called bursae become inflamed, and you experience various symptoms such as pain on the outside of your hip and upper thigh.
The pain is generally sharp, very intense, and gentle to the touch.
You may also experience pain when standing up, climbing stairs, taking long walks, squatting as well as pain during the night when putting pressure.
Actually, pain may worsen during the night when lying on the hip.
Osteoarthritis & Arthritis
Osteoarthritis and arthritis are pretty common hip conditions; these include rheumatoid arthritis, psoriatic arthritis, and septic arthritis.
These cause pain in the groin, thigs, knees, buttocks, and hips that keep you up at night. It may worsen during rainy weather, after sitting a long time, or in the morning (stiffness).
Tendonitis affects the tendons that attach muscles to bone and enable movement. Hip tendonitis is an inflammation that causes pain in the groin and buttocks that can be intensified by climbing the stairs or similar activities. The continuation of that pain may last well into the evening or even the night.
Those who have experienced sciatica pain know how uncomfortable it is and that it may lead to numbness and tingling in the lower back, buttocks, hip, legs, and feet.
The sciatic-piriformis syndrome may not only cause discomfort or pain in the hip but also a burning sensation or throbbing pain in your calf and foot. Many people get awoken multiple times at night.
Pregnant women experience various side effects and discomfort. Later in the pregnancy, the extra weight adds more pressure on the spine and hips and may lead to pain in the hip during the night.
Stretching and adjusting sleeping poses are essential for reducing the hip pat and other discomforts.
Why is There Hip Pain From Sleeping On The Side
Hip pain at night lying on the side can be caused by such a simple thing as putting a lot of pressure on the hip joint when sleeping. An incorrect sleeping position or a too soft or too hard mattress may trigger pressure points and leave your hips sore in the morning.
If you're experiencing hip pain from sleeping on your side, you probably sleep primarily on your side and not the back or chest, so it's key to try different poses or put a pillow between your knees to keep the hips aligned.
The conditions we've discussed above can also be causes of your hip pain when sleeping on the side.
How to Relieve Hip Pain While Sleeping
Many people wonder how to relieve hip pain while sleeping, and there are quite a few things anyone can do to feel better and enjoy a full night's sleep free from pain and discomfort.
Immediate pain relief
The worst thing is when the pain keeps you from falling asleep or wakes you up at night (sometimes even multiple times). In this case, you need immediate pain relief to get back to your rest.
Here's what you can do:
Change your sleeping position. Try a few sleeping positions to find the one that bothers you the least. Sleeping on your back may be the best choice, but try your chest and other positions too.
Use a pillow. A pillow can be beneficial when thinking about how to help hip pain or hip impingement while sleeping. Place it between the legs to keep the hips in a more normal position and reduce stress and pain. You can also get a wedge-shaped pillow or fold a blanket to put under the hips and relieve pressure. If you have the sciatic-piriformis syndrome, place a pillow under the knees.
Take painkillers. Over-the-counter non-steroidal anti-inflammatories such as ibuprofen and naproxen can help relieve pain and allow you to sleep. Still, talk to your doctor before you self-medicate.
Use ice or heat. If you're experiencing swelling, have arthritis, or muscle spasms, ice or heat can help reduce the pain and other symptoms. Use an ice pack or a heating pad to apply directly to your skin.
Long-term pain relief
While short-term and immediate pain relief can help you, if you're experiencing hip pain lying down, you need long-term relief that will help get rid of the pain for good.
First of all, you may want to change your mattress or add a pad to even out the weight distribution.
Doing some low-impact exercise like swimming, yoga, or easy hikes can also benefit you and reduce the pain.
Make sure you also stretch before bed and during the day to gain flexibility and improve your circulation. You can even do it during the workday by getting up and doing a few simple stretching exercises.
One of the easiest ones is the butterfly stretch. Sit on the ground, bend your legs, bring the soles of your feet together and let the knees fall out to the sides.
Besides the stretches and other adjustments, talk to your doctor or physical therapist about different treatments and therapies that may help you reduce pain.
These treatments include:
Getting physical therapy and trying different modalities like massages, ultrasound, electrical stimulation, etc.
Hip resurfacing procedure to replace damaged hip bone.
Total hip replacement surgery (arthroplasty).
Removing fluid from the bursa.
Arthroscopic surgery to remove the bursa.
Steroid, cortisone injections, hyaluronic acid injections.
Various arthritis medicines.
Arthroscopy to remove loose pieces of cartilage or bone spurs.
Sleep Hygiene and Self Care
When talking about how to ease hip pain while sleeping, it's essential to address self-care and proper sleep hygiene.
Eat a healthy diet, do not sit too much, do at least minimal exercise daily and reduce or eliminate consumption of alcohol and caffeine.
Have a sleep schedule and get up and go to bed at the same time every day.
Air out your room and adjust the temperature to cooler for better sleep quality.
Minimize sleeping distractions like TVs, phones, computers, and sounds from outside.
Take a warm bath a couple of hours before bed to relax your muscles and nerves and soothe you.
Relax before bed by having a nice cup of herbal tea, don't watch too much television
When You Should See a Doctor
While many of these therapies and strategies may help you reduce your hip pain when sleeping and improve the quality of your sleep, if the pain doesn't subside or go away, you should ask your doctor for more serious help.
You should never postpone your visit if you experience symptoms like the inability to move your hip or leg, putting the weight on the hip, extreme and intense pain and swelling, fever, and redness.
Your doctor will do a proper examination, assess your range of motion, and look for signs of disorders and illnesses like arthritis.
Hip pain at night is annoying and affects your entire life. Feeling exhausted can trigger other conditions, make you restless and moody, and untreated hip conditions lead to even more issues.
If you're not getting enough sleep, you should consult with your doctor or physical therapist and get diagnosed. Once you have your diagnosis, a proper treatment plan and lifestyle adjustments can make a huge difference.
Treatments may include surgery, injections, different physical therapy modalities, and medicine, but you should also focus on exercise, a healthy diet, a proper sleeping routine, and a comfortable mattress.
Don't leave your hip pain unaddressed and untreated, and get in touch with a professional right away, so you can lead a healthy, comfortable, and pain-free life. Book an appointment at one of Miracle Rehab Clinic locations today and make your pain go away quickly.