Getting a good night's rest can be challenging when your hips start to hurt in the dead of night. There may be many potential causes for this pain, and some may be more manageable than others. Still, you'll want to explore all the possibilities and find the root cause before using stretching techniques or medications.
If hip pain prevents you from finding a comfortable sleeping position, continue reading on because we will cover some of the most common reasons for hip joint pain at night and offer advice on getting a deeper sleep without affecting your day-to-day activities.
Common Causes of Nighttime Hip Pain
Several things can cause hip pain at night. The most common conditions are discussed below.
Pregnant women know how pregnancy can take a toll on their bodies. One area that is affected by this process is the hips, causing many pregnant women to experience what is known as pelvic pain.
While many factors play into this discomfort, the physical changes in your body will stress your lower back and gluteal area, resulting in a weakened hip joint, which causes bone-related pain.
This relaxation leads to the loosening of ligaments and connective tissues, leading to what those familiar with it best describe as pelvic girdle pain (PGP) during pregnancy.
Changing your sleeping position might be a good idea if you often wake up with hip pain. You may put excess pressure on your hip if you are a side sleeper. Try flipping onto a slightly different side or laying on your back until the hip pain is gone.
You could also put a pillow under or between your knees for support. Another aspect that should be considered is what type of mattress you use. If your mattress is too soft or firm, it won't give you adequate support for the amount of stress and pressure the hips undergo from moving or simply standing in place all day long.
Your body has many fluid-filled sacs that protect your joints by offering a cushion between bones and muscles. These fluid-filled sacs are called bursae; sometimes, they can become inflamed, causing pain day and night.
Since bursitis is an inflammation of the bursa, it becomes aggravated if the patient has been sitting for long periods or following any form of physical activity. Sleeping on the affected side becomes very difficult due to the constant pain caused.
Fortunately, with rest, medication, and sometimes patience, this condition can heal, and patients may be able to sleep again.
Osteoarthritis of the hip is a condition that takes time to develop and unavoidably will only worsen over time. Symptoms are worsened by rising inflammation, increased pain, and extreme stiffness and irritation in the patient.
Several methods of alleviating pain, such as heat, exercise, and medication, have proven effective. With osteoarthritis of the hip being a chronic problem, it will never go away.
Hip tendonitis is an inflammation of the tendons (which connect bone to muscle), causing you to feel achy and sore when moving or waking up in the morning. It's caused by overuse or injury.
Here are some additional things for how Hip pain at night can be caused:
- Arthritis: Arthritis is the inflammation of joints, which can cause pain, stiffness, and swelling in any joint, including the hip joint.
- Sciatica: Sciatica is a condition where the pain radiates from the lower back down to the leg due to a pinched nerve in the lower back.
- Piriformis syndrome: Piriformis syndrome is a condition that causes pain in the buttock and hip. It is caused by the piriformis muscle, a small muscle that helps rotate the hip.
- Mattress: A too-soft or firm mattress can also cause hip pain.
- Weight gain: Excess weight can stress the hip joint and cause pain.
Best Sleeping Positions for Hip Pain
One should always assume there is more than one way to sleep regarding relieving hip pain. The position of your body on any given night depends on the source of your discomfort. For example, you may prefer sleeping with a pillow between your knees if you suffer from lower back pain.
Alternating between being placed on your side and then back in bed every two hours could help alleviate knee or hip pains! Pillows keep our bodies aligned to reduce any strains caused by poor posture during our waking hours throughout the day when we're moving around.
Tips for Sleeping with Hip Pain
An Everywhere Versatile Microwaveable herbal heating pad or hot water bottle is a great way to relax the muscles affected by hip pain, and this relief can be used anywhere from home to the office. According to the Arthritis Foundation, warm temperatures also increase blood flow, which relieves inflammation and can help speed healing time.
SACKSY THYME Microwaveable heating pad for Hip Pain:
As stated in Good Housekeeping, heat is also great for reducing stiffness after waking up, which could mean less pain if you have arthritis.
However, remember that you should always wear a shirt and keep the heat at least ten inches away from your skin so as not to cause any severe burns!
Over-the-counter anti-inflammatory drugs like ibuprofen and naproxen are great options for reducing hip pain at night. Consuming a painkiller like this can reduce your hip pain so that you can fall asleep more quickly, leaving you more refreshed during the day.
However, it's always a good idea to check with your doctor first because some medicines may trigger specific side effects.
Practice Good Sleep Hygiene
We all want a good night's sleep, but it's hard when our schedules fill that day and leave little room for rest. Practicing good sleep hygiene is one way to ensure you're resting at night.
It means avoiding your phone or computer for an hour before bed, going to bed simultaneously every night, and staying away from caffeine and alcohol. A consistent nighttime schedule will signal to your brain that it's time for sleep, helping you fall asleep faster and stay asleep all night.
Exercises & Physical Therapy
Talk to a physical therapist and tell them you have hip pain while sleeping. Let your physical therapist know that you are experiencing discomfort in different ways, like having trouble sleeping at night or waking up with significant hip pain.
Stretching and exercising in a routine will help relieve tight muscles, letting your physical therapist ease the pain in your dysfunctional hips.
It is easier said than done, but you need to do it. You can avoid the sleep troubles slowing you down by implementing simple home routines to help keep your stress levels low.
Participate in low-impact exercises like yoga, swimming, or walking (which reduce blood pressure and improve blood flow).
Engage in daily meditation or mindfulness activities and take a quick break for five minutes of deep breathing during the day. Hip pain can suck the energy out, so give yourself time to rest!
Tips for preventing hip pain at night
Here are some tips to help prevent hip pain at night:
- Lose weight if you are overweight or obese. Excess weight can put stress on the hip joint.
- Choose a mattress that is supportive and comfortable. A mattress that is too soft or too firm can cause hip pain.
- Avoid sleeping on your side with your hip flexed. This can put pressure on the hip joint.
- Use a pillow between your legs to keep your hips aligned. This can help to reduce pain.
- Stretch your hips and legs before bed. This can help to improve flexibility and reduce pain.
- Get regular exercise. Exercise can help strengthen the hip joint muscles and reduce pain.
Following these tips can help prevent hip pain at night and enjoy a good night's sleep.
Reduce Hip Pain at Night
Hip pain at night can make sleeping a difficult task. The first step is to identify the cause of your pain, whether arthritis, an injury, or tendonitis--knowing the cause will make treatment more successful.
Some treatments are simple—an herbal heating pad, anti-inflammatory medication, and gentle exercise. Before you begin treatment, talk to your doctor so he can develop a plan specific to your needs and goals.