What to do About Hip Pain While Sleeping
I invite you to read through this article to see if what I went through, relates to your current experience with hip pain at night when trying to get some wanted sleep!
Sleep becomes futile really when your hips ache and throb with intense pain at night in bed. Tossing and turning in agony, unfortunately, I can relate!
On most occasions, the pain used to come when I’m lying on one side. So much so that my joints started to become inflamed and inevitably became too difficult to move.
Another main problem when people experience hip-pain-at-night, is that it often tends to spill over into the next day at work or wherever you maybe!
Not fun right? Affecting your mobility and energy levels at work, home and/or play and recreation.
There are many possible causes of hip pain at night so let’s go through some of the most common for you.
More importantly, there are some techniques I’ll write about, and remedies I use myself, that can help you get your much deserved sleep and rest at night-time, giving you back the spring in your walk during the day when you need it most.
9 Causes of Hip Pain at Night with Remedies
Like millions of other people who suffer from hip pain at night, I felt like my life had been put on hold.
No sleep at night and difficult movement during the day made life miserable!
I could not figure out what was wrong.
I had an athletic frame, and I religiously stuck to a healthy diet and worked out regularly.
It felt like such a mismatched experience I was going through.
The more I worked out, the more I could not sleep at night time.
I took several pain medications and muscle relaxants, but none seemed to work or did at times, but I simply didn’t want to be reliant on these.
Because of the persistent nightly pain, finally I took it upon myself to dig deeper into the causes of hip pain to learn how to relieve my own.
I researched scientific papers, I consulted doctors and even talked to physiotherapists.
I’m a bit like a freak doing the details! I took a path less traveled with non-medical remedies.
Below are some reasons why people experience hip pain at night, and what you can do about it.
Sleeping on an uncomfortable mattress
It may at foremost, be a mattress problem before it’s a medical problem. It’s true!
To find out if your mattress is the cause of your hip pain, you have to change it for a few days for another mattress, potentially a higher quality one.
Yes I understand this is going to cost some money, but seriously, this could eradicate your pain at night when sleeping as well.
After changing out your mattress, see if you feel or have any difference in terms of improved comfort while sleeping, therefore a decrease in pain at night.
If the answer is yes, then you have won this mini battle for a better nights sleep.
When shopping for your new bedding’s, find a mattress with foam that can conform to your body so that your shoulders, back, and pelvis are comfortably aligned.[More importantly, find real time consumer reviews that will help you make a more informed buying decision.]
That will help to take the pressure off from your hips, and other areas of your body for a good night sleep.
One other thing to consider- chose a mattress that matches your size! So often this is not taken into consideration.
I’m 6ft 4in so I definitely have a big bed that accommodates my height and size and weight.
Your body weight and sleeping position come into play a great deal when it comes to experiencing hip pain at night.
If you are a little weightier, go for a thin yet firm mattress to help equally distribute weight of your body without too much sagging.
Fit and athletic individuals should consider a heavier mattress that conforms to the shape of their body.
Find one that offers firm support for your back while reducing pressure on the hips. Online reviews or a very helpful shop assistant will help you out the most with this.
One thing I would like to mention is Inner Spring Mattresses. I would definitely NOT recommend this type for any kind of Hip Pain or Back Pain.
You need FIRM.
Much of the body’s weight is transferred to the hip area when sleeping on an innerspring mattress.
To make matters worse, innerspring mattresses don’t give the required support for the parts of the body that need this the most such as your waist and hips.
If there is no support, it will allow your spine to sag and contort your spine. This is not what you want.
Also, old beds will generally sag EXACTLY where your hips need that support which will inevitably create a curve in your spine which could create further pain issues in other parts of your body.
An excellent high quality memory foam mattress may just be the answer you’ve been waiting for.
Soreness from exercise/work
We all work, it’s a fact of life, well most of the world does. And as such, we can really wear ourselves down without even know it.
I have and I bet you have as well.
So I’ll explain some anatomy here: The hip is joined to the pelvis by a cushion of cartilage which helps to prevent friction between the hip and the socket bone.
With constant use and aging, the set of muscles of course just get worn out and sore.
Working out, in a gym or at home if your disciplined enough to exercise, definitely helps to keep your hips strong and sturdy.
Hip exercises however if not done right can boomerang on you, with a domino effect of pain that then begins to spreads to your lower back, hips and ankles.
So what do you need to do?
Use the RICE technique.
Rest it off. Before the situation gets worse, before the pain spreads to other areas of your body, it’s wise to reduce the pressure on your affected hip.
Rest means you entirely give time for your hip bone to fully recover.
It might mean a week off your work, sport you do or an exercise routine.
Ice is the best home remedy for pain and inflammation. It works better when combined with rest.
Place an ice pack on the affected area three or four times a day for 10 minutes.
Compression will help with muscle strain or any hip bone pain issues. Wrap it thick in the joint between the pelvis and hip.
Elevation, just like it works for ankles and knees also provides relief for injured hips. Put your feet up in a reclining position to reduce swelling and get rid of some of the pain.
A sedentary lifestyle, among other conditions, will cause you hip pain. When you spend the most part of your day sitting, or not moving much, you create tension and tightness on the hip flexors.
These are a set of muscles of the thighs that serve to connect the leg to the hip.
Also, note that the problem of tight hips is not just limited to the people who don’t work out or move much as some would think.
Even athletes and gym enthusiasts without the right work out knowledge can still suffer from tense flexors and the subsequent hip pain that eventuates at night.
Some of the hip flexors include Iliopsoas, rectus femoris, tensor fasciae late and Sartorius.
Generally, tense hips are caused by one or a combination of; long periods of standing or sitting, a tipped pelvis, sleeping on one side of the body all night long, postural imbalance-one leg longer than the other and leaning over one leg/hip when standing.
How can you tell that you have a case of tight hips?
It is a major pain and discomfort that will obviously alert you something is not quite right.
In some cases, however, this may be associated by pain in the knees, hamstrings or lower back pain that connects to the hip.
A preventative measure to avoid tight hips, is to take regular breaks from work or whatever it is you may be doing, so you can stand up and start to move around.
When exercising, do ensure you warm up properly before going at it hard out. I pretty much stretch automatically these days.
In saying that I didn’t at first and what a mistake that was.
Proper stretching and massages can also help heal tense hips and reduce hip pain at night. Recommended stretching exercises for hip pain include using a foam roller stretch, horizontal squat stretch, Spiderman stretch and Pigeon stretch.
The hip bone includes a small set of fluid-filled pads that serve to cushion the joint in movement by reducing friction between tissues. These sacks are called Bursae.
Bursitis is a condition when the bags become inflamed, causing hip pain in general and in some cases, at night when sleeping on either left or right side.
This inflammation of hip joints can be due to a repetitive movement as in the case of work or play, it can also be due to a sudden impact on the area, or a severe injury. Old age or as we age, it becomes naturally a contributing factor.
Symptoms of Bursitis include pain in the inner and outer thigh, sudden sharp pain when the area is touched, pain when you stand up after long hours of sitting or when climbing stairs and pain at night when you sleep on the affected hip.
Just like the case for hip injury and soreness, treatment for Bursitis includes Rest and Ice.
This is a type of arthritis that mostly happens when the inflammation or injury to the joints causes the breakdown of cartilage tissue. That means the shock absorbing function of these tissues at the joint become compromised.
Joint movement, therefore, becomes quite painful.
Among the top causes of osteoarthritis include injury, obesity/overweight, and aging.
You will know you have this condition by a crunching feeling from bone friction when you try to walk, swelling in the hip joint and stiffness when getting up out of bed.
Patients with hip osteoarthritis will display trouble in walking. The pain resulting from the hip in most cases spreads to the thighs, the groin or knees. It’s usually either a dull or sharp hip pain at night.
To remedy osteoarthritis and stop hip pain at night while sleeping on either side, you can take a long rest and allow time for the joint to heal, use a walking stick if you need to, to take the stress off the affected hip or numb the pain with some ice packs.
This an inflammation of the tendons that link the hip bone to the pelvis socket bone. It is caused by repetitive movements such as these in work and play –gardening, shoveling, tennis, and golf among others.
But that’s not all. You are at high risk of tendinitis and excruciating hip pain at night if you don’t warm up before exercises, you don’t stretch after workouts, or you take an incorrect posture while doing manual work.
Even though anyone can get Tendinitis, it is more prone to adults aged over 40.
How do you stop tendinitis?
Avoid intense exercise or work activities that might simply aggravate or worsen this situation. Again rest the painful area and let it heal.
Apply ice bags on the affected area.
To prevent tendinitis, you need to take it slow when working out or doing anything, and build the momentum gradually with time.
Also, it’s advisable to use limited force and to do just a moderate number of repetitions.
Sciatica is one of the top causes of lower back pain and hip pain at night. It is the irritation that results after the inflammation of the sciatic nerve- the most prominent body.
The sciatic nerve stretches from the lumbar spine to the legs and feet.
Symptoms of Sciatica include lower back pain, numbness and a burning sensation along the back, legs, thighs, and hips, and general weakness in the legs.
It turns out that the risk factors for sciatica are not any different from the other conditions described above. They include old age, obesity, work that required you to carry heavy loads and prolonged sitting.
In this case, however, the sciatic nerve inflammation and hip pain at night can also be due to diabetes.
Sciatica can be relieved by massage and physiotherapy; among many other solutions, the doctor may recommend.
Preventive measures include proper and regular exercise. Get a chiropractor’s advice on the types of workouts that suit the lower back and hips.
You also ought to maintain a straight end when lifting heavy loads- let your lower back and hips do the work.
Pelvic or gynecological issues.
Many cases of hip pain at night in women are due to gynecological problems. Doctors advise women not to assume bursitis, tendinitis or arthritis immediately, especially young adults to middle-aged women.
Endometriosis, for instance, is a condition where the uterus lining develops in the wrong area, casing pelvis tenderness and inflammation. It manifests in the form of frontal hip pain among women mostly.
On the other hand, an inguinal hernia is a common occurrence in pregnant women. It is brought about by the fetus adding extra pressure on the abdomen and the pelvic muscles.
Symptoms here include a bulge or lump in the affected area. Often you will spot a swollen lump either side of the pubic bone where your groin and thighs join.
Other symptoms include pain and heaviness in the stomach, a burning sensation and pain in the lower abdomen when bending, coughing or laughing.
In this type of surgery, the whole hip joint is fully removed and alternatively replaced with an artificial one. The artificial hip is made of ceramic, metal or hard plastic- these material are resistant to corrosion and breakages.
Hip replacement surgery is a corrective / treatment measure against chronic hip pain.
In some isolated cases, people may experience hip pain after the surgery. There is usually an underlying problem when this occurs.
It could be that you have developed an infection in the newly operated area.
The quickest remedy to that is the use of antibiotics. [Please speak with your doctor about this first].
However, if you have a significant disease in the area of the artificial hip joint, a second surgery would be necessary to remove and replace the joint.
Also, pains after hip replacement surgery could indicate a loose implant. Even though such cases are rare these days because of improved technology, a loose implant should promptly be identified and fixed.
To be on the safe side, until healing occurs entirely, keep in touch with the surgeon who performed the hip replacement surgery.
The bottom-line is:
Yes, there could be more than 100 reasons for that uncomfortable pain in your hips at night. Nonetheless, most of these causes can be targeted with simple non-drug and no-invasive procedures.
The techniques above helped me to conquer hip pain at night
Medication is essential in addressing chronic conditions of hip pain. These include arthritis and hip replacement surgery.
Always consult a doctor if exercise, rest, ice and elevation don’t seem to alleviate pain.
If you have other ways of dealing with hip pain, share in the comment section below. Good luck. Goodnight.