Suffering from Hip Pain when Sitting and Lying Down?
I’m a fairly active individual and mom and I bet you are to! (or dad).
The problem I had was the feeling of quite severe hip pain when sitting and lying down.
This pain was seriously getting in the way of living my life!
It was not a tiny hip pain either that passes quickly after a few minutes. I wish it was.
Instead it lingered for what seemed like a very long time. Hour’s after even.
I knew I had to get this seen to as soon as possible, as I work (like you) and certainly can’t afford the time off wondering if the pain will go away by itself, or simply get worse.
I wasn’t going to gamble here, so made the decision to get to the bottom of what was causing my hip pain whenever I got up from sitting.
Whether I was at work or home or out and about, this sudden hip pain would just happen.
So I made an appointment to visit my doctor. I thought she may refer me to a physiotherapist? a chiropractor? I wasn’t sure.
It ended up, I went to see my doctor who told me it could be a multitude of many things I’m doing in my daily routine.
That response from my doctor didn’t help and to be honest, only got me more frustrated.
I work in an office setting, 5 days a week, 40 – 50 hours per week depending on when I can get childcare. Maybe you can relate.
I admit I do sit a considerable amount of the time during my work day, but I obviously have to – looking at a computer screen all day.
Maybe you can relate to that to.
I also tend to do a bit more work when I get home and the kids are asleep.
I guess that’s where thing’s changed for me in terms of my level of hip pain when ever I got up from sitting OR lying down.
My doctor had prescribed me some pain medication, but I wasn’t interested in these at all. I didn’t tell her that at the time, I just wanted to know my options which didn’t look promising.
Don’t get me wrong, I believe pain relief medication has it’s place in the process of healing any type of body pain, but for me I like to go as natural as possible.
So I started to do my own research and the first thing I started to review was indeed my daily routine.
This meant just “How Long” was I actually sitting down each day!
It was a lot!
I continued to do more research online, checking out forums with Hip Pain problems or similar to get a better insight.
So what follows below is a mini guide for YOU referring to:
Hip Pain when Sitting or Lying down
The likelihood for many people today, is that when you get up from reading this article, you may experience a little discomfort in your hip area.
Long-term sitting isn’t good for our joints!
I think most of us know that already.
Yet our modern lifestyles and work commitments mean we have to suffer through stiff joints and hip pain as a result.
Just as I mentioned earlier with the hours I sat when I worked in front of a computer all day.
We feel a little tightness in the muscles, and/or a little pain around the hip joint.
Sometimes it’s a like a short sharp stab. Brief at times, but you sure do feel it!
We may shrug off these small pain niggle’s and try and walk them off or think they’ll disappear in a few days.
There’s so much going on in our lives today, that it’s hard not to focus on our own well being.
However, the reality is, there are sometimes deeper issues causing these pain problems and we need to get these sorted urgently.
In this guide, I aim to take a closer look at the dangers of hip pain especially when it occurs after sitting and lying down.
I’ll take a look at the reasons for this. It’s more common than we think.
From there, I’ll look at some symptoms of hip pain and some early warning signs you can look out for.
Followed by a section on possible causes – from simple primary issues to more rare, serious conditions.
Finally, I’ll touch on some treatment options many people are doing today. Such as exercises, workplace adjustments, nutrition and medical intervention.
(please note that I am not a doctor and you should seek advice from your registered medical practitioner).
Can sitting too long cause hip pain?
Sitting down for too long is one of the primary causes of hip pain.
This constant position, bent and sometimes hunched over, allows the joints to seize up and other, secondary ailments usually occur.
Many people today experience this in their day-to-day lives. It’s not hard to believe, we see it everyday.
People work at desks for a few hours, to 8 hours or more.
Then go home, sit in front of TV again for a few hours or more, and later in their live’s, find themselves stricken with some kind of joint pain and discomfort when trying to move around.
One thing I believe we as humans have forgotten and failed maintain, is that the human body was not meant to remain sedentary!
Nor were our bodies meant to remain in position’s sitting especially, for LONG periods of time.
We’re talking hours of NO movement within our bodies.
That is obviously going to impact on the health of our bodies, specifically hips, lower back, neck, legs and so on.
Unfortunately, this is super common in today’s modern society.
Some people marvel at the fact our ancestors used to work in the fields or carry out hard labor for hours each day, long into their senior years.
But sadly, this seems unthinkable today when the average middle-aged American struggle’s with hip and other joint pains from NOT moving.
The problem is partly due to the shift from laborious work movements to now, the modern day desk job.
So many of us sit in front of computers in office chairs for hours on end daily.
I remember hearing Tony Robbins say, “We live in a box society, we wake up make a box lunch, jump in a box car, arrive at our box office, to work in a box cubicle.”
I know so many of us actually can’t help this, we have bills to pay etc but there is a way to at least alleviate some hip pain while we’re working, in our box cubicles or where ever we maybe.
At the end of the day, many of us sit period. Whether it be in a car seat for the long drive home, then come home only to sit in front of the TV, or jump online on our phones or laptops.
I know I changed this habit almost instantly once I became aware of just how much sitting I was doing.
I rarely watch any TV these days because of the constant sitting and the strain this put on my hips and lower back.
It’s all connected.
If I do, I limit this with a disciplined attitude. Or walk on my mini treadmill while watching longer programs.
But that’s me. You can make adjustments to your own life to help relieve joint pain. I definitely recommend checking your routine and sitting LESS.
All these sitting activities and other less common activities where sitting is required, leads to undue discomfort in our hips, lower back and legs.
These pains only worsens when we figure in some major diseases.
Arthritis is a common issue, and many feel it most strongly in the hip.
What does it feel like to have arthritis in your hip?
When our hips become affected by inflammatory arthritis they will start to feel stiff, awkward to move and painful.
You’ll struggle to move. No where near as easy as you used to, and you’ll see a significant noticeable change in your range of motion.
The pain can also manifest as a dull ache that extends further into the groin and buttocks, and/or even down the legs.
This pain is more extreme after major inactivity, which is why it can feel worse after sitting for long periods, or first thing in the morning.
If you believe your hips are out of alignment I would recommend reading our article on hip alignment symptoms.
What are the first signs of hip pain?
There are quite a few symptoms of hip pain that some will experience after periods of sitting.
Some of these will be common among many of us workers [as written above.] Some with more symptoms than just tight muscles.
In other cases, more severe pain exists and these could signify deeper joint issues.
The following three aspects are important signs to watch out for:
1) Pain and stiffness.
This is common in many people today and manifests as either muscle or bone pain. The bone pain tends to come from compression or inflammation around the joint.
Severe bone pain may also indicate complications due to arthritis. The muscle pain comes when the muscles around the hip are too tight, leading to inability to move more easily.
2) General loss of motion.
The pain in the bones and muscles around the hip are just the start. Some people may expect short-lived pain and stiffness as they get up and down.
Others may struggle with range of motion in their hips and pelvis. With time, this loss of flexibility will likely have a negative impact on daily living.
3) Numbness and pain in the legs.
Ongoing issues with hip pain can spread further down into the legs. Poor posture may be to blame for hip issues, but this can have a knock-on effect onto our knees and even ankles.
With this comes issues of muscle pain and circulation issues. This is why it is so important to try and tackle hip pain when you first notice it.
What causes hip pain after sitting?
Now that we know what to look out for with hip pain caused by sitting, we need to take a closer look at the potential causes.
Some of these are pretty common and occur at any time.
Then there are other issues related which are more serious and ongoing.
These may require more intensive treatment and management.
The primary cause of hip pain may be increased tightness of the muscles and inflammation.
Inflammation is more common these days due to our lifestyles, habits and diets and more.
Even the emotion of STRESS we feel over particular scenarios in our lives, can cause the body to react poorly including inflammation.
Also what foods we are consuming, how much and when, how much exercise we do,again the stress we feel, all have a big impact on inflammation within our bodies, therefore pain within our joints.
On a smaller scale, inflammation in the hip may increase if there are injuries near the hip itself.
Some people only need to strain a tendon or stub a toe to increase systemic inflammation.
Long periods of sitting only make the issue worse
There may also be some sort of nutritional issue at play here. A lack of calcium, magnesium or Vitamin B6 can cause the muscle to seize up and lose some of their efficiency.
Tight muscles draw upon magnesium to loosen up.
But, we may not have enough in our diets to compensate and provide enough pain relief.
Alternatively, the hip pain could be the result of a more significant condition. In some cases, this is a direct result of problems within the hip joint itself.
Psoriatic arthritis is one potential cause that some people may not have heard of. Arthritis commonly attacks the hip joints, but this is a more specific form. It develops in those with the skin condition psoriasis, leading to excessively sore and swollen joints.
Osteoporosis is another condition that might cause hip pain.
Then there are conditions where the discomfort is the result of referred pain, rather than a direct problem.
This means that there is a condition elsewhere within the body, but the pain presents itself in the hip.
Once such example is Trochanteric Bursitis. Bursa are fluid-filled sacs that lie near our joints.
If these sacs become inflamed or irritated, this can cause pain within the hip.
Finally, there will be rare cases when the pain in the hip is not the result of muscle issues or joint inflammation, but rather a more serious problem within the hip.
There could be some form of infection within the bone or hip joint that requires immediate attention. The worst case scenario is that there may be signs of bone cancer.
If doctors cannot determine one of the potential causes above, or the situation worsens, they may refer you for scans and x-rays.
The sooner you detect bone cancer, the easier it is to treat.
How do you relieve hip pain after sitting?
Now that we have a better idea of the causes and symptoms of hip pain from long-term sitting, let’s take a look at some potential treatment options.
The first place to start is with small, consistent efforts to keep the joint and/or body moving.
Set your pace but be mindful of too little or too much.
Obviously stop if the pain worsens.
Those that work in offices or have fairly sedentary lifestyles may also choose to adjust their routine. I think this is very important and your decision to make.
Take more walks. Exercise more often. Swimming or walking in the pool is a great alternative rather than more robust exercise. Stretch before and after.
Use an Ice Pack directly on the affected painful area.
When an injury or inflammation, such as tendonitis or bursitis happens, your tissues are damaged.
Cold numbs the affected area, which can reduce pain and tenderness.
Cold can also reduce swelling and inflammation.
Those that continue to experience ongoing pain and discomfort can then think about some medical aids that are available.
Please check with your Doctor.
Small movements and exercises for quicker relief:
Anyone that suffers from psoriatic arthritis, muscle problems or other hip issues needs to keep moving.
I know I keep mentioning this throughout – because it’s important!
Regular consistent movement will help to loosen the joint and improve fluid content.
This should help to maintain a more comfortable feel and reduce the chance of further joint pain issues.
Back Extensions are a great starting point to realign the spine and offer some relief.
Other sufferers like to use shoulder rolls and chin tucks.
One way to keep up with a regular regime of movement is to employ the 30/30 rule. A period of inactivity and sitting should precede 30 seconds of motion or activity.
Sufferers that keep up with this cycle can keep pain at bay at little more easily. All you have to do is get up, adjust the position of the hip and do some stretches.
Then you can get back to work for enough 30 minutes with a little less pain and discomfort.
We have an in-depth article about physical therapy exercises for your hip pain on our site for you.
Changes into the workplace:
It is important that all office workers (myself included) try and stay more active in the workplace. The exercises and stretches mentioned above can help. Or check below:
Still, some workers may need a little more help over a typical 9-5 job. Where possible, try and include a little more physical activity into the day.
Walking up stairs instead of taking the lift. Potentially walking to work or getting off the train or bus to work, a little earlier to walk further.
Getting up from your desk space once an hour to stretch or drop down and do some squats. That takes very little time and space so its practically do-able.
Any exercise or stretches will help to loosen the tendons and muscles and potentially ease issues in the rest of the leg or spine.
Take important phone calls on headsets and walk around. If you are serious about improving the hip pain problem, maybe even bring in a small under-desk exercise bike.
These tips are great for those brief moments in the day when you can get up and move around.
But what about all that time sitting down?
A good chair can make a difference.
Many people develop back, leg, hip and general posture issues because of the shape of their chair. You need something with a more ergonomic shape and the right cushioning to protect and ease the joints.
Consulting medical professionals for advice:
There will be cases where these exercises and other approaches have little impact on the symptoms or pain management.
This is where you may find that you are dealing with a more significant issue like arthritis, osteoporosis or another long-term condition.
The first step is to talk to a doctor and arrange some tests. They may offer to scan or x-ray the affected pain area to uncover what’s happening.
From there, you can discuss the best treatment option, such as medication and pain management approaches.
Some may also offer nutritional help if there are signs of Magnesium or B6 deficiencies. [I mentioned this above]
There is also the opportunity to engage in some physical therapy to help relieve your pain symptoms.
Local healthcare facilities may have a specialist physiotherapy team that can guide you through the best exercises.
They will help you reduce the tightness and inflammation in the joints. Alternatively, you could look into chiropody or acupuncture.
Access to these options may depend on your local services and health insurance coverage
Don’t ignore hip pain after sitting and or lying down.
Instead, make some changes to keep it at bay.
Hip pain doesn’t have to be a normal part of the working day. We shouldn’t sit down at the desk with the knowledge that we have to put up with pain and discomfort the next time we get up.
Those that deal with small scale muscle, joint or inflammation issues can bring some of these exercises into a daily regime.
This regular motion could help to stretch out the hip, improve its function and eventually minimize the pain.
Those suffering from more serious issue can rely on skilled medical professionals to find the best pain management plan, therapies and nutritional information.
If you are reading this and feel a dull ache in the groin, or a twinge as you shift positions, think about the information here and how it can assist your experience with hip pain after sitting and lying down.
Consider the reasons for your pain and the benefits of more frequent movement.
Adopt the 30/30 rule and other tips to try and relieve some discomfort. When in doubt, talk to your medical professional.
You don’t have to put up with this pain. Make a decision to change today, and improve your overall daily health situation.
There is simply no need to go to work everyday and endure this kind of pain!