Hip Pain at Night

By Sally Ann Quirke, Chartered Physiotherapist | Filed under: Sleep and Back Pain, Hip Pain


Hip pain at night
Find the cause your hip pain at night

When suffering from hip pain at night - first determine the cause of your hip pain. Then, eliminate the cause and there is around an 80% chance that you will then be ok.

A few years ago, I suffered a couple of poor night’s sleep due to severe right hip pain. Now, I frequently see clients who have this complaint at my clinic - but suffering it myself has helped me to explain both why it happens, and what you need to do to get rid of it!

Regarding my own episode, the interesting thing was that - within minutes of getting out of bed my hip pain was disappearing, and by 11 a.m. it was gone - but I was left wondering would my hip pain return again that night?

The answer was no - it did not! But that was because I knew what to do to prevent it from re-occurring night after night. If you are suffering from hip pain at night, you need to determine cause of your hip pain (get the help of a physiotherapist), eliminate the cause and there is around an 80% chance that you will then be ok.

Hip pain at night is common. However, if you have hip pain at night AND during the day then you may need to read further than just this article. But if you are suffering with hip pain at night only, I hope the following words will help you greatly!

Firstly, let’s look at the common causes of hip pain at night. With each cause, we will look at the general treatments and solutions required to reduce the chances of your hip pain from re-occurring.

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What are the main causes of hip pain at night?

  1. Poor mattresses: Often a cause of hip pain at night, particularly in patients who sleep on their side, or on a mattress that is either too hard or too soft for their posture type. If your spine and hips are not supported correctly as you sleep they will become strained and painful. This is often the cause, when you change position and find that your hip pain will disappear.

    If this is your complaint, try sleeping in another bed and see if it eases your hip pain. I would also recommend that you look at your mattress. Be aware, there is no ‘one size fits all’ mattress for hip pain. Some are better than others but it is very much down to your back type and posture. So, seek professional help regarding your posture type, and the type of mattress that best supports your posture, before you open your cheque book! I recently had a client who spent 3000 euro on a bed and having assessed her symptoms, it was clear that the new bed was cause of her back and hip pain! As you can imagine, my diagnosis was not very popular!

  2. Stiff lower back: If your lower back is stiff, then excess strain may be placed on your hip joint at night when lying in certain positions. You also may have hip and lower back pain at the same time. Correcting the internal movement in your lower back with the help of a therapist will resolve your hip pain fully.

  3. Osteoarthritis: Is where there is wear and tear in your hip joint, and is a common condition in the over 50’s age group. If aggravated it becomes inflamed and inflammation pain is often worse at night. Reducing the inflammation is the key with arthritic hip pain. Use stretching exercises alone (as guided by your physiotherapist), or with anti-inflammatory medication when your pain is severe.

  4. Tight muscles: Around your hip and lower back can result in excess strain being placed on your hip in certain lying positions. Stretching these muscles will help your hip pain at night to disappear. Again, seek professional advice on getting suitable stretching exercises for hip pain.

  5. Bowel problems: Can refer pain into the hip area. So if you are having bowel problems with or without night time hip pain, seek immediate medical advice.

So consider some of the potential causes of your hip pain at night and look to see how you can address it. In my case, I resolved my hip pain through exercises and had to change my mattress. I hope this article helps you in determining how you can treat your hip pain at night.

READ MORE: Articles on the causes of hip pain
READ MORE: Articles on Mattress and Pillows

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While the content and materials contained in the articles on this website have been written & researched by Sally Ann Quirke, a professional, practising & fully qualified Chartered Physiotherapist (Physical Therapist) based in Ireland, they are provided for general information and educational purposes only. They do not constitute medical advice on any particular individual situation. Please see your Chartered Physiotherapist or other medical practitioner for full and individual consultation.

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