Why Does Your Hip Hurt at Night?


If you get hip pain at night only, the most likely cause is your sleeping posture or mattress. Because of the pressure on the hip joint, side sleepers are more prone to hip pain. If you strain forward, the opposite hip - the one you're not lying on - may also hurt. What is the best solution? You should sleep on your back. To ease pressure and keep your hips straight, place a pillow between your knees or slightly behind your back when sleeping. A mattress topper or a more supportive mattress may also be beneficial.

Common Hip Pain Causes

Hip pain can be caused by a variety of ailments and traumas. The discomfort is constant for many people, though you may be more aware of it at night. Among the most common are:

1. Arthritis of the knee

Osteoarthritis (OA), the most common type of arthritis, can cause pain in your groin, thigh, or glutes. It is frequently worse in the morning or after prolonged sitting. Although it is commonly associated with elderly persons, OA is not a natural aspect of aging and can affect adults of any age. Physical activity is essential for relieving pain and improving mobility at any age. Massage and acupuncture have also been proven to be beneficial. As the initial line of treatment for OA, the American College of Rheumatology (ACR) advises a topical nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drug (NSAID). Try it right before going to bed. If you're over 65, avoid using oral NSAIDs like ibuprofen and naproxen since they increase your risk of heart attack, stroke, and intestinal bleeding.

2. Bursitis

Bursae are tiny, fluid-filled sacs found throughout the body that aid in the reduction of friction between soft tissue and bone. Bursitis occurs when one of these sacs becomes inflamed. There are two in your hip: one on the bony point of the hip bone (known as the greater trochanter) and one on the interior of the hip (known as the iliopsoas bursa). Both can become inflamed, but trochanteric bursitis is the more prevalent. It can be caused by:

  • Excessive use, as a result of activities such as jogging, stair climbing, or cycling;

  • Rheumatoid arthritis or low back arthritis;

  • An injury to the hip;

  • Hip replacement surgery or a hip implant.

Reduce strenuous exercise for a week or so and use cold packs on and off for the first 72 hours if you have an overuse injury. In most other circumstances, strengthening the muscles around your hip joint requires exercise or physical therapy. Hot packs are advised for long-term treatment. Hot and cold packs can help with nighttime bursitis pain. If you must take NSAIDs, take them at the lowest possible dose for the shortest amount of time.

3. Gluteal tendinopathy

Tendons are thick tissue bands that connect muscles to bone. Gluteal tendinopathy is a condition that affects the tendons that link your glutes to your hip bone. These tendons can disintegrate or rupture due to overuse, repetitive stress, and drugs such as corticosteroids and the antibiotic ciprofloxacin (Cipro).  

Treatment for gluteal tendinopathy has also evolved. Rest and corticosteroid injections were once suggested by doctors. However, anti-inflammatory medications such as steroids and NSAIDs may hinder healing, thus eccentric exercise, generally with the assistance of a physical therapist, is advised. Eccentric exercise is defined as slowing down the lowering portion of a movement, such as a glute bridge with a gradual drop to the floor.

Stretching, sleeping with a pillow between your knees, hot packs, and losing weight are among home remedies. Tendon injuries can take anywhere from three to six months to heal. Platelet-rich plasma injections have been demonstrated in studies to reduce pain, while tenotomy is a technique that removes damaged tendon tissues.

4. Hip flexor strain

Almost any injury to the hip flexor muscles, which connect the femur, or thigh bone, to your lower back, hips, and groin, falls into this category. Pain, swelling, weakness, and decreased mobility can result from overuse or overstretching of these muscles.

Initially, your doctor may advise you to ice and elevate the injured limb. Your exercise program will also need to be modified, but not eliminated. Hip flexors can be strengthened and stabilized with physical treatment.  Hip and buttock exercises that keep the hips flexible and open help to prevent these ailments. Take a warm bath and stretch before bed for better sleep.

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