Pain at night can disturb your sleep or make it impossible for you to fall asleep in the first place. About 90% of people experiencing chronic joint pain don’t sleep well. Because sleep allows your body to recuperate from your daily activities, any form of discomfort or disruption while you slumber can affect your physical and emotional well-being the next day.
Hip pain is a common occurrence, especially for people aged 40 to 60 years. It is also more common in women than in men. It can result from an injury or overuse, although other underlying factors can also contribute to it. If you are struggling with hip pain that affects your sleep, read more to learn what causes it and how to manage it well and sleep better.
Causes of Hip Pain
Nighttime hip pain is caused by various factors which include:
- Improper Sleeping Conditions
Your sleep environment and posture may be one of the primary reasons you’re having issues with your hip. The way you’re sleeping or the choice of mattress could trigger pressure points, leading to soreness.
Bursae are small sacs found around your hip bone and other joints filled with fluid meant to cushion the joints when they move. Bursitis occurs when these sacs become inflamed. The inflammation of the bursae causes pain radiating from the hip down to the side of the thigh. This sharp pain may worsen at night when you lie down or sleep on the affected hip. People with bursitis don’t feel pain while standing.
Tendinopathy is the general term for any disease affecting the tendons. Tendons in the hip attach the gluteal muscles to the hip and pelvis. They work to provide stability to the pelvis and support for hip mobility during activities, such as walking and going up the stairs.
Tendons in the hip, however, may become inflamed or break down when compressed or overloaded and don’t have enough time to recover. This can cause hip pain at night. Frequent sitting with legs crossed or standing with all the weight on one hip can also cause tendinopathy.
Osteoarthritis is another common reason for hip pain. It is a result of the wear and tear of the cartilage surrounding the ends of bones, primarily due to age. As the cartilage at the hip deteriorates, the hip bones rub against each other, causing inflammation, swelling, and pain. The pain can move around the buttocks or down the leg, affecting movement.
- Exercise-related causes
Strenuous activities, such as football, running, or dancing, were found to increase the risk of hip pain. The overuse and force applied to the hip joint during athletic maneuvers can lead to conditions, including bursitis, tendinopathy, or injury. A sudden change to the frequency of exercise can also trigger pain in the hip.
Pregnancy puts extra pressure on your spine and hips. This happens especially during the third trimester. There are several reasons why hip pain occurs during pregnancy, including:
- Weight gain, which puts more stress on your bones and joints
- Relaxin, a hormone that relaxes the tissue connecting the bones throughout your body
- Poor posture, as a result of the redistribution of weight focused on your belly
- Other Causes
Other factors causing hip pain at night include:
Osteoarthritis and bursitis are more common in older adults. Menopausal and post-menopausal women are also at greater risk of hip pain.
Increased body weight can put more pressure on the joints
- Accident or Injury
An accident or injury affecting the hip joint, like dislocation, can be painful at night.
- Pain from the Knee, Pelvis, or Back
Pain in other areas of the body can also affect the hip. For instance, pain in the back caused by pressure on a nerve can also be felt in the hip.
Managing Hip Pain at Night
Pain isn’t normal and it can significantly interfere with your sleep and your body’s ability to recuperate. Fortunately, pain is also manageable. Here are 8 remedies to manage your hip at night:
- Adjust Your Sleeping Position
The hip is a sensitive pressure point. When placed with too much weight, it can easily feel stiff or sore. Help improve your hip pain with proper sleep positions. If you feel pain on just one side of your body, be sure to sleep on the opposite side. When your hip hurts when sleeping on the side, try placing a pillow between legs to keep legs parallel and to support the hips, pelvis, and spine. Better yet, start lying flat on your back. This position places less strain on your hips.
- Use Pillows to Your Advantage
Where you place your pillow is crucial to easing the weight on your hips and alleviating the pain. For back sleepers, put a pillow under your lower back or below the knee to elevate the hips and reduce the stress on them. For side sleepers, a pillow under or between the knee can be helpful. Make sure that your sensitive hip isn’t under immense pressure and pushed into the mattress. If you don’t have a pillow of the right size, a folded blanket or towel can also do the work.
- Check Your Mattress
Ensuring that you have the correct mattress can save you from unnecessary discomfort. A pressure-relieving mattress or orthopedic mattress can provide you with the proper hip support in bed, evenly distributing your body weight. Among the many types of mattresses, memory foam is the most recommended option as it properly cradles your body with losing firmness.
- Practice a Good Sleep Hygiene
Good sleep hygiene encourages a sound and deep sleep, and it can certainly help your hip pain at night. By practicing healthy pre-bed habits, you allow your body to regain energy and recover from injury.
Here are a few activities you can add to your routine:
- Go to bed and wake up at the same time each day.
- Reduce alcohol and caffeine intake before bed.
- Avoid the use of sleeping pills.
- Avoid electronic use at least 2 hours before sleeping.
- Keep your bedroom cool.
- Remove clutter and distraction in your bedroom.
- Stretch Before Sleeping
Hip stretches are important when you are suffering from hip and back pain. A couple of light stretches before going to bed can reduce the tightness and soreness in your body. One helpful stretch is called the butterfly stretch.
Sit on the floor, bend your knees, and keep the soles of your feet together. Bring your heels as close to your body as you can, and use your elbow to push your knees down. This can help take away the pressure and tension in your hips, and help you feel relaxed before bedtime.
- Maintain A Healthy Diet
Nutrition is another essential component in reducing hip pain. First, a well-balanced diet can help you lose weight, which in turn, reduces the pressure on your joints. Certain foods, like nuts, fruits, root vegetables, and whole grains, also contain nutrients that can strengthen the joints.
- Change Your Daytime Activities
Night hip pain is often a result of activities you do during the day. To help reduce the pain, try changing up your activities. This may well be enough to relieve the pain completely. Even as simple as ensuring good posture can already do wonders. Also, don’t forget to take breaks and sit down, especially at jobs that require you to stand for extended hours.
- Get Good Exercise
A sedentary lifestyle is a major health risk and can increase your chances of developing conditions, such as obesity and osteoarthritis. Daily physical activity is highly recommended to prevent and relieve hip pain. Try low-impact and less strenuous exercises, like yoga, walking, or swimming. If your exercise includes high-impact activities, like running, jumping, or hiking, be sure to condition your body before diving in.
Hip pain can happen for a variety of reasons, and when it hits at night, it can disrupt your sleep patterns. However, with the right combination of a healthy diet, active daytime habits, and good bedtime hygiene, hip pain can be easily managed.
Start an uninterrupted sleep by getting the right mattress. At Sleepmasters Canada, we offer a wide selection of mattresses that can offer you lasting hip pain relief. Call us now at (416) 781 7441!