Hip pain at night, causes, exercise, relief, treatment and prevention

With a healthy life, we enjoy our life, but if the pain occurs in any body part, we can’t stay healthy. Hip pain is very common, and due to it, most people can’t sleep well. Due to hip pain at night you wake up all night, and you are not able to sleep in the first place. Mostly it happens due to the wrong sleeping position, and then you are not able to move properly during sleep. Furtherly it leads to pain and stiffness. It is more prevalent in men and women who are aged more than 40-60 years. Let’s learn the causes of hip pain at night and how to treat and prevent it.

Causes of Sleeping with Hip Pain

Most causes of hip pain at night is lying on the side directly on the painful soft tissue structures. Lying on other side, these soft tissue structures may be placed in a stretched position.  Well, there are so may reasons o hip pain at night that caused by a variety of different conditions, and these affect hip joint, connected muscles, and tissues. Below mentioned causes are the most common ones such as.

  • Bursitis
  • Tendonitis
  • Osteoarthritis
  • Sciatic Piriformis Syndrome


The small sacs fill with fluid around the hip and other joints that cushion the joint when moves which called bursae. When these become inflamed then it is referred to as Bursitis.

In Bursitis, you feel pain on the outside of hip and upper thigh

  1. Hip pain when sleep on either side on the affected hip
  2. Sharp pain in which you feel uncomfortable when touch the affected area. Moreover, it further develops into an ache.
  3. When you sit at one place for a long time, climb lot of stairs or squat for a while, it means you have Bursitis.


As the name shows, this disease associate with the tendons. Tendons attach with hip muscles, which called gluteal muscles, and when these muscles inflame these called Tendonitis. Tendons and muscles work together and stabilize the pelvis as well as support hip mobility during the day to day tasks like walking and going up the stairs. It also occurs when the tendons become inflamed due to compression or overloading and ultimately leads to hip pain at nightBesides all, sitting with legs crosses r standing with weight on one hip also causes tendinopathy.


Here comes another common cause of hip pain when sleeping called osteoarthritis. Aging resulted in wear and tear of the tissue and known as cartilage that surrounds the ends of bones. When cartilage removes, the bones rub against each other, which leads to inflammation, pain, and swelling. In this condition, you feel stiffness and soreness of the hip, and it makes our tasks difficult for us. Moreover, hip pain around the buttocks or down the leg also affects mobility and cause pain at night.

Sciatic Piriformis Syndrome       

Sciatic pain relates to tingling and numbness that starts from the lower back to the buttocks and goes down the leg and into the foot. In this syndrome, you feel a burning sensation in the calf while sleeping. Moreover, you also suffer from throbbing pain in the foot due to which you are not able to sleep at night. It also happens when you suddenly change the lifestyle from sedentary to active.


In some other causes, pregnancy is also included when extra pressure puts up on the spine and hip during the third trimester. Wearing supportive shoes and take stretch breaks also extended the periods. It helps you to reduce the risk of sciatica that leads to referred pain. In this condition, you can place the blanket on the back or use a pillow for support.

Exercise related Issues       

Some exercises like a strenuous exercise in which soccer, running, or dancing are also included a link with the hip pain at night.  These can lead to bursitis, tendinopathy, or tissue injury, which relates to pelvis and shin bone.

Some other causes

Besides causes, there could be some factors of hip pain only at night such as

Age: in older adults, mostly osteoarthritis and bursitis are common. Moreover, menopause and post-menopausal women are at higher risk.

Overweight and Obesity: People with overweight mostly develop these kinds of pain, but it could be maintained with normal body weight.

Accident or Injury: Due to an accident and injury, hip pain can occur.

Pain from the pelvis, back or knee: Well pain in one body part develops the pain in another part such as pain ion back puts the pressure on a nerve, which leads to sleeping hip pain.

Managing Hip pain At Night

There are multiple ways to manage the hip pain in which immediate relief and long-term relief are included.

Immediate Relief    

  • If you are enabled to sleep with hip pain, then you can try some immediate relief such as
  • Change the sleeping position and try to find the most comfortable and pain-reducing position
  • Sleep with a pillow between the knees because it reduces the stress across the hips.
  • Use wedge-shaped pillows under the hip that provide cushioning
  • For the immediate reaction, some drugs and topicals are also recommended by doctors like
  • If swelling occurs with pain, the ice could be beneficial but use it in wrap conditions like making an ice pack in a towel and placing it over the hip.
  • Heat could be helpful to relieve the arthritis pain, stiffness, or muscle spasms. Besides, you can apply heat with heating hip o wrap and hot water bottle.

Long Term Relief

If you are experiencing hip pain at night for a longer time, then you need solutions for long term relief.

  • It would help if you changed the mattress; a firm mattress could be painful for hip bursitis people.
  • Putting a foam pad on top of your mattress that helps to distribute the weight.

Treatment with Drugs

For immediate relief, Nonsteroidal Anti-inflammatory drugs are used to prevent the hip pain in which ibuprofen and naproxen are included. However, before using, ask the doctor how it is safe and useful. Moreover, sometimes doctors also recommend some topicals such as diclofenac gel (Solarize and Voltron).

There are some treatments for long term relief

  1. Visit the physiotherapist or getting regular massages
  2. Remove fluid from the bursa
  3. Steroid or cortisone injections into bursa or hip joint
  4. Arthroscopic surgery to remove the bursa
  5. Use Hyaluronic acid injection for lubrication of hip joint
  6. Arthritis medicines are used in which disease modifying antirheumatic drugs and biologics are included.
  7. Arthroscopy is used to remove the loose pieces of cartilage or bone spurs around the hip. It is also knowing as total hip replacement surgery.

Diagnostic Tests for Hip Pain at Night

The hip pain is diagnosed by an experienced clinical physician that can do a complete physical examination. Most commonly, doctors analyze that the motion of the hip range and when stiffness and pain occur.

Diagnosing test depends on the suspected diagnosis and the kind of surgery. X-Rays are beneficial to determine the extent of degenerative changes to hips joints. Specialists use different angles to evaluate the shape and contour of hip joints.

After that doctor tells where there are any developmental defects or obvious bone, relate issues for hip impingement symptoms. Besides, the CT Scan is also recommended, which provides a 3D detailed perspective on bone anatomy. MRI Scan is useful for additional detail and mostly recommended in hip cartilage tear or when hip pain is suspected to be caused by soft tissue. Ultrasound technology has increased its significance in recent years, which explores the pathology of muscle and tendon.

Prevention of Hip Pain

Here are some preventive measures of hip pain at night

Low impact exercise

In low impact, exercising, swimming, water exercise, walking is included—this helps reduce the pain and improve the sleep. Besides, the person must try yoga too. Moreover, avoid sitting for long periods the whole day


With the low impact exercise, you can try some stretching hip exercises. You can try these day or night.

  • Stand up and hold something for balance
  • Cross the legs and try to touch your toes
  • Hold for 20-30 seconds
  • Cross the legs in another way and repeat it. By doing stretching, you will feel better.

Sleep Hygiene

Sleeping in a good position always helps you to better sleep; for that purpose, there are some useful tips.

  • Early bed time and wake up earlier on  the same time every day
  • Some relaxation routine before bedtime
  • Take a warm bath one or two hours before bedtime because it releases natural pain fighters in the body, called endorphins. Moreover, your muscles relax around the sciatic nerve. However, water should not be so hot because more temperatures can make you sleep harder at night.
  • Make the room’s comfortable environment and keep the temperature low to avoid wake-up from being too hot.
  • Don’t use electronics close to bedtime in which our screen is included.
  • You should not consume caffeine after 5 o clock or fewer hours before bedtime because caffeine also has some bad effects on hip pain.
  • Avoid alcohol that makes you tired, and it also gives restless sleep.

When should you visit the doctor?

If your hip pain irritates you regularly at night and you wake up at night, visit the doctor. The doctor will check the tenderness and swelling around the hip and assess the range of motion of your hip for signs of arthritis and tendonitis. Reduces movement is the sign of arthritis. Moreover, that can take blood or fluid samples for X-rays or other tests.

In the accident condition, you go for an urgent care facility in the emergency room. Some symptoms of hip pain require immediate help. In these symptoms, deformed joints, inability to move the leg or hip, inability to put weight on the leg, intense pain or sudden swelling, fever, chills, redness, and signs of infection are including. Your hip pain at night cab worse when you do not get enough sleep. Therefore, it is important to visit the doctor and adjust your lifestyle like gentle exercises to improve sleep hygiene.


Hip pain at night is widespread among most people, and there are many reasons that we mentioned above. However, treatment before time can be helpful to get rid of hip pain. Well, Sometimes, hip pain is unpreventable because of aging; therefore, you must be careful from all this at an early age so that you could be safe from hip pain issues. If you are enabled to treat yourself, then you must visit the doctor to advise you according to the issue. Some hip pain issues need constant vigilance, and others disappear with a change in activity or sleep position. Never hesitate to talk with your physician about treatment plans because he can prevent your discomfort. No doubt, you deserve a good night’s rest.


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