Causes of Hip Pain at Night

Sleepless nights can be a real pain in the hip – literally! If you’ve been experiencing hip pain at night, it’s time to get to the bottom of what’s causing it. Read on to find out why nighttime hip pain is such a common issue and how to alleviate any discomfort.


Common Causes of Hip Pain at Night

Hip pain is a common complaint, particularly among people over 50. Many of those affected experience pain and discomfort at night, making it difficult for them to get a good night’s sleep. There are several conditions that cause hip pain at night, and understanding the causes can help you and your doctor to find the most effective treatment option.

One of the most common causes of nighttime hip pain lies in the lower back. Low back pain can often be referred to as the hips, causing pain or stiffness. Arthritis can also cause hip joint stiffness, which may worsen during sleep. Osteoarthritis (OA) can cause inflammation which can flare up when lying down for too long in an uncomfortable position on a mattress that is unsupportive.

Additionally, spondyloarthropathies such as ankylosing spondylitis (AS) and Reactive Arthritis (ReA) also cause low-grade inflammation of joint structures – including those of hips – throughout life cycles potentially causing nighttime discomfort and even awakening due to intense hip pain.

Piriformis syndrome is another possible cause of nighttime hip discomfort – when this syndrome becomes aggravated through excessive sitting during the day, it often flares up at night causing radiating hip & leg pain which could take many months or even years to fully resolve if left untreated by qualified practitioners with experience in treating these conditions such as Sleep Shop medical professionals who specialize in diagnosis & treatment for musculoskeletal disorders including those impacting hips at night or throughout day/night cycles. In rare cases, there may be an underlying tumor that could be causing radiating hip/thigh/groin discomfort during sleep or rest periods although this is quite an uncommon culprit.

Treatment options vary depending on diagnosis so it’s important to discuss your symptoms with your physician so you can take steps towards managing your condition before it interferes with your quality of life any further!

Prevent Hip Pain at Night

Preventing hip pain at night can be difficult if the cause is unknown, however, there are several things you can do to reduce your risk of experiencing hip discomfort while you sleep.

Reducing Restless Sleep

Having restless sleep at night increases the impact exercise and daily activities have on your hips. Try doing some stretching or light exercises throughout the day to help release tension and prevent long periods of sitting or standing in one position. Sleeping for fewer hours can also reduce hip discomfort and make sure to avoid crossing your legs for extended periods of time.


Hip flexor, leg, core, and back exercises are a great way to strengthen hips, which reduces the likeliness of experiencing nerve compression that causes hip soreness. Exercises such as tai chi or water exercise will help loosen tight joints while providing gentle stretches that maintain joint health and stability.

Good Sleep Hygiene & Relaxation Routine

Making room for 8-9 hours of good sleep each night is essential when it comes to avoiding hip pain. Keep your bedroom cool (not too hot) and add supportive pillows where needed while lying down in order to find comfort during the night. Regular relaxation routines such as yoga can help put you in a relaxed state before going to bed, as well as make room for dealing with any chronic stressors prior to getting ready for bedtime.

Natural Pain Fighters & OTC Sleep Aids

Certain natural pain fighters such as warm baths or over-the-counter (OTC) sleep aids might be helpful if taken in combination with other prevention tips from above; higher doses may start providing an increased level of numbness after a few hours or so – however please proceed with caution when taking these types of medication since they may not always relieve pain symptoms nor provide good sleep hygiene when used over a long period of time. Be sure to follow directions carefully before taking anything new!

Managing Hip Pain at Night

Hip pain can be quite distressing, especially if the pain persists into the night. Many people experience hip pain due to injuries, overuse, or age-related issues. Fortunately, there are several ways to manage this pain so you can get some rest.

Using a foam pad or wedge shape cushion in bed may provide temporary relief by helping to keep your hips in a more comfortable position during sleep. Ice packs and hot water bottles applied to the affected area may also help with immediate relief. For those suffering from muscle spasms, these same treatments may be beneficial if applied several times throughout the day and increased at night before going to bed.

In addition, Aleve or Advil can be taken during the day and diclofenac gel applied nightly before bedtime for temporary relief of localized pain problems such as bursitis or occasional strains and sprains. However, these medications should not be used long-term without consulting with your healthcare provider first about potential side effects. Hyaluronic acid injections for mild osteoarthritis of the hip—which also offer short-term relief—may also be an option depending on your situation and preferences.

For long-term management of hip problems, physical therapy is often suggested by medical professionals as well as regular massages. In severe cases where other methods have been exhausted, arthroscopic surgery (with usually involves removing any loose pieces from inside your hip socket) or a total hip replacement surgery may be necessary for more permanent relief from a painful condition caused by age-related changes in joint shape, muscles weakness or rheumatoid arthritis inflammation.

In any case, speaking with the health care team should help determine which approaches might work best for you when experiencing hip pain at night so that you can find appropriate ways to rest comfortably while getting adequate treatment over time that may bring long-term relief while giving you back control of your life again!


Hip pain during pregnancy is a common complaint for expecting mothers and can become particularly noticeable at night. This type of hip pain can range from slight discomfort to severe aches that can make it difficult to find a comfortable position to sleep in. There are several likely causes of hip pain during pregnancy primarily related to the physical changes that occur as the body’s center of gravity shifts in preparation for birth.

For women who spend extended periods of time sitting or lying down, the pain may be caused by the pressure applied to one set of muscles. Side sleeping is generally not recommended, since this places additional strain on parts of the hips that are meant to bear only a limited amount of pressure while pregnant. It may be helpful to add support with additional pillows or cushions, ensuring that the hips and pelvis stay level.

During the third trimester — when hormones cause ligaments around joints like those in the hips and lower back to loosen — it may feel as though there is extra pressure between them, resulting in hip pain at night. To help reduce some discomfort, it’s important for women who experience hip pain during pregnancy to try not wearing shoes with heels or any other footwear that does not provide adequate supportive cushioning.

Additionally, strategically placed pregnancy pillows may help provide additional support and relieve some tension from specific areas such as the legs and back throughout the day; these should also be used carefully at night in order to maintain comfort while sleeping.

Sciatic-piriformis Syndrome

Sciatic-piriformis syndrome is a common cause of hip pain during the night, especially for people who spend more than 8 hours a day sitting. It’s caused by the sciatic nerve being compressed by the piriformis muscle which can cause extreme discomfort at night.

The sciatic nerve is the largest nerve in your body and runs from the lower back down through your hips and legs. The piriformis muscle lies over this nerve, connecting the sacral bones in your lower back to your hip joint.

When the piriformis muscle becomes tight due to overexertion or poor posture, it may press on and irritate the sciatic nerve. This pressure can lead to pain down one side of your leg as well as tingling and numbness if it persists untreated for an extended period of time.

Sciatic-piriformis syndrome affects mostly those who are relatively inactive such as office workers who sit for long periods of time without ever getting up; taxi drivers who often drive sitting down; athletes and weightlifters who focus their training on a single muscle group or tend to overwork muscles without sufficient rest; pregnant women, etc.

If left untreated, this condition can worsen at night when people lie down due to gravity compressing already tired muscles around affected areas causing even further tightness in surrounding tissues ultimately leading to sharp pains through the hip area towards the lower back area just at night times when trying to sleep comfortably.

Hip Tendonitis

Hip tendonitis is a condition that occurs when the tendons of the hip become inflamed. The tendons are bands of soft tissues that connect the muscles to the bones, allowing for movement. With hip tendonitis, pain and discomfort can be felt near the point of intersection between muscle and bone.

It is typically characterized by a deep ache on either side of the hips which becomes worse when sitting, standing, or stretching too far. Many individuals experience hip pain at night due to this condition, often worsened by overly soft mattresses or bedding materials.

Hip tendonitis is caused by excessive or repetitive overuse of muscles surrounding the hips which can occur during activities such as running, swimming, hiking, and cycling. It can also be caused by injuries sustained during contact sports such as football, soccer, and hockey.

Additionally, some individuals may develop hip tendonitis due to conditions such as arthritis-related joint deterioration or poor posture over time which affects their gait cycle as well as how they sit and stand from day-to-day activities in general.

In many cases, rest will usually alleviate some of the discomfort brought on by hip tendonitis; however, more severely inflamed cases may need medical attention in order to help reduce inflammation and prevent further damage from occurring.

Common treatments for this condition include physical therapy techniques such as stretching exercises in order to restore flexibility and strengthen muscles around the hips; corticosteroid injections for fast relief; prescription nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory medications; wearing orthopedic braces or supports; icing affected areas; acupuncture or other treatments derived from traditional Chinese medicine practices; and custom orthotics to improve footwear support while walking or running.

Hip Osteoarthritis and Other Types of Arthritis

Hip Osteoarthritis and Other Types of Arthritis are common causes of hip pain at night. Hip Osteoarthritis is the most common type of arthritis found in the hip; it is a degenerative joint disease that causes stiffness, swelling, or pain. It can happen to people of any age and is more likely to occur in women.

Other types of arthritis such as Psoriatic Arthritis, Septic Arthritis, Rheumatoid Arthritis, and Gouty Arthritis are also common causes of hip pain at night. These may be caused by deteriorating joint cartilage due to too much wear and tear, a viral or bacterial infection, or an immune disorder. In some cases, rainy weather can make existing hip arthritis worse due to the added pressure on joints when walking in wet conditions.

When experiencing hip pain at night due to osteoarthritis or other types of arthritis it is important to take a short walk after dinner or before bedtime to reduce stiffness. Additionally, it’s possible that some patients encounter sudden sharp pains which cause their leg(s) to lock into position; this condition could easily be diagnosed as “Hip Locking” by physicians.

Other ailments related to but not limited to Hip Osteoarthritis include muscle cramps, sciatica nerve pains, etc which should be checked and examined by a doctor(s) when symptoms persist. In conclusion, having an accurate understanding of potential illnesses that affect the hips daily/nightly will help determine methods/habits best suited for healthy living and continued care from a doctor(s).


Bursitis is an inflammation of the bursae, which are small sacs that cushion and lubricate areas of the body such as the shoulder, elbow, and hip joints. In people with bursitis, these sacs become inflamed, often as a result of long-term use or overuse of particular muscles or joints. Bursae in the hips commonly cause pain right outside of the hip bone or in the upper thigh area.

Bursitis can feel like a dull ache or sharp pain after sitting or standing for long periods of time, walking long distances, and climbing stairs. People can often feel tenderness to the touch when they press on their affected hip. If left untreated over a long period of time it can lead to permanent joint damage.

Because bursitis shares many symptoms with so many other conditions such as arthritis, torn muscles, and ligaments, it is important to have your hip checked out by a doctor to confirm your diagnosis before trying any form of treatment.

Treatment options include physical therapy exercises that target strengthening weak muscles around your hips and lower back; avoiding activities that cause pain; losing weight if needed; stretching before exercising; applying heat or cold therapy; taking medication such as anti-inflammatories; using special footwear correctly fitted for you, and receiving proper injections at their doctor’s office.

Sleep Position

Sleep position may be an important factor contributing to hip pain at night. People who prefer one side when sleeping can cause pressure points and develop soreness in the hip from uneven weight distribution. If you are suffering from such discomfort, there are simple ways to reduce it by changing your sleep posture.

Side sleepers should ensure that their hips, knees, and ankles all make a straight line to ensure even weight distribution and prevent any pressure on their hips. It is recommended that they use a smaller pillow or wedge-shaped cushion between their knees or switch beds if needed.

For those who sleep on the back, use a thick pillow or mattress so that the lower back is supported in its natural curve. Consider placing a pillow under your knees to reduce any strain on the lower back muscles and ligaments as well as help open up airways.

If you’re sleeping on your stomach, use as little cushioning as possible while also using something softer than normal under your pelvis resulting in more even weight distribution throughout the body instead of focusing only on one spot of the body that leads to hip pain for example – To alleviate this effect, even more, put soft knee pillows between your bent knees which will support your hips and spine better in this position during night time for more comfort.

A mattress with medium firmness (somewhere between too hard and too soft) provides just enough cushioning for a stomach sleeper to prevent pain from developing due to unequal weight bearing on one joint such as the hip region. Thus having just enough medium-firm bedding makes a great difference overall for some people – There is an ever-increasing selection of mattresses designed specifically with side sleepers in mind – choose wisely!

Frequently Asked Questions

Pain in the hip at night may be caused by a variety of conditions, such as arthritis, bursitis, tendonitis, or sciatica. Other possible causes include injuries, muscle strains, poor posture, or poor sleeping habits. Seeing a doctor can help determine the exact cause and offer treatment options.

  1. Make sure you are sleeping on a comfortable mattress that supports your body and hips.
  2. Use a pillow between your legs to keep your hips aligned and reduce pressure on your joints.
  3. Do stretching exercises before bed to loosen up tight muscles and improve flexibility.
  4. Take a warm bath or shower before bed to relax your muscles.
  5. Avoid activities that put a strain on your hips before bed.
  6. Talk to your doctor about taking an over-the-counter anti-inflammatory medication to help reduce pain and swelling.

If you are experiencing hip pain, it is important to discuss it with your doctor. They will be able to help you determine if the pain is serious and provide you with the best course of treatment. If your hip pain is accompanied by other symptoms, such as swelling, fever, or difficulty walking, it may be a sign of something more serious and should be evaluated by a doctor right away.

pain, hip, night, side, muscles, arthritis, hips, causes, sleep, doctor, position, time, knee, body, bursitis, joint, day, health, treatment, people, leg, pillow, osteoarthritis, exercise, joints, pressure, symptoms, mattress, relief, back, cause, inflammation, knees, therapy, exercises, bone, tendons, treatments, condition, care, hip pain, hip joint, common causes, physical therapy, knee pain, healthcare provider, chronic hip pain, musculoskeletal pain, hip bursitis, leg pain, gluteal muscles, hip osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis, hip bone, many people, hip joints, physical therapist, sleep position, first step, lifestyle changes, joint pain, arthritis foundation, soft tissues, hip flexors, hip replacement, many causes, intense pain, side sleepers, sciatic-piriformis syndrome, hip arthritis


In summary, hip pain at night can be treated with a comprehensive plan consisting of gentle exercise, proper sleep hygiene, and other lifestyle changes. It is important to stick to the recommended treatment plan in order to receive the best results. Proper sleep hygiene involves ensuring enough sleep each night and getting into a regular sleeping routine that limits pain at night.

Gentle exercises designed for hips can help strengthen the muscle in that area and can bring some relief from lasting hip pain during more active periods of the day. If necessary, an orthopedist or physical therapist may need to be consulted for additional treatments.

Hip pain should not disrupt your life and with a comprehensive treatment plan designed by your doctor, health care professional, or physical therapist it may be possible to reduce nighttime discomfort significantly or even eliminate it entirely.

To prevent unwanted pains in your hip and body sleeping in the correct positions are important as often this minor alteration is enough to alleviate discomfort caused during sleepless nights. Try out a few approaches until you determine which works best for you and create a healthy lifestyle so that hip pain will become less of an issue over time.

Spine Institute NY