Hip Pain Only When Lying Down – Experiencing hip pain at night or while sleeping can cause a major disruption in your life. This is especially true if you sleep on your side. Hip pain when sleeping on your side, either on one side or both sides, often adds tension or pressure to your hips – exacerbating pre-existing pain.
For many people who sleep on their side, experiencing hip pain while sleeping on both sides is particularly disturbing because it becomes more difficult to find a comfortable position to sleep in. As hip pain develops, it can even develop into generalized pain at night no matter what position you sleep in!
Hip Pain Only When Lying Down
The best way to deal with hip and leg pain while sleeping on your side is to first understand the root cause of the pain.
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While you may be able to do your research and narrow down the possible causes of your hip pain while sleeping on your side, it is recommended to consult a medical professional to make sure that you are treating your pain most effectively.
We will cover some of the most common causes of hip pain during sleep, but this will not be the main focus. Most of this article will discuss the ways you can
Your pain and manage its symptoms so you can get a better night’s sleep and wake up rested.
No one person is exactly the same and neither is their hip anatomy. The shape of the hip socket differs from person to person, some people may have hypermobility issues, and it is also possible that your hip pain is a remnant of a past or current injury.
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Chronic hip pain is something that is often associated with arthritis, bursitis and osteoarthritis. That being said, one of the most common, yet easiest to overlook causes of hip pain at night is to have tight hip flexor muscles.
Your hip flexor muscle is also known as your iliopsoas. The iliopsoas muscle consists of two overlapping muscles: the iliacus muscle and the psoas muscle.
Because the iliopsoas muscles are used extensively throughout the day, even when you’re sitting, they can easily become tight enough to cause discomfort and can pull your hips out of alignment.
The pressure on your hips also does not stop when you lie down to sleep. Especially for side sleepers.
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You see, when you lie on your side, your legs are usually stacked on top of each other – sometimes connecting your knees and ankles. Depending on your mattress, the lower hips may not experience as much pressure, but the upper hips do.
Because your upper hip and the rest of your leg are not at the same level, your knee pulls your hip down a little and your hips feel tight. If you sleep on your side, you may not feel any discomfort or irritation at first. It can take some time – even years – for your muscles to be affected by the pull of your knee.
If your hip flexor muscles are already tight, this added night’s stress can cause hip pain when sleeping on your side.
Most people who sleep on their side also tend to bend their knees a little towards their chest, exacerbating the problem of a tight iliopsoas. Even in the resting position, your iliopsoas muscles are fully engaged as you pull your thigh and knee up slightly.
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All this is just to say that, although there are many other possible reasons for hip pain when sleeping on your side, do not forget something as simple as a strained muscle.
While the best way to treat hip pain of any kind is to get a diagnosis and understand the cause of the pain, it can also be beneficial to manage some of the symptoms.
Even if you receive treatment for the underlying condition, hip pain when sleeping on your side can still occur. And sometimes, hip pain is worse at night.
So to get a good night’s sleep, a few ways to minimize your hip pain is a must, especially for side sleepers.
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Possibly the most expensive (and arguably the most beneficial) way to reduce nighttime hip pain is to buy a quality mattress. Most of us don’t realize how much our mattress really impacts our lives until we get an upgrade.
One essential thing to avoid in mattresses if you experience hip pain when sleeping on your side is that the mattress is too hard.
While spring mattresses tend to be an affordable option, they don’t have much “giveaway” and don’t fit your body. When sleeping on a spring mattress, more pressure is applied to your hips and shoulders when you sleep on your side.
The main factors you want to look for in a quality mattress are support, firmness that suits your body and sleeping style, and the ability to conform to the contours of your body. The idea is to keep a straight line with your spine – whether you sleep on your back, stomach or one side.
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Many people who experience hip pain when sleeping on their side should consider a medium-hard mattress that almost creeps onto the soft side. This suggestion is enough to gently support your shoulders and hips, but will not let you sink completely into the mattress and keep your back out of alignment all night.
Now I know, finding a good mattress can be tricky if you sleep in the bed with your partner. Especially if you each have a different style and need for sleep. But there are beds that address the issue of different mattress preferences – like sleep number mattresses. A bed like this allows everyone to adjust the firmness of their choice to achieve optimal comfort.
If you have tight hip flexor muscles, at least stretching them a little can help. Be aware that your hip flexors can be overstretched. People with hypermobility, or people who sit a lot (such as with desk jobs) should be careful not to overstretch.
Therefore, getting into the habit of doing short yoga or hip flexor stretching sessions right when you wake up is a good way to wake up your muscles and prepare them for the day. You don’t have to be a yogi and/or go to a fancy studio to stretch your body effectively (although, if you want to, yoga can be great practice!)
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This stretch can be hip specific, but can also be general to get more blood flow to your muscles. And you often don’t have to stretch as deeply as you think you should. Everyone’s natural range of motion is slightly different and may even change from day to day. So listen to your body, and never continue stretching if it hurts.
Especially for those of you who sit for long periods, stretching in the morning and getting up and moving throughout the day is important for hip health.
The longer you sit, the more your hip flexor muscles begin to shorten. The tight and shortened muscles can be the cause of your hip pain when sleeping on your side. When you stretch, you fight against the compressed position of your muscles and extend them again. This often provides some immediate relief but is also an exercise you should continue to do every day.
If muscle tension is the root cause of your hip pain at night, you need a way to relieve the muscle tension. If you want to treat hip pain while sleeping on your side, muscle release is one of the most important steps.
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Just like the habit of stretching, muscle tension release works best when done regularly. This can be every night or every night.
Your hip flexors, or iliopsoas muscles, are very difficult to reach with traditional stress-relief tools such as massage balls or foam rollers. These may work well to release the back of your hips and glutes (which are also important for releasing tension in your hip muscles), but they won’t reach the iliacus or psoas.
The best way to achieve effective release of muscle tension in this area is to use a hip hook. The Hip Hook is a muscle release device specially designed to mimic the touch of a physical therapist, effectively targeting iliac muscle tension in the comfort of your own home.
Because the iliacus is only accessible if you reach a little behind or inside the pelvic bone, the hip hook somewhat simulates another person applying pressure with their hand. The only difference is that you can do it yourself and control the amount of pressure.
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It’s possible that only one hip is causing you pain, but that doesn’t mean you should ignore the other hip. It is important to keep your body as balanced as possible so that nothing else is pulled out of alignment.
Do not forget to relieve the back of your hips with a massage ball or foam too
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