17 Ways To Relieve Your Hip Pain At Night - New Mexico Orthopaedic Associates (2023)

Up to90% of peoplewith chronic joint pain don’t sleep well. And that could be influencing your pain and mobility the next day. If you suffer fromhip painat night, it could be affecting your chances of recovering completely from the injury or condition that caused your pain. In this post we’ll talk about 17 tried-and-true methods for relieving your pain. After, we’ll discuss some of the more common causes of hip pain in more detail.

What causes hip pain at night?

Causes of hip pain at night include:

  • Sleeping on a bad mattress
  • Soreness or overuse from exercise
  • Tight muscles
  • Injuries
  • Hip bursitis
  • Hip osteoarthritis
  • Tendinitis
  • Sciatica
  • Pelvic orgynecological issues
  • Pain after hip replacement surgery

The most common night hip pain causes, like soreness or sleeping on a bad mattress, can be easily resolved. We’ll discuss some of the at-home remedies you can use to relieve this type of pain later in this post. Severe pain, however, may be caused by:

  • Tendinitis
  • Sports injuries
  • Hip bursitis

These conditions may require more advanced pain management. The following video gives a brief overview of hip pain. We’ll discuss each of these in more detail following treatments.

17ways to relieve hip pain that is worse at night

Pain isn’t normal. And, pain that interferes substantially with your sleep isn’t sustainable. We rank the 17 best treatments you can try below.From at-home remedies to surgery, these methods have helped patients get the sleep they need.

However, as the Mayo Clinic post onhip painwarns, always talk to your doctor immediately if your pain is accompanied by:

  • Any signs of infection, such as chills, fever, redness, or a sudden swelling
  • An inability to move or bear weight on the affected leg
  • Intense or severe pain
  • A joint that appears deformed

These symptoms could indicate a more serious condition that requires immediate medical attention.

1. Change your sleeping position

WikiHowgives a great overview of how to find the right sleeping position to relieve hip pain at night. They also suggest ways you can use pillows as bolsters to reduce stress in your hips or back.

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2. Check your mattress

If you’re suffering from hip pain that is worse at night, first check your mattress. As we talked about in our post onmattresses for back pain, the mattress you choose can help to drastically reduce pain.

First, try out another bed to see if that relieves your pain. Next, SleepJunkie.org gives a great overview of how to find thebest mattress for hip pain. They also discuss some alternatives to the pain-causing inner springs in most mattresses. They suggest instead memory foam or latex mattresses.

3. Practice good sleep hygiene

Good sleep hygienemeans getting into a routine that encourages restful and deep sleep. Hip pain at night can certainly affect your ability to sleep. However, it will be harder for it to do so if you’re already practicing good sleeping habits. These include:

  • Going to bed and waking up at the same time each day
  • Reducing alcohol use before bed
  • Avoiding prolonged use of sleeping pills
  • Avoiding computer or television screens for at least two hours before going to sleep
  • Keeping your bedroom cool
  • Minimizing the clutter and distraction in your bedroom, by making it for sleep only

4. Perform hip stretches before going to bed

Hip stretches are especially important if you’re suffering from hip and lower back pain at night. These could point to tight muscles being the culprit of your pain.

AsManageBackPain.comexplains, talk to your doctor about stretches you can try. Or, for more mild cases of hip pain, try the following stretches fromExercise For Injuries. These will work out the tension you’re holding in your hips and can relieve pain before bed.

5. Tryicing the area


“Decrease the pain and inflammation by icing the sore or painful area for 15- 20 minutes waiting minimum 30 minutes before reapplying ice. Repeat 2-3 times per day. Icing will decrease the inflammation and will help break the pain cycle that can also contributes self-limiting or guarding of hip movement.”

6. Rest

If your hip pain is caused by overuse injuries during the day, take a few days off to rest the area. If you’re still experiencing pain, particularly sharp or severe pain, talk to a doctor before resuming activity.

(Video) Non-Arthritic Hip Pain

7. Change your activities

Night hip pain is often caused by the activities we do during the day. You can help reduce your pain by varying or changing up your activities. This could be enough to relieve your pain completely. Or it could give you the time to work in some hip strengthening exercises to prevent pain later on.

You can modify your activities by:

  • Trying out cross-training, like swimming or biking
  • Focusing on low-impact activities, especially if you suffer from hip osteoarthritis
  • Working on your core with Pilates, specific core strengthening routines, or yoga

8. Perform hip pain stretches before every workout

Our post10 Common Causes Of Hip Pain From Runningshows six hip stretching routines you can try before each workout. It also gives advice on:

  • Foam rolling
  • Cross-training
  • Self-massage

Other options for more structured hip stretches include yoga and Pilates. These workouts have the double benefit of strengthening your core, too.

If these at-home remedies for your hip pain haven’t helped, talk to your doctor about the following suggestions. Treating your hip pain with non-invasive, small lifestyle changes is always preferred. But if those don’t work, there are treatments that can relieve your pain. Pain isn’t normal and it’s not sustainable if it’s severely affecting the rest your body needs.

9. Take over-the-counter anti-inflammatory medications

For acute cases of pain, you could try medications. Medications should only be used on a short-term basis, until a longer-term preventative solution or exercise routine can be done to correct the initial cause of your pain.HealthCentral explains:

“Taking a painkiller or perhaps a muscle relaxants just before you go to sleep may also help you get a better sleep. If you don’t already have a prescription, talk to your doctor about medication that can help manage your pain.”

10. Get into physical therapy

If you’re suffering from hip bursitis, or another overuse injury, physical therapy can really help. As theAmerican Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeonswrites:

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“Your doctor may prescribe exercises to increase hip strength and flexibility. You may do these exercises on your own, or a physical therapist may teach you how to stretch your hip muscles and use other treatments such as rolling therapy (massage), ice, heat, or ultrasound.”

11. Consider aspiration for hip bursitis

For severe cases of hip bursitis, your doctor may recommend aspirating, or draining, the bursa with a needle. This is typically done in combination with a hip injection.

12.Learn moreabouthip injections

Hip injectionsmay be performed to both diagnose and treat hip pain. They involveinjectinga local anesthetic combined with a steroid orcorticosteroiddirectly into the outer regions of the spinal cord. This is where nerves lead to the hip, or in the hip joint itself. This procedurecan:

  • Help diagnose what specific nerveis leading to your pain
  • Focus further treatments
  • Inhibit pain signals ofhip nerves
  • Drain fluid in the hip

Hip injections provide a minimally-invasive and safe treatment option for more moderate to severe cases of hip pain.

13. Talk to your doctoraboutradiofrequency ablation

Radiofrequency ablation is another procedure that has helped some patients. It disrupts the nerves from sending painful signals. This is done with the use of heat to impair or destroy the nerves that are causing pain.

Again, radiofrequency ablation is minimally-invasive. It’s a safe procedure for many who are suffering from hip pain. Since pain relief isn’t permanent, it’s best done in combination with physical therapy to resolve the underlying cause of your pain. You can watch a radiofrequency ablation procedure in the following video.

14. Try outTENS unit technology

A TENS unit device sends stimulation to your nerves to relieve pain. It does this through placing electrode-containing pads on your skin above those nerves. This treatment is non-invasive and has only mild reported side effects. TENS units work best for patients with osteoarthritis, osteoporosis, or pain caused by surgery.

15. Considerspinal cord stimulation

Spinal cord stimulation works similarly to TENS unit therapy. The device emits a small electrical current to override painful nerve signals.

A spinal cord stimulator, however, is a semi-permanent device. It’s implanted within the area of the spine that is leading to pain. It can provide more targeted, effective pain relief. It also allows patients to control those pain-correcting signals through a hand-held control device.

16. Look into newer, cutting-edge treatments

Beyond these interventional pain management options, look into other more cutting-edge treatments for your pain. Since these are newer, they don’t have the research backing to indicate their effectiveness. But, they may help in cases where other treatments haven’t worked. Your options may include:

  • Stem cell therapy
  • Platelet-rich plasma injections
  • Glucosamine injections

17. In extreme cases, talk to your doctor about surgery

Surgeries for extreme and severe hip pain at night may include:

  • Arthoplasty
  • Arthoscopy
  • A bursectomy
  • Tendon repair
  • Iliotibial band release
  • Osteotomy
  • Hip joint replacement

As Jason R. Hull, MD, atTuckahoe Orthopaedicsexplains, surgery should be a final option after other therapies have been attempted:

“Aching hip pain at night is often the trigger that drives patients to seriously consider hip replacement. If a person can no longer sleep through pain and function properly the next day, it may be time to consider surgery. The most appropriate candidates for hip replacement, then, are those who havealreadybeen adhering to a conservative treatment plan: oral anti-inflammatory drugs, activity modification, non-narcotic pain relievers, physical therapy,cortisone steroid injections, etc.”

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What’s causing my pain?

Depending on the cause of your pain, there may be different treatments you try. Here are the most common conditions leading to hip pain at night.

Hip bursitis

Many people, especially runners, suffer from hip bursitis. Exercise during the day can lead to pain at night.Arthritis-Healthexplains that the most common symptoms of this condition are:

  • Pain that is worse after prolonged inactivity
  • Pain that is worse with repetitive activity
  • Hip tenderness
  • Radiating pain
  • Pain at extreme range of motions
  • Fever
  • Hip swelling, redness, or warmth

There are two types of hip bursitis: troncharetic and iliopsoas. Troncharetic bursitis feels likean aching or burning sensation on the outside of your hip. With iliopsoas bursitis, you’ll feel a clicking or snapping sensation when yourhip flexes. One of our pain doctors discusses this condition and treatments in the following hip bursitis video.

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How do I stop my hip from hurting when I sleep? ›

Immediate Relief
  1. Change your sleeping position. ...
  2. Place wedge-shaped pillows under your hip to provide cushioning. ...
  3. Sleep with a pillow between your knees to reduce stress across your hips.
  4. Put one or more pillows under your knees.
Sep 9, 2021

Why do my hips hurt at night? ›

What causes hip pain when sleeping? A variety of conditions can cause hip pain when sleeping. The most common causes are bursitis, osteoarthritis, sciatic-piriformis syndrome and tendonitis. Other causes include injury to your muscles or soft tissues, pregnancy, the position you sleep in and your bed or pillows.

How do you get rid of excruciating hip pain? ›

  1. Exercise. It's important to have a regular exercise routine for many reasons, and decreasing hip pain is one of them. ...
  2. Over-the-Counter Pain Medicine. ...
  3. Get Some Rest. ...
  4. Apply Ice. ...
  5. Use Compression. ...
  6. Elevate the Injury. ...
  7. Apply Heat. ...
  8. Do Stretches.
Apr 15, 2021

What is best sleeping position for arthritic hip? ›

Side sleepers should lie on the hip that isn't painful, and place one or more pillows between the legs. When lying on your back, place a pillow or rolled up blanket beneath your knees and possibly another under the small of your back. When sleeping on your back, place pillows beneath your knees.

Why do my hips hurt at night when I sleep on my side? ›

Sleeping on your side can cause hip pain in a couple of ways. The first reason is obvious: When you sleep on your side, you put a lot of direct pressure on the hip joint. Often, that's enough to cause hip pain, even if you don't have really noticeable symptoms during the day.

Where do you put a pillow for hip pain? ›

Place wedge-shaped pillows under your hip to provide cushioning. If you don't have a wedge-shaped pillow, try folding a pillow or blanket to create a wedge shape. Sleep with a pillow between your knees to reduce stress across your hips. Put one or more pillows under your knees.

Is a soft or firm mattress better for hip pain? ›

Side sleepers living with hip pain will probably prefer the medium or medium firm feels, depending on how much they weigh, while the medium firm and firm should offer sufficient support for back and stomach sleepers. The mattress can reduce sleep disruptions for couples thanks to its softer feel.

Can a mattress cause hip pain? ›

One of the most common reasons a mattress will cause hip pain? It's simply too old, and its interior no longer supports your body the way that it used to. You can also start to notice hip pain from a new mattress that is too hard for your body and doesn't provide any contour or cushion to the hips.

What is the best home remedy for hip pain? ›

Wrap an ice pack or a bag of frozen vegetables in a towel to ice your hip. A warm bath or shower may also help reduce your pain and prepare your muscles for stretching. Stretch. Gently stretching your body may reduce hip pain, especially if the cause is a strain or pinched nerve.

Will my hip pain ever go away? ›

Myth: It'll go away

Fact: Hip pain can come on suddenly or gradually present itself over time. While hip pain can sometimes improve on its own, it's always a good idea to see a medical professional for appropriate diagnosis and treatment.

What drinks are good for arthritis? ›

Best Drinks for Arthritis
  • Tea. Tea is one of the most-studied drinks when it comes to its benefits for arthritis patients. ...
  • Coffee. Research shows coffee also has antioxidant polyphenols. ...
  • Milk. ...
  • Juices. ...
  • Smoothies. ...
  • Alcohol. ...
  • Water.

How should I sleep to open my hips? ›

Solution #3: Bring your knees down and sleep with a pillow between your knees. This will decrease the amount of hip flexion and bring your hips into a more neutral position.

How can I stop my joints from hurting at night? ›

Practice better sleep hygiene
  • going to bed at the same time each night and establishing a bedtime ritual, such as taking a bath, meditating, or doing another calming activity.
  • avoiding daytime naps.
  • exercising during the day to ease arthritis symptoms and support better health, but avoiding exercise for 4 hours before bed.
Jul 23, 2021

How can you tell the difference between hip arthritis and hip bursitis? ›

“The simplest way to understand the difference between hip bursitis and hip osteoarthritis is to understand where the pain is coming from,” says Dr. Sparling. “When you have hip osteoarthritis, the pain is coming from inside the joint. With hip bursitis, pain is coming from the outside.”

What is the one leg test for hip arthritis? ›

Stand on One Leg Test – Finally, if you are concerned about your hips, try the one-legged test. Try standing on one leg for at least a minute, and if you can't do so, even when supporting yourself, it's time to consider hip replacement.. For more information, contact Dr.

What does bursitis feel like in hip? ›

Symptoms of bursitis of the hip

Symptoms include joint pain and tenderness. You may also see swelling and feel warmth around the affected area. The pain is often sharp in the first few days. It may be dull and achy later.

What is better for hip pain heat or cold? ›

Ice wins to shut down swelling, inflammation and pain early on where heat may actually make an injury worse.” If you're dealing with lingering injuries (older than 6 weeks) then it's okay to use heat. The increased blood flow relaxes tight muscles and relieves aching joints.

Can hip pain affect bowels? ›

Tight hip flexors can affect your digestive health.

Your iliacus and psoas are located right next to the small and large intestine. When you begin to have issues with either part of the intestine, it can cause the iliopsoas muscles to quickly tighten around the intestinal area.

Can sitting too much cause hip pain? ›

"Hip pain from sitting can be from poor posture, but if you're sitting 40 to 50 hours week over 5, 6 months or longer, you probably have decreased strength in your hips. When you do get up from your desk, your glutes, core and hip extensors will be weaker, and you don't feel as strong."

What kind of mattress is good for hip pain? ›

Latex Mattress

A hybrid blend of latex and memory foam will give you a beautifully responsive feel, perfect for relieving hip pain.

What mattress do I need for hip pain? ›

Best Mattress For Hip Pain Summary
NolahBest Mattress For Shoulder And Hip Pain
LaylaBest Memory Foam Mattress For Hip Pain Relief
WinkBeds ClassicBest Mattress For Back And Hip Pain
HelixBest Bed For The Value
1 more row
Jan 24, 2022

What kind of mattress is best for lower back and hip pain? ›

If you sleep on your side or on your back, a medium-firm memory foam mattress may provide enough support to keep your spine straight through the night and help relieve hip pain. But if you sleep on your stomach, a pillow top mattress or hybrid with an innerspring might fit your needs better.

Can lying on your side cause hip pain? ›

Hip pain when sleeping on your side, either whether it is one side or both sides, often puts additional strain or pressure on your hips - exacerbating preexisting pain.

Why was Voltaren taken off the market? ›

Canadian and British researchers are calling for the anti-inflammatory diclofenac to be pulled from the market worldwide because of its heart risks. Diclofenac is sold under a variety of brand names including Voltaren and is widely used for pain such as headaches, toothaches and arthritis.

Why can't I use Voltaren on my hip? ›

Voltaren gel is approved for use on arm and leg joints only. It has not been studied for use in the hips or spine. You should not use Voltaren gel to treat muscle pain in other areas of the body, such as the lower back.

Who should not use Voltaren Gel? ›

Voltaren Gel Warnings

Not for use in patients who have had coronary artery bypass graft (CABG) surgery. Higher risk of serious gastrointestinal (GI) events such as bleeding, ulcers, and perforation of the stomach and intestines in older patients with a history of peptic ulcer disease and/or GI bleeding5.

How do you get rid of inflammation in your hips? ›

  1. Ice. Apply ice packs to your hip every 4 hours for 20 to 30 minutes at a time. ...
  2. Anti-inflammatory medications. Over-the-counter medications such as ibuprofen (Advil, Motrin) and naproxen (Aleve), and prescription pain relievers such as celecoxib (Celebrex) can reduce pain and swelling. ...
  3. Rest. ...
  4. Physical therapy.
May 10, 2021

Should I keep walking with hip pain? ›

Walking is good for hip pain and you should try to walk as much as you can each day. You'll find that in time and with consistency, your hip pain will diminish, and in a best case scenario, it will disappear altogether.

How can you tell the difference between hip arthritis and hip bursitis? ›

“The simplest way to understand the difference between hip bursitis and hip osteoarthritis is to understand where the pain is coming from,” says Dr. Sparling. “When you have hip osteoarthritis, the pain is coming from inside the joint. With hip bursitis, pain is coming from the outside.”

Can lying on your side cause hip pain? ›

Hip pain when sleeping on your side, either whether it is one side or both sides, often puts additional strain or pressure on your hips - exacerbating preexisting pain.

Can a mattress cause hip pain? ›

Sleep is a critical time for physical recuperation, but unfortunately many sleepers find that their mattress actually contributes to pain in areas such as the hips. This often occurs with old mattresses that have worn out and no longer provide adequate support.

How do I know if my hip pain is serious? ›

Call your health care provider if your pain doesn't go away, or if you notice swelling, redness, or warmth around the joint. Also call if you have hip pain at night or when you are resting. Get medical help right away if: The hip pain came on suddenly.


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