Causes of Hip Pain at Night and Ways to Find Relief

Hip pain at night can wake you up during the night or make it nearly impossible to fall asleep in the first place.


The pain can come from the position you sleep in, or it could be caused by something else. For example, you don’t move much during sleep, so your joints swell, which can lead to stiffness and pain.


Sleep position

If you regularly wake up at night from hip pain, the way you’re sleeping or your mattress could be to blame. A mattress that’s too soft or too hard could trigger pressure points, which may lead to a sore hip.


Sleep posture can also cause pain.


Try sleeping on your back or, if you’re a side sleeper, sleep on the side that doesn’t hurt and put a pillow between your knees to keep your hips aligned. You can find a great selection of knee pillows here.



Around your hip bone and other joints are small sacs filled with fluid that cushion the joint when it moves. These sacs are called bursae.


Bursitis occurs when these sacs become inflamed.


Symptoms may include:

  • pain on the outside of your hip and upper thigh
  • pain that starts as sharp pain, causing you to yelp when the area is touched, and later develops into an ache
  • pain when you get up after sitting for a long time, and which may worsen when you take a long walk, climb a lot of stairs, or squat for awhile
  • pain that’s worse at night when you lie down or sleep on the affected hip


People with bursitis don’t have pain while standing.


Immediate relief

If hip pain wakes you up, you can try these things to get back to sleep:

  • Change your sleeping position. Keep experimenting to find the most pain-reducing position.
  • 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. This can ease pain from sciatic-piriformis syndrome.


Long-term relief

Not getting enough sleep can make your pain worse, so it’s important to work with your Winnipeg Physiotherapist to develop a treatment plan.


Making some adjustments to your lifestyle, such as adding in gentle exercise and improving your sleep hygiene, can take you a long way toward preventing long, painful nights.


Work with your physiotherapist at Harbourview Therapy to find the best treatment for the condition that’s causing your hip pain.


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