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What Are the Most Common Causes of Hip Pain at Night?

By K. Gierok
Updated Mar 03, 2024
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Hip pain at night can not only be very painful, but may actually be indicative of a more serious medical condition. One of the most common causes this pain is sciatica. While sciatica can be very painful, performing specific stretches may decrease the severity of the condition. Osteoporosis, or the loss of bone density, may also cause severe hip pain at night. Other common causes include a dislocated hip and bursitis, both of which usually vary in intensity depending on the specific sleeping position. In some cases, these conditions can be treated medically or through surgery.

One of the most common causes of hip pain at night is associated with the development of sciatica. Sciatica is a condition caused by the inflammation of the sciatic nerve, which runs down the length of the leg. Typically, this condition results in severe pain, especially for those who sleep on their back. The best way to treat pain associated with sciatica is to perform a series of stretches and range-of-motion exercises designed to target the sciatic nerve. In addition, affected individuals are often encouraged to sleep on their stomach or side in order to prevent severe pain.

Osteoporosis is another common cause of hip pain at night. This is a condition that results in a loss of bone density over time, occurs primarily in women, and develops most commonly after menopause. Osteoporosis not only can cause hip pain during activity, but also at night. While osteoporosis typically cannot be treated, eating foods high in calcium and engaging in weight-bearing types of physical activity may aid in the prevention of the condition.

In some cases, a dislocation can be to blame for the development of hip pain at night. A dislocation of the hip is most commonly caused by a fall. Typically, the pain associated with a dislocation occurs primarily during sleep that occurs on the side. A person who has a dislocated hip will typically experience severe pain, and should seek medical assistance as soon as possible. Often, even once the hip dislocation has been treated, ongoing pain may occur.

Bursitis is another common cause of hip pain, and is defined as either the infection or inflammation of the bursae — small, fluid-filled sacs that provide cushion between bones, tendons, and muscles — of the hip. Bursistis pain at night may vary in intensity depending on the specific sleeping position. Typically, it can be successfully treated through certain types of surgery.

If you suffer from hip pain at night, you should consult a doctor to determine the cause. In the meantime, consider investing in a mattress topper for hip pain. A mattress topper will add extra firmness and support to your mattress and may help to alleviate the pressure on your hip as you sleep. A quality mattress topper will reduce your nighttime pain, and, depending on the cause of your hip pain, might prevent the problem from getting worse.

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Discussion Comments
By anon995871 — On Jun 03, 2016

I am having severe hip pain at night to the point I can't lie in bed. It's in both hips, but the left is worse and hurts really bad. Please can you tell me what is going on? They are sore to the touch also throughout the day.

By bear78 — On Mar 03, 2013

I had a bad fall on my hip during a soccer game. I've been having a lot of pain both during the day and at night. I don't see any visible swelling. Does this sounds like hip muscle pain?

By burcidi — On Mar 03, 2013

@fBoyle-- The article mentioned many reasons for why this could be. You need to see a doctor and have some tests done to know what the problem is.

I was experiencing the same kind of hip pain symptoms last year. My doctor did a short physical exam and said that I have signs of a herniated disc. I had an MRI done and I really did have a herniated disc in my spine.

About the hip pain at night, my doctor said that when a sciatic nerve is under pressure, it can cause pain in different areas. Apparently, the pain can be felt at the hip, the buttocks and legs. Mine was showing itself at my hip.

After I was diagnosed, I received treatment with muscle relaxers and physical therapy. The hip pain went away after that. I still have pain from time to time, especially if I do wrong movements during the day or sleep on the wrong kind of bed. But it's a lot better now.

By fBoyle — On Mar 02, 2013

I don't have any pain during the day. I stand, walk and sit without any problems. But when I'm sleeping at night, my right hip starts to hurt. It aches throughout the night and it's worse if I'm sleeping on my right side. Soon after I get up in the morning, the pain disappears.

It's been like this for almost three weeks. What's wrong with me?

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