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Why Do I Have Hip Pain At Night? – And How To Relieve It

Dr. Arnan Sisson, PT| January 11, 2023

Are you struggling to get to sleep because of hip pain at night? And are you waking up feeling tired?

We speak to patients every day who are struggling to cope with hip pain, and it can affect their everyday activities like walking the dog or doing the weekly shopping trips.

But it doesn’t have to rule your life! In this blog we explore the reasons you experience hip pain at night and how you can relieve the pain at home.

Why Do I Get Hip Pain At Night?

There are a few reasons why you may be starting to get hip pain at night, but the three main culprits that we see in our clinics are…


Osteoarthritis is a condition that can cause your joints to become painful and stiff due to cartilage breakdown. This breakdown can be caused by general ageing or overuse of a particular joint.

It is also the most common type of arthritis found in hip pain sufferers across the US.

However, there are other types of arthritis that can cause hip pain at night such as rheumatoid arthritis.

Your Sleeping Position

Your sleeping position can affect your hips, especially if you are a side sleeper or you don’t move around a lot in your sleep.

Side sleepers often have poor sleep posture because there is a build-up of pressure from your hips and knees being out of alignment on the side you lie on.

This can cause you to wake up in the night experiencing chronic hip pain, or even wake up in the morning with it.

For those who don’t move around a lot in their sleep, this can also affect your hips, more so when you wake up in the morning.

Lack of movement during the night can cause your hip joints to swell and become stiff leading to chronic pain when you do come to move in the morning.

Your Mattress

If your mattress is too soft or too hard, this could be the root cause of your hip pain.

Lying on a mattress that doesn’t have the correct support can trigger pressure points around your hips which can cause them to hurt while you’re in bed or cause you to wake up throughout the night.

How To Relieve Hip Pain At Night

Change Your Sleeping Position

If you’re a side sleeper, try sleeping on your back to take weight off your hips during the night.

If sleeping on your back is uncomfortable and you need to sleep on your side, you can try putting a pillow between your knees. This will separate your knees very slightly and keep your hips aligned during the night, giving you some pressure relief.

Alternatively, if you have a wedge-shaped pillow, you can place this underneath your hip to provide cushioning.

Don’t have a wedge pillow? Don’t worry! You can use a normal pillow or a rolled-up blanket to create the shape and get the same effect.

A Good Sleep Routine

Having a positive bedtime routine can be a huge help when relieving hip pain at night.

For example, taking a warm bath around 2 hours before you go to sleep can help your body release natural pain fighters (endorphins).

In combination with the warm water relaxing the muscles around your hip, a bath could really prove useful to relieve your hip pain enough to get you a good night’s sleep.

You also need a relaxing routine, do something you enjoy for a couple of hours before you sleep, like picking up a new book or watching your favorite television show. It will help to fully relax you before you go to sleep.

The final component to a good sleep routine is to go to bed and wake up at the same time every day. The routine your body will get into will help you fall asleep faster at night, stay asleep during the night, and wake up easier in the morning.

Gentle Stretching Throughout The Day

Take a couple of minutes during your day to stretch your hips and get up and have a move around from time to time.

This will help to ease your hip pain during the day but also prevent or lessen the pain at night.

A simple stretch you could try is to bring one knee slowly up to your waist in a standing position, hold it for a couple of seconds, and then repeat with the other leg.

Do this around 4 times a day to really feel the benefit.


Applying ice to the painful area for 20 minutes 3 times a day can decrease inflammation and allow you to prevent pain as well as relieve it.

You should always wait at least 1 hour between icing sessions, so you don’t damage the skin around the area you’re icing.

How Can Physical Therapy Help Hip Pain At Night?

If you’re worried that your hip pain is getting worse or the pain is intensifying, physical therapy could be the best solution for you.

Our team have worked with thousands of patients just like you who are struggling to sleep because of hip pain at night and are waking up in pain unable to enjoy their favorite activities.

At Sisson & Associates we offer free discovery visits where you can chat to one of our friendly physical therapists.

They will help you find the best treatment options for you and start you on your journey to pain-free hips without the use of painkillers, scary surgeries, or unpleasant injections.

To arrange your free discovery visit with one of the team, complete our simple webform, or if you prefer to talk over the telephone, you can call us on (804) 493-3256 (accepting messages 24/7).

Other Free Resources For Hip Pain

Click Here To Read – The Fastest Way To Recover From Hip Replacement Surgery

Click Here To Read – I’ve Pulled A Muscle… Now What?

Click Here To Read – Do I Need To Stretch More?

We also have free, downloadable reports for people with Back Pain, Knee Pain, or Neck And Shoulder Pain

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