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ask: Hip pain in middle of the night; dull ache that wakes me up. What could it be?

By Anonymous
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I am in my mid-30s, and have recently been having pain in my hips in the middle of the night. It reminds me of the RLS (restless leg syndrome) commercials, although I do not have any of these symptoms (no needle-sensation, no crawling-sensation). It is a dull ache, and I try to move my hips and legs around to get rid of the pain (it feels like it is deep inside, not a muscle or bone), but moving it seems to irritate it a little more. It is actually not on my hip bone, but closer to the middle of my "gluteus maximus" on each side. It's been happening the past few weeks, always around 2am or 3am and wakes me up.

I've been taking some ibuprofen, and eventually falling back asleep, but would rather not have to keep taking medication.

When I was pregnant with my child 3 years ago, I had a real problem with my sciatic (spelling?) nerve in my hips. Feels similar, but not the same.

Any suggestions?

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EmpowHER Guest

I had mysterious groin pain for a long time and then at night just like u I would wake up to the outside of my hip hurting. For me it was a liberal tear in my hip joint I needed surgery. However the outer part of the pain is something different. I don't know the technical name but any doctor will know if you tell them your i.t. band is over tight. It's a ligament that starts at the hip around the side of your butt then runs down the side all the way to your knee. Because of my tear that band was working to hard. U need to look up stretches for it they are easy to do and they feel really good when done right. At the start it might be painful but that's just showing how tight that band is. It feels a lot better after you stretch it for 3 days the pain will stop when stretching and it will start to feel good. Make sure u do both sides if u only do one the other will start to get tight on you as well. Hope this helps sleep well

March 27, 2015 - 12:03am
EmpowHER Guest

I am due for a hip replacement and the pain at night is severe. I was waking up after unintentionally lying on my back with my knees up but rotating out (like having legs spread when birthing but with my feet together). I woke up always in severe pain, whimpering and walking around until I could sleep again, I also had cramps. A few weeks ago I wondered how I could keep my knees together and so I made a figure 8 with a pair of panty hose just above my knees. My goodness what a differnece!!! Now I can sleep soundly all night, moving into any position and my knees never spreading apart too far! I tried the pillow between the knees, the lying on my back etc but I would always move positions and end up in the painful one. Now I am free to move about in the night with my figure 8 stocking stopping me from getting into any positions that hurt. Of course it's not too tight and I just slide it up to my hips if I need to get out of bed to the loo.

March 7, 2015 - 1:10am
EmpowHER Guest

I had the same problem in my left hip for a number of years and saw a wide range of health practitioners. The solution for me has turned out to be very simple: sleep on my stomach. This allows me to keep the leg extended. Maybe it won't work for others, but it's easy to try it. Back when I used to get the pain during the night, a solution was to get up and walk around for a while. Then I realised I could achieve relief by lying on my stomach (thereby mildly stretching out the psoas). I change position inevitably during the night but by favouring an on-stomach position I no longer experience night pain in the hip.

February 20, 2015 - 12:34pm
EmpowHER Guest

I have been having these same aches for the past few months and also in the past and until now I have never understood why I have these episodes. Having just read this article: I think I can finally make sense of it!
I do a lot of regular exercise and having recently given up running I have started rebounding (mini trampoline). My new regime does not include many stretches afterwards, only may a few obvious ones but I can see now how much I am using the hip flexor muscles and how little attention I have been paying to stretching them out. This would also have been true in the past when I used to use a cross-trainer machine every day. I am also guilty of sleeping with my legs drawn up which also contributes to shortened hip flexors. I am now going to include plenty of hip flexor release stretches following my workouts and perhaps before bed each day in the hope that they help to ease this miserable discomfort. Hope some of you find relief in doing the same.

January 17, 2015 - 4:10pm
EmpowHER Guest
Anonymous (reply to Anonymous)

I have had the same hip pain for many years, but 99% of the time it was only when I slept that I experienced the pain. it was so intense that it would wake me up. then today I found this.
it first started in my 30.s only happening rarely, then later in life more frequent.

January 28, 2015 - 2:38am
EmpowHER Guest

I have had this same problem for maybe 2 years and I am 18, but I am a very active person and I swim competitively. Both my hips hurt at night sometimes one more than the other. I am a little over weight though, but I am working to take it off. Should I be concerned with this problem because of my age?

December 29, 2014 - 7:37am
EmpowHER Guest

I am a 57 year old woman who goes through periods of being very active and then not so active. I have had hip pain at night off and on for the past several years. I get it whether i exercise or not. My pain does not radiate in my legs or back. The best way to describe it is a severe ache that feels like I have been sleeping on a cold wet ground (if you've tent camped you know what I am talking about). I do release exercises and I sleep with a pillow between my knees but still get no relief. It does not bother me during the day but oh boy, I nights are dreadful.

December 2, 2014 - 8:21pm
Maryann Gromisch RN Guide (reply to Anonymous)

Hello Anonymous,

Welcome to EmpowHER. Have you discussed this with your primary care physician? If the hip pain is preventing you from getting a restful sleep, it is time to mention this to your physician. With the aid of diagnostic imaging and a physical exam, the cause of your pain can be determined and treatment options offered.


December 3, 2014 - 10:34am
EmpowHER Guest
Anonymous (reply to Anonymous)

Do you or your neighbours have WIFI? If you have it, it might be worth turning it off at night to see if that might be contributing to the problem. Also, do you sleep near your mobile phone - if so turn it off or at least move it far away from your bed to see if that helps. I recently read that a huge percentage of mobile phone owners sleep with their phones on their pillows, even though mobile phone radiation is suspected of causing brain tumours! All this radiation we are exposed to these days is extremely unnatural and many believe it is causing us all manner of health problems, so I wonder if some of us are feeling the effects of radiation in our bones and tissues. Even the WHO (World Health Organization) recommends using wired instead of wireless technology, especially around children.

You can buy anti stress bedding that stops EMFs (electromagnetic fields) from passing through your body at night. You can also buy shielding material for your windows if you happen to live close to a mobile phone tower and/or power lines - apparently 95% of outside radiation comes in through the windows. Some people even go so far as to line their walls and floors with aluminium foil to block radiation out of their bedrooms. Oak is also supposed to block radiation, so oak floors or cork under your bed might also help. But if you are going to block out radiation, don't forget to remove or switch off anything inside your bedroom that might be emitting radiation. Otherwise you'll be blocking it in.

I don't have WIFI or a mobile phone, and the nearest mobile phone tower is nearly a mile away, so I suspect my hip pain was being caused by EMFs just from the wiring in the walls of my bedroom. I now use some of the anti stress bedding and it definitely reduced the pain I was getting so that I rarely experience any now, and when I do, it is barely perceptible.

December 3, 2014 - 5:35am
EmpowHER Guest
Anonymous (reply to Anonymous)

I would love to see the research supporting the "oak floors" theory as it is a more dense type of wood it definitely does not stop radiation. Time distance and shielding material will stop alpha beta and gama radiation wood does not quite take the place of lead shielding.

As for the wireless Emr signals to cause a certain type of painful RLS symptoms... Good luck fishing that well as no definitive proof comes from this study either.

My sources I cannot discuss due to my security classification with what I actually do in my job. I have almost a growing pain sensation but it sounds like what is listed with a few other posts. Good luck to everyone and beware of causal suggestions with vague explanation for your pain.

December 10, 2014 - 2:57am
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