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Maryann Gromisch RN Guide

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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 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: http://www.calmmindpainfreebody.com/painfreebody/hipflexorstrategies/hip... 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

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
EmpowHER Guest

I found huge relief doing what one comment suggested, and you can do it at home. Its called" hip flexor release". If you search those three words, you will find a number of YouTube videos and articles that provide various techinques for loosening the hip flexors. The one that works best for me is the myofascial techniques which uses a small ball. I happen to have a hard foam ball that I confiscated from my son. It works wonderfully. It provides a super deep muscle stretch of the hip flexors that all work the hip joint. Anyone who sits or stands alot (or sleeps on their side in one position) can suffer from these supportive muscles tightening up. Age can also make the muscles less pliable. Honest. Do yourself a huge, huge favor and look it up and try out some of the technique. They resolved my issue - no meds, no doctor, no cost, did it at home. Best of luck to each of you. I know the pain and it's miserable.

October 15, 2014 - 2:55am
EmpowHER Guest


I have the same problem I found this article helpful

October 9, 2014 - 1:17am

I am 38 and been living with hip pain for the past 5 years. My mom had a hip replacement when she was 60 and my brother has had hip pain for a number of years. My sister was the only one that seems to have escaped it. I have a dull aching pain whenever I lie down and try to sleep. I am not a lover of popping pills, so rather just live with the pain, when I cant take it anymore and need sleep then I do take painkillers which knock me out and I get a good and much needed night of sleep. I have no idea what is wrong with me, wish I did so I can fix it without the meds.

July 27, 2014 - 10:48pm
EmpowHER Guest

I have developed hip pain over the past 2 years, shortly after being diagnosed with Rhumatoid Arthritis and medication is managing that well. I would wake up every night, tossing and turning. My RA doctor didn't pay much attention to this, but I have, by elimination, may have found what exacerbates the pain for me and this is sugar. So I try not to have any sugar or sweet things to eat some hours before bed. Also I have switched to soy milk - this might sound a bit odd, but for now I haven't had the painful hips for several weeks. I am wondering if anyone else has discovered the pain could be associated to foods with sugar?

June 12, 2014 - 7:28am
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