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Hip Pain Worsens at Night

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Hip Pain Can Be Worse at Night pathdoc/Fotolia

"Normal joint pain, especially in the hips, knees and shoulders, frequently worsens at night," according to Michael Schaefer, MD, Director of Musculoskeletal Physical Medicine & Rehabilitation at the Cleveland Clinic.

The alignment of your body during sleep comes from being so still at night which results in your body pain, as well as stiffness.

Schaefer said, "Joints swell at night, and motion gradually lubricates them and keeps the fluids moving round. When you stop moving, they can swell more."

"Research shows that between 50 and 90 percent of people with chronic joint pain don’t sleep well. And, that sleep deprivation can lead to other health issues, including low energy, mood disorders and eating problems," an article on the Cleveland Clinic website said.

The Cleveland Clinic recommends that you should see a doctor if you have joint pain plus any of the following medical issues:

• A history of cancer

• You experience night sweats

• The pain is not in a typical spot for arthritis

• You have a fever or chills

• You are losing weight unexpectedly

According to the Arthritis Foundation, there are three common causes of hip pain. These include osteoarthritis, tendinitis and bursitis.

Osteoarthritis is a common condition for anyone over the age of 50. Osteoarthritis pain is usually in the groin area and in the buttocks. The pain is a result of cartilage deterioration causing the bones to rub against one another.

Tendinitis in the hip feels like a deep dull ache in the groin. This inflammation is due to a band of tissue which connects muscles to bones. You will feel this pain when rising from a chair or climbing stairs.

One of the best non-medical treatments for tendinitis is ice. For my recent joint pain, my doctor recommended that I ice the area, 20 minutes on and 20 minutes off, several times a day.

Bursitis of the hip causes a burning sensation on the side of your hip. The burning feeling is due to inflammation of the bursae which are sacs of lubricating fluid that cushions your tendons.

Other reasons for night hip pain include a poor mattress, stiff lower back, tight muscles or bowel issues.

Sometimes when you are on vacation, you might wake up sore due to a soft or hard mattress. When you sleep, it is important to keep your spine and hips supported, or they will become strained.

If you change positions, the pain and pressure may be easily remedied.

Lower back pain and stiffness can also strain your hip joint if you are sleeping sideways on your hips. My doctor suggested that one way to avoid stiffness is to sleep on your back with your palms up, this will place your body in a position that will support your spine, back and hips.

Sometimes bowel issues can send pain shooting down to your hip area. If you have a fever and bowel issues with intense pain, you should seek medical advice immediately.

Reviewed June 24, 2016
by Michele Blacksberg RN
Edited by Jody Smith

"Why Your Hip Hurts." Causes for Hip Pain.  Web. 23 June 2016.  

"How to Keep Sore Hips, Knees, Shoulders from Ruining Your Sleep." Health Essentials from Cleveland Clinic. 28 Jan. 2015. Web. 23 June 2016.  

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We value and respect our HERWriters' experiences, but everyone is different. Many of our writers are speaking from personal experience, and what's worked for them may not work for you. Their articles are not a substitute for medical advice, although we hope you can gain knowledge from their insight.