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An Overview to Hip Pain When Sleeping On Side

Are you a side sleeper that experiences hip pain when sleeping on the side? What about after sleeping on your side? As it turns out, hip pain can be a fairly common problem that can arise when sleeping on the side. Hip pains are usually identified by pain felt on the outer side of the hip and is usually a symptom of hip bursitis, or the inflammation of the hip joint. The pain felt during the initial stages of hip bursitis is described as pain or searing with it being more of an aching pain after several weeks.

So What Causes Hip Bursitis?

Hip Pain When Sleeping On Side

There are many different things that can cause hip bursitis. One obvious causes of hip bursitis is falling on the outside of the hip or hitting the hip on any hard surface which can cause the inflammation to the bursa’s lining. A more common reason for hip bursitis is performing activities which result in repetitive pressure on the hip. This is common among people who bike, run, or stand for long periods of time. Other contributing factors to hip pain includes age and gender (women and individuals in their 40s or older are more prone to hip bursitis) as well as other pre-existing conditions such as rheumatoid arthritis and gout. All of these, as well as other contributing factors can be the cause of the hip pain you feel when  sleeping on side. Generally, the pain is worse and most noticeable at night, when lying on the affected hip, exerting unnecessary stress on the affected hip.

While rehabilitation and physical therapy sessions, steroid injection to help relief hip bursitis symptoms and making use of a cane or crutches can be helpful in the treatment of this condition, there is one thing that is often neglected by a lot of individuals. That’s right, sleep. We spend about a third of our days sleeping and if doing so aggravates the hip either by our sleeping postures, or by not having a proper mattress that is supportive and comfortable, this is certainly something that individuals can and should immediately change. In fact, many of the individuals with hip problems often feel such pains wither while they are sleeping or immediately after they get out of bed. This suggests that sleep plays an important role to ensure that no further pressure is exerted on the affected hip.

In fact, when I was doing research on this topic, I found a majority of individuals experiencing hip pains during or after their sleep. Here are a few of the comments from one of the more relevant discussion for side sleepers.

One individual posts on a forum:

“I only get hip pain after sleeping and it is enough to wake me up.”

Another person replies stating:

“How old is the mattress? The people who want to sell you a new mattress say to replace after 8 years. Mine got to 10 years and I began to wake up with hip pain. If yours is older than 8 years, you might try sleeping one night on a newer mattress and see if it makes a difference. Treat yourself to a night in a hotel.”

And finally, someone chimes into the discussion commenting:

“I’ve experienced this with a saggy mattress. I think if it sags too much in the middle, the angle causes a “continual stretch” and IT band/muscles around the hip start to complain. “

All of these comments from a forum validates the fact that sleep and mattress is extremely important in preventing hip pains. All these comments do bring up some very valuable insights from individuals with a first-hand experience in dealing with hip pains. Perhaps one of the most important information from discussions like these is that sleeping on a comfortable and suitable mattress can make a world of difference.

Another interesting information to gain from this discussion which I cherry-picked was that mattresses that are sagging are bad for your hips if you have hip problems!  Sagging mattresses can be a result of many different contributing factors, but one of the most common reasons is that individuals tend to sleep at the same spot on the mattress, which over time causes depressions to form at those sleeping areas.

If all of this sounds familiar and if you’ve decided that you want to spend some money on purchasing a new mattress, the process of finding the best mattress for a side sleeper can be a challenging task. This is exactly the reason why I’ve done extensive research on this topic. An ideal mattress for a side sleeper would provide maximum support and comfort. This is usually achieved through features in mattresses that conform and contour to the body’s curve which in turn reduces the  exerted on the body’s pressure points such as the hips. In short, the mattress that would best meet the needs of side sleepers with hip pains is not only soft, but also at the same time, firm to provide support. Most side sleepers which experience hip pain, in other words, require a mattress that has a medium or soft to medium firmness.


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