Hip pain when lying down


The causes of hip pain when lying down can be very different. The assumption that Hip pain is a symptom of exclusively elderly people turns out to be in error. Hip pain when lying down is a widespread phenomenon, which can have very different causes. Quite apart from the reason that can be held responsible for the pain, hip pain is an unpleasant symptom that should be clarified by a doctor if it persists for a long time. Since the exact cause of the individual symptoms can only be determined through a precise anamnesis and a physical examination, a visit to a doctor is inevitable in the case of long-term hip pain.


Although the causes of hip pain when lying down can be extremely different, a few common causes for the symptoms should be listed here. It is important to mention that although the pain feels as if the hip joint is responsible for it, the muscular structures in this area are usually the cause of the problem.

Since some pain while moving and during physical distraction is often perceived much less than at rest, hip pain may be particularly noticeable when lying down, when the body is at rest and can concentrate on the pain.

Hip pain when lying down is particularly common in people who lie on their side while sleeping. The pressure that the hips are automatically subjected to in this body position can cause pain in this area after waking up or during the night. Since the hip bears the greatest body weight in this position, it is the part of the body that causes the most symptoms and can cause pain in those affected. The symptoms can occur particularly with a bad or unfavorable (too hard or too soft) mattress in combination with an unfavorable sleeping position. The slatted frame can also be responsible for the symptoms of the sore hip.

However, there are other causes that can be responsible for hip pain when lying down. For example, flu-like infections can cause pain in the limbs, which can also manifest itself in hip pain. Other infections can also trigger these symptoms. Often these pains are not felt so strongly when moving, which is why the pain can be particularly pronounced when lying down.

Tendonitis or bursitis can also be the cause of the pain. Particularly active, sporty people can be affected by this disease and have pain in the hip joint area when lying down.

Read more on the subject at: Greater trochanter pain.

Hip pain when lying down in children and adolescents can in some cases be attributed to bone growth in the growth phase. Legs of unequal length can also cause hip pain, which is particularly noticeable when lying down.

In many cases, overstressing the joint and the muscles surrounding the joint is the cause of hip pain. Such a cause can be quickly eliminated by protecting the joint and muscles.

Pregnancy can also cause hip pain while lying down. The stress during pregnancy can lead to a relaxation of the symphysis, which can be noticeable in pain. If a particularly unfavorable position is taken while lying down, this can lead to a sore pelvis or hip during pregnancy.

Read more on the topic: Hip pain in pregnancy

Arthrosis of the hip joint can also cause severe pain, which the affected person can feel strongly even when lying down. With advanced osteoarthritis, however, symptoms should also be felt while walking.

If you have restless legs syndrome, you may experience pain in your hips during the night when you are lying down. In most cases, however, movement disorders of the legs occur at the same time.

Hip pain when lying down - at night

Pain that occurs at night at rest is always suspicious of an inflammatory process. While osteoarthritis, which is caused by wear and tear of the joint cartilage, is painful especially when it is exerted, joint inflammation causes symptoms even at rest, especially at night. It can be inflammation of a nerve, bursae, or the joint itself.
Nerve inflammation can make itself felt as a burning pain that cannot be easily localized. If the upper, outer thigh in particular hurts, it is probably a cutaneous nerve that passes through the inguinal ligament and can be compressed. The compression can be a result of increased strength training, massive fat mass, or clothing that is too tight. In this case, there is also often a tingling numbness on the side of the thigh.
Other nerve compressions, such as those associated with a herniated disc, can become symptomatic at night when lying down. However, the irritation mainly takes place during the day under stress.
Inflammation of the hip bursa can also lead to nocturnal pain, which is particularly localized on the lateral thigh near the hip and can be the result of hip surgery or mechanical stress.
Inflammation of the hip joint itself is called coxarthritis. Rheumatoid arthritis or psoriasis with joint involvement can be the cause. Bacterial inflammation is also possible. These can also occur after joint endoscopy, if pathogens have entered the joint as part of the measure.
Nocturnal hip pain can also indicate the rheumatic disease of Bechterew's disease. This leads to inflammatory pain, which occurs primarily in the lower spine joints and the sacrum and iliac joint and can therefore sometimes be perceived as hip pain. The joints stiffen in the course and there can also be inflammation of the iris of the eye. Here, too, the inflammatory component leads to pain, which occurs primarily at night and which gets better with movement. In addition, there is usually more than 30 minutes of morning stiffness in the morning.
In addition, nocturnal hip pain can in rare cases also be a sign of a tumor disease. This can be a bone tumor, an osteosarcoma, or a metastasis of a tumor from another organ.
If the pain occurs in other parts of the body and no medically pathological correlate can be found for the pain, the joint pain can also be fibromyalgia.

Read more on the topic: Hip pain at night - what's behind it?

Hip pain when lying down and when walking

If the hip joint hurts when walking, one thinks primarily of osteoarthritis. Osteoarthritis describes joint wear and tear that goes beyond what is considered normal for a certain age. The articular cartilage wears away and as a result the bones rub against each other when moving. This leads to severe pain when moving. As a rule, there is no pain at rest, but pressure on the affected side can also lead to pain when lying down.
Read more on the subject at: Osteoarthritis of the hip
Another reason for hip pain when lying down and when walking is bursitis. Bursitis usually begins as acute pain when the leg is put under pressure. So it can e.g. come to a drawing and stabbing pain when walking. If the inflammation becomes chronic, the discomfort occurs not only when walking but also at rest. The bursitis usually arises as a result of mechanical irritation when moving, but can also be the result of a surgical intervention on the hip or, in rare cases, the result of gout.

Hip pain when lying down and when sitting

Pain at rest when sitting can be an indication of piriformis syndrome. The piriformis muscle is an internal hip muscle that is responsible for the external rotation of the hip joint. Below this muscle, the sciatic nerve runs from the hip down to the leg. When the priformis muscle is thickened, the sciatic nerve can become compressed. The irritation of the nerve leads to pain.
The piriformis syndrome can occur e.g. after a one-sided overload, which leads to a cramp in the muscle. Running can overstrain the muscle.This mainly occurs when the person has legs of different lengths or some other peculiarity that leads to unilateral stress. In addition, however, poor posture, such as may be assumed during long car journeys, can lead to the syndrome. Sometimes the pressure lesion of the nerve is also triggered by long periods of sitting. This occurs particularly in men who carry their wallet in their back pocket and so the nerve is exposed to increased pressure on one side.

Hip pain when lying down during pregnancy

The weight of the pregnancy belly can put pressure on the sensory nerve running through the groin and on the side of the thigh. This is mostly expressed by tingling sensations or pain in the groin or hip area.
Furthermore, the increased stress on the hips caused by the child's weight or a poor physical posture alone can lead to hip pain in the sense of an unfamiliar incorrect stress. The hip muscles are tense and painful due to the poor posture. However, this pain is more likely to occur when moving.
Another reason why hip pain can occur during pregnancy is due to hormonal changes. It causes the ligaments that stabilize the hip bones to loosen up. This can lead to loosening of the pubic symphysis, which can also manifest itself in hip pain.
In addition, pregnant women are generally recommended to sleep sideways. This leads to increased pressure on the hip joint, which can lead to pain.
Furthermore, of course, all hip diseases that are not specific to pregnancy, such as Rheumatic diseases play a role and should be clarified.

Read more on the subject at: Hip pain in pregnancy

Hip pain when lying on your side

Pain when lying on your side can indicate a bursitis. The bursa are small bags of tissue that are filled with the same fluid that is in the joints. They serve as natural cushions and can be found on all major joints. At the hip, the bursae are located on the lateral thighbone between the muscle tendons and the hard thighbone.
If this natural padding is irritated and inflamed, pressure on the bursa can cause pain. In the case of hip bursa, due to their location on a lateral bone protrusion, this is the case especially when they are lying on their side. There are also external bursa on the knee joint. However, these do not hurt when lying on their side, as there is less pressure on them. The hip, on the other hand, represents a center of gravity.
The inflammation can have several causes. On the one hand, overstressing the joint can lead to increased irritation of the cushioning bursa, which ultimately leads to inflammation. In addition, minor injuries or previous operations can lead to bacterial infections of the bursa.

Hip pain when lying down due to wrong mattress

A poorly adapted mattress leads to chronic poor posture at night. Not only can this lead to hip pain, but back pain as well. It is therefore important to always consider buying a mattress. It does not necessarily apply that the most expensive mattress is the best. Much more value should be placed on individual advice.
The mattress must optimally support your own body. This means that it is just so hard or soft that cavities are filled and supported, while prominent parts of the body can sink into the mattress. The cavities include the lumbar spine in the supine position and the waist in the lateral position. In the side sleeping position, however, the shoulders and hips protrude. Ultimately, the goal is for the spine to be as straight as it is when standing, both on the side and on the back. Since it is difficult to judge whether the back is straight or not when lying down, the mattress should always be bought in pairs or with the help of a competent advisor.

Are you interested in this topic? Read more about this in our next article: Pain in the thigh and hip


Pain in the hip muscles that occurs after intensive training can be relieved by taking breaks from training.

The decision as to which therapy is the right one for hip pain when lying down must be made according to the cause. First of all, it must be ensured that there is no serious illness behind the pain in the hip. This can be done through a detailed medical history with an orthopedic surgeon, as well as a physical examination in combination with imaging diagnostics. The anamnesis is one of the most important methods of choosing the correct therapy. For example, a previous fall, specific training methods or previous illnesses can be clear indications of the cause of hip pain when lying down.

If both serious illnesses have been ruled out and the anamnesis does not reveal a clear cause for the reason for the pain in the hip, you can consider buying a good mattress and a good slatted frame, which are tailored to your own body type, so that they can help Get rid of discomfort. For people who sleep on their side and complain of hip pain when lying down, using a side pillow or changing their sleeping position can help. These simple measures alone help many sufferers to get rid of the annoying hip pain.

Since in many cases the muscles are the cause of the problem, physiotherapy or massage can be the best therapy option. Once the muscles are less tense, the hip pain when lying down will get better. A change in training can also promise success in the therapy of hip pain. For example, after pain occurs during intensive training of the hip muscles (for example: gym, cycling, running), training should be paused for some time.

If a tendon or bursitis is present, which is usually caused by mechanical irritation and thus overload, medication, physical therapies and even operations can help.

It is important that hip pain in sheep is not addressed in self-treatment without medical attention. Although pain medication can combat the symptoms and thus the pain, the cause is usually not treated in this way. For this reason, a correct diagnosis by a doctor is recommended in the case of long-standing hip pain, as the causal therapy can only be started through the diagnosis.

If the pain actually only occurs when lying down and is moderate, extensive exercise should initially be avoided. If it is possible to spend a few nights on a different bed or a different mattress, this can be done in order to be able to hold your own bed responsible as the cause of the pain. If the pain does not improve after a while or if it worsens drastically, an appointment with an orthopedic surgeon is expressly recommended.

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My name is dr. Nicolas Gumpert. I am a specialist in orthopedics and the founder of .
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The hip joint is one of the joints that are exposed to the greatest stress.
The treatment of the hip (e.g. hip arthrosis, hip impingement, etc.) therefore requires a lot of experience.
I treat all hip diseases with a focus on conservative methods.
The aim of any treatment is treatment without surgery.
Which therapy achieves the best results in the long term can only be determined after looking at all of the information (Examination, X-ray, ultrasound, MRI, etc.) be assessed.

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