Health blog

What’s causing me hip pain when I’m sleeping on either side?

April 5th, 2021
Hip Pain When Sleeping on Either Side

Are you experiencing hip pain when sleeping on either side of your body? Working with a physical therapist can help you determine the source of your pain. 

Hip pain is a common problem for Americans. One medical survey reports that more than 19% of the people who responded had hip pain. The survey also reveals that 52% of the respondents had pain in both hips. These statistics make it clear that dealing with hip pain when sleeping on either side is a much more common problem than many people might believe. Physical therapists can use their extensive knowledge to pinpoint the cause of your pain. Also, they can help you find ways to effectively treat and manage your hip pain

Four issues that can cause hip pain when you’re sleeping on either side

The human musculoskeletal system is the body system that physical therapists are trained to treat. Your hip joints are just one of the structures in this system. Some of the issues that your therapist may identify as the cause of your hip pain when sleeping on either side include: 

  1. Poor sleeping position — A 2012 sleep survey found that 74% of the respondents slept on their side. Yet this position can lead to pain in both of your hips. Direct pressure on the hip you’re lying on can be enough to trigger pain. Also, the other hip can be pulled out of alignment and start to ache when you’re lying on your side. Some people may find relief from their pain by sleeping with a pillow between their legs. 
  1. Hip osteoarthritis — Cartilage in the hip joints can wear out as we get older and cause some people to develop hip osteoarthritis. The pressure that side sleeping places on an arthritic hip can trigger increased arthritis pain at night. Staying in one position for long periods has also been shown to cause increased arthritis pain. 
  1. Hip bursitis — The trochanteric bursa is a pillowlike structure located at the point of your hip. Trochanteric bursitis occurs when this structure becomes inflamed. It’s estimated that 6.6% of women and 1.9% of men develop this condition in both hips at the same time. As a result, sleeping on either hip may lead to discomfort at night. 
  1. Sacroiliac joint dysfunction — The sacroiliac joints are located at the back of your pelvis. They connect the pelvic girdle to the lower spine. Inflammation in these joints is called sacroiliac joint dysfunction. This issue often causes pain in the pelvis, buttocks, hips and lower back. Sleeping on your side can increase pressure on the inflamed joints and trigger more pain. 

Find help at Rehab Access for your hip pain when sleeping on either side

Determined to find effective treatment for the hip pain you feel when sleeping on either side? Our Rehab Access Physical Therapy team is prepared to help you meet this goal. Our specialists can do a free screening on your hips to diagnose the cause of your pain. Then, we can build you a personalized treatment plan designed to decrease your pain. 

Contact our team today for more information about the treatment options we offer for hip pain or to schedule an initial appointment.