When Hip Pain Sabotages Your Sleep

busy brainWhen Hip Pain Sabotages Your Sleep

If you fancy the side-lying position when you sleep—as I do—you will find that your sleep is interrupted, at best, and prevented, at worse, if you are dealing with ongoing hip pain. Hip pain can be experienced by athletes or the more sedentary among us, by those in their twenties and by those four times their age. Hip pain does not discriminate.

There are many causes of hip pain, from the radiation of pain from low back problems to hip arthritis to bursitis (which is typically caused by hip and pelvic muscle imbalances). Whatever the underlying source, the fact remains that while you are (hopefully) seeking a cure; you do need to get some restorative shut eye.

There are three things I always recommend my patients implement at bedtime while we are working towards a full resolve of their hip pain.

  1. If possible, try to sleep on the opposite side of your painful hip. (This might take a few nights of retraining.)
  2. Whichever side you chose to sleep on: Place a pillow lengthwise between your legs (groin to ankles) in order to unweight the heaviness of your top leg.
  3. If you must lie on the side of your painful hip: Fold a small towel or soft blanket and place it along your downward facing side—just above the top of your “hip” (pelvic bone) to your underarm area. This propping method will unweight the “heft” of your trunk from your painful hip, relieving much of the pinpointed pressure.

With these helpful modifications in place, my patients typically report being able to fall asleep with greater ease and sleep more comfortably throughout the night. I do hope they work for you if you find yourself in a similar predicament.

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