Side sleeping is the most common sleeping position, and some people also think that side sleeping is a healthier sleeping position. However, long-term side sleeping may also bring about some adverse effects, such as causing unbalanced forces on both sides of the spine, inducing facet joint disorders or scoliosis. In addition, side sleeping may also cause hip pain. If you are looking for some effective methods to relieve the hip pain, no worry, this article is to tell you how to relieve hip pain from sleeping on the side. And now let’s get started.
How to relieve hip pain from sleeping on your side?
1. Use Heat or Cold Therapy.
Apply either a heating pad or a cold compress to the affected area for 15-20 minutes, several times a day. Heat can alleviate muscle tension and stiffness, while ice can curb inflammation and dull the pain.
2. Stretching and Exercise.
Gentle stretching and strengthening exercises can enhance flexibility and alleviate discomfort. Consult your doctor or physical therapist for exercises suitable for your specific condition.
3. Adjust Your Sleep Posture.
To relieve pressure on your hips and alleviate pain, try sleeping on your back or on the opposite side. Placing a supportive pillow between your knees can help maintain a neutral hip position while you sleep.
4. Over-the-Counter Pain Medication.
Over-the-counter pain relievers like ibuprofen or acetaminophen can alleviate discomfort and curb inflammation.
5. Physical Therapy.
A physical therapist can design a customized exercise program to enhance hip strength and flexibility and reduce pain.
6. Other Treatment Options.
If your pain is severe or persistent, go to see a doctor. And your doctor may recommend alternative treatments such as cortisone injections, prescription pain medication, or surgery to help relieve hip pain.
Why does my hip hurt if I sleep on my side?
If you feel your hip hurts while sleeping on your side, there could be a few reasons:
1. It may be localized compression caused by holding one position for a long time.
If you lie on your side for a long time, the shoulder joints, upper arms, elbow joints and hip joints will be oppressed for a long time, which will easily cause muscle and ligament strain and cause pain.
2. It may result from bursitis.
Bursitis is an inflammation of the small fluid-filled sacs (bursae) that cushion the bones, tendons, and muscles near your joints. Bursitis can be caused by repeated pressure on the bursae, such as from sleeping on one side for an extended period of time. Sleeping on your side can put pressure on these bursae and cause pain in your hip.
3. You have a muscle strain or other soft tissue injury in your hip.
If you have a structural issue with your spine or pelvis, it may cause your hip to hurt when you sleep on your side. If you have tight or strained muscles in your hips, sleeping on your side can put pressure on these muscles and cause them to spasm, leading to pain.
Does a pillow help with hip pain?
Yes. A pillow can help relieve hip pain in some cases. The ideal pillow can assist in preserving correct alignment and lessening pressure on the hips, lower back, and other joints during sleep. For instance, if you sleep on your side, inserting a pillow between your knees can keep your hips in a balanced position and ease pressure on the joints. And if you sleep on your back, placing a pillow beneath your knees can decrease pressure on your lower back and hips.
However, you should be noted that relying solely on a pillow may not fully eliminate hip pain. Other elements such as sleep posture, mattress quality, and underlying health issues can also play a role in causing hip pain. If you are undergoing severe hip pain, it is advisable to seek the advice of a doctor or physical therapist for a thorough examination and a tailored treatment plan.
Where should a pillow be placed for hip pain?
As we mentioned above, a pillow can alleviate hip pain in some instances. So where should a pillow be placed for hip pain?
- Between the knees: If you like sleeping on your side, put a pillow between your knees to keep your hips in a neutral posture and alleviate joint pressure.
- Under the belly: If you like sleeping on your stomach, put a pillow under your belly to ease pressure on your hips.
- Under the knees: If you like sleeping on your back, place a pillow under your knees to lower pressure on your lower back and hips.
Finding a supportive and comfortable pillow that suits you is crucial, as each person's needs and preferences vary. If you still experience hip pain after adjusting your pillow or taking the methods above, it’s wise to consult with a doctor or physical therapist for additional guidance.
Sleeping on your side can cause hip pain, but there are ways to alleviate this discomfort. Placing a supportive and comfortable pillow that meets your individual needs and preferences between your knees can help maintain a neutral position for your hips, and reduce pressure on the joints. Doing gentle stretching and strengthening exercises regularly can help relieve the hip pain as well. However, if hip pain persists even after trying these options, it is recommended to seek the advice of a doctor or physical therapist for a comprehensive evaluation and personalized treatment plan.