The Hip Joint And Its Muscles
The fashion industry has us thinking of our âhipsâ as the circumference below our waist and around our buttocks that we measure to choose our pants size. But the hip joint is actually located where the thigh bone meets the pelvis and it is where we âhingeâ to lift our knee to our chest or to sit down.
Stand up and run your hand down your side you will feel a small bony prominence under your hand at the top of your leg. This is the greater trochanter at the top of the femur and is the important location of the attachment of the some of the hip muscles. It is also often the focal point of lateral hip pain.
The outer muscles in your buttock â the muscles that create the shape of or lack thereof of the buttocks â are called the gluteal muscles. There are 3 of them: the outermost muscle is gluteus maximus, the next one is gluteus medius, and gluteus minimus is the deepest gluteal muscle.
These muscles have very important functions to move the hip joint in certain directions and they also work to stabilize the pelvis during activity. Gluteus minimus and medius are attached to the greater trochanter by the gluteal tendons.
Tendons are the strong tissues that attach muscles to bones and when a gluteal tendon is injured or unhealthy it can be the cause of lateral hip pain and the diagnosis of GTPS. If a tendon is damaged or unhealthy the term used to describe it is gluteal tendinopathy. Gluteal tendinopathy is the most common cause of GTPS.
Hip Pain Relief Sleeping Strategy 3
Use a mattress topper if you struggle to lie on your side because the hip you are lying on becomes sore from the pressure of lying on it, then something softer over the mattress may be of benefit. In conditions such as gluteal tendinopathy or greater trochanteric pain syndrome, the ideal is to avoid side lying. If this is not possible, then a mattress topper may help reduce the pain from compression on the lower hip. You could try to sleep on a thick soft duvet you have at home first to see if there is any benefit before heading out and spending money on a more expensive mattress topper.
What’s Causing The Pain
Dr. Elson says pain in the side of your hip most often results from one of the following conditions:
Tendinitis. This is an inflammation of the tendons that connect the gluteal muscles in your buttocks to the hip bone. “Tendinitis develops because of muscle imbalance. It could be from a lack of activity, crossing your legs, or even sitting on a wallet,” Dr. Elson says.
Overuse injury. When you walk or run, weak hip and buttock muscles can tighten and irritate the iliotibial band a long band of connective tissue that runs from the knee to the hip. It merges with the gluteal muscles to stabilize the leg.
Tight muscles in the buttocks and hip. If the gluteal muscles and IT band are too tight, they pull at the thighbone where they attach, and that causes pain on the side.
Spine problems. “The body isn’t always smart in recognizing where the pain is coming from,” Dr. Elson explains, “and spine arthritis, a pinched nerve, or bones in the spine rubbing together can create pain in the side of your hip.”
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Learn More About Hip Injections
Hip injections may be performed to both diagnose and treat hip pain. They involve injecting a local anesthetic combined with a steroid or corticosteroid directly into the outer regions of the spinal cord. This is where nerves lead to the hip, or in the hip joint itself. This procedure can:
- Help diagnose what specific nerve is leading to your pain
- Focus further treatments
- Inhibit pain signals of hip nerves
- Drain fluid in the hip
Hip injections provide a minimally-invasive and safe treatment option for more moderate to severe cases of hip pain.
Causes Of Hip Pain At Night & How To Get Relief
Who doesnt love a good nights sleep? It doesnt matter whether youve had a busy day or a relaxing day. Getting a full night of restful sleep is really important for maintaining a good mood, staying focused at work or school, and just being healthy.
Sleep is when your body regenerates itself, and when we miss even a little sleep, it can quickly cause problems with our emotional and physical well-being. Unfortunately, nighttime hip pain can throw a crimp into your sleeping routine. If youre dealing with bedtime pain in or around your hips, heres what you should know.
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What Does Osteoarthritis Of The Hip Feel Like
Osteoarthritis is an age-related condition that affects the hip joint. People with the disease experience pain or stiffness that can extend to other joints. This pain can make movement difficult and limit activities. In some cases, osteoarthritis of the hip can also affect the lower back or groin. Arthritis-related changes in the spine can also put pressure on nerves, resulting in pain and difficulty with bowel and bladder function.
Hip osteoarthritis is the end result of years of joint deterioration. Several factors, including age and obesity, contribute to the breakdown of cartilage. The joints also contain bursae, which provide additional lubrication. There are two bursae in the hip: one in the iliopsoas and one on the trochanteric . Both types of bursitis can cause a sharp pain.
Although there is no cure for osteoarthritis, the best treatment options include physical therapy and medication. Regular exercise helps your joints to stay healthy and prevent osteoarthritis pain and stiffness. It can also help you lose weight and improve your posture.
What Is Musculoskeletal Pain And Common Causes
Your musculoskeletal system supports your body. Its primarily made up of bones, joints, cartilage, muscles, tendons, ligaments, and connective tissue. These structures are present throughout your body, thus you may have pain from a musculoskeletal problem anywhere – from the muscles supporting your neck to a bone in your ankle joint. However, the neck, shoulder, back , hip, and knee are the areas most often affected.
Sprains and strains: Injuries to muscles, tendons, or ligaments
Incorrect or lack of movement, or overuse: This can come from something like poor lifting technique, bad posture, lack of physical activity, or repetitive movements
Arthritis: Long-term wear-and-tear on joints, especially osteoarthritis. Bursitis, as in hip bursitis, is another joint-related cause of pain. It is inflammation of the small sacs that lubricate the joints.
Injuries and accidents: Strains and sprains from sports injuries, slips & falls, or sudden, jarring movements
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Ways To Relieve Hip Pain That Is Worse At Night
Pain isnt normal. And, pain that interferes substantially with your sleep isnt sustainable. We rank the 17 best treatments you can try below. From at-home remedies to surgery, these methods have helped patients get the sleep they need.
However, as the Mayo Clinic post on hip pain warns, always talk to your doctor immediately if your pain is accompanied by:
- Any signs of infection, such as chills, fever, redness, or a sudden swelling
- An inability to move or bear weight on the affected leg
- Intense or severe pain
- A joint that appears deformed
These symptoms could indicate a more serious condition that requires immediate medical attention.
What Your Hip Pain May Be Telling You
You might feel it when youre pivoting into your golf swing. Or maybe it happens when you do something as normal as turning from the stove to grab something on the counter.
For a lot of people who sit for long periods at a desk, in a car, on an airplane thats when they feel it: A sharp, stabbing pain or dull ache in the groin or along the outside of the hip.
Over time, the pain becomes intense enough that people give up on pastimes they love, like golf and traveling. Everyday tasks become more and more difficult.
Your problem could be FAI: femoroacetabular impingement. FAI occurs when the labrum, a thick cartilage that acts like a bumper cushion around the ball and socket hip joint, tears away from the socket. Its usually the result of deformities or an injury. The pain from this can be felt in the groin area and the outer hip.
Symptoms of FAI
Patients with FAI have similar symptoms and often share a common lifestyle. Symptoms include:
- Sharp stabbing or dull, insidious onset pain in groin or outer hip
- Discomfort while sitting, especially in low-seated vehicles like sedans, airplanes and desks
Many FAI sufferers spend much of the day in a seated position, working on a computer. Or they may be road warriors who travel a great deal, either commuting to work or flying as part of their jobs. Some are athletes involved in hockey, football, baseball, gymnastics, ballet, dancing, yoga or pilates.
Time for a hip scope?
Mistaking FAI for arthritis or hernia
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What Causes Hip Pain When Sitting Or Lying Down And What Can You Do About It
When an injury or condition is affecting your hips, you can expect to feel pain when using your hips. However, you might be surprised to feel pain in your hips when sitting or lying down.
Learn more about what causes hip pain when sitting and lying down and what kinds of treatment options are available.
Rice: Rest Ice Compress Elevate
Itâs a good first step for any hip pain. Rest, but donât stop all movements , just the ones that hurt. Ice for 20 minutes at a time, and use a cloth so you wonât damage your skin. Compress the painful area with an elastic bandage, but not too much. Loosen it up if you see skin turning blue. Elevate the injured part on a pillow or stool to stop blood from pooling there.
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For Your Convenience We’ve Divided These Causes Into Five Categories As Follows
- Low risk: This can be easily managed with over-the-counter medications or by avoiding the movement/stressor causing your pain.
- Low-medium risk: Usually managed as an outpatient by your doctor with prescription medication.
- Medium risk: May require a visit to your doctor or hospitalization. Prescription medication may be necessary.
- Medium-high risk: Hospitalization or urgent intervention. Although not life-threatening get help immediately of some kind.
- High risk: Serious and potentially lethal complications possible emergent intervention needed Intensive Care Unit care often needed.
Is Radiating Lower Back And Hip Pain Dangerous
Most back pain is harmless caused by sleeping in an awkward position, stretched muscles, overexertion, sitting down too long or falling on the ischial tuberosity , or minor hip injuries caused by twisting a certain way during sports like volleyball. Many injuries arise simply from improper form during exercise, sports injuries, or strains.
But there are some pretty serious causes for back and hip pain as well. Lower back pain, in particular, can be a sign of various serious conditions such as advanced kidney infections or a condition called interstitial cystitis, which can cause inflammation of the tissues of the bladder. Sciatica causes lower back pain, pain in the back of the knee, pain in right buttock cheek, unilateral pain, thigh pain, pain behind the knee and calf, and muscle weakness in legs as well.
Outer hip pain and lateral hip pain, though typically not cause for alarm , can be a sign of a serious bone condition, such as arthritis in the back, rheumatoid arthritis, osteoarthritis, or tendonitis but can also indicate a more serious bone condition like a fracture, labral tear, or conditions such as snapping hip syndrome or osteonecrosis.
The sciatic nerve is a long nerve that runs all the down both sides of the body, beginning at the bottom two vertebra of the back, through the hip area, and all the way down the legs. The pain is usually unilateral with this disorder.
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Best Sleeping Position For Hip Pain
When you sleep in a bad posture, it could lead to things like:
Finding the best sleep position for hip pain can help you avoid these issues and make for a pleasant night of sleep.
Sleep on your back. It reduces the bodys pressure points and helps to relieve muscular tensions.
Side sleeping is a common sleep position. It does ease muscle relaxation and helps with overall rest, but as you read above, for some, hip pain at night lying on the side could occur.
If you must sleep on your side, sleep on the unaffected side and try drawing your knees up while placing a pillow between your legs to help align your hips and keep your knees from touching.
Hip pain when sleeping on the side doesn’t have to be a problem for you.
If you follow some of the tips above, you should experience some relief.
You could try changing your mattress for a higher quality one, such as Polysleep’s high-end memory foam mattress: the Zephyr. This seems to help many people.
For others, it’s as simple as placing a pillow between their legs or sleeping on their back.
Experiment with different sleep positions to see what works best for you.
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Pain On The Side Of Your Hip Is More Likely From Tendinitis Tight Muscles Or Another Condition
Hip bursitis an inflammation between your thighbone and nearby tendons is commonly diagnosed when patients have pain on the outer side of the hip. However, several other conditions can cause similar pain, and require different treatments. “Doctors often assume that pain on the outer side of the hip is due to bursitis. But 90% of the time, it’s not bursitis,” says Dr. Lauren Elson, a physiatrist with Harvard-affiliated Massachusetts General Hospital.
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Hip Pain At Night : Causes And Symptoms
Chronic hip pain at night affects around one in five people aged over 65 and is more common in women, particularly those aged 4060 years. It can disturb your sleep and/or make it difficult to fall asleep. When hip pain affects the outer side of your hip, it is called lateral hip pain.
There are many different causes of hip pain, including overuse during the day when exercising, the position that you sleep in, moving in bed and your joints swelling at night.
Hip Osteoarthritis And Other Types Of Arthritis
Hip osteoarthritis causes the cartilage in your hip joint to wear out over time, causing the bones in your hip joint to rub together, which leads to inflammation, pain and stiffness. It is a chronic, degenerative condition. However, treatment can reduce or prevent further joint damage.
Hip rheumatoid arthritis is an autoimmune condition ie your immune system mistakenly attacks the tissues in your hip joint. It is also a chronic condition. As with osteoarthritis, treatment can reduce or prevent further damage.
Symptoms of hip arthritis, include:
- A clicking, grinding or popping sound when you move your hip
- Pain in your buttocks, groin, knee or thigh
- Pain that disturbs your sleep
- Pain that worsens with rainy weather and is worse in the morning or after sitting or resting
- Pain when bending, getting up from a chair or walking
- Your hip locking or sticking
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Symptoms Question: Hip Pain At Night Lying On Side
A not uncommon question I hear, what to do about when you have a hip pain at night lying on side? One thing that clients often tell me is that their hips or bony, too wide, or the surface too firm. Another reason given is an injury somewhere in the joint.
Over time, there can be degeneration in the joint, or injury from accidents, but hip pain can also come about through inefficient movement patterns under stress, that strain the hip.
Also, lets look at what happens when you lie on your side. The bones of your hips and shoulders are naturally wider than your waist. So when you lie on your side, and rest comfortably, your spine should naturally be able to bed like a bow to distribute the pressure across your whole side, and allow your legs to come together. This in turn involves coordination of muscles in your torso that also coordinate your legs and how you rest.
Many times, there are various reasons you develop habits where you lose that mobility.
So what can you do?
The first and common recommendation, that I agree with, is to put a pillow between your knees. When your legs stay hip distance apart, these puts less demand on your spine to bend when it cant, and takes stress off your hip. Also having an appropriate pillow under your head, one in which you feel comfortable, can also help. The body has difficult recovering under maximal strain, and I always support people who need to use a pillow while sleeping, to do so.
Sleep With A Pillow Between Your Legs
Using a pillow is one of the easiest ways to reduce and even eliminate hip pain at night and while sleeping on your side.
Many side sleepers find that using an extra pillow between their legs is more comfortable, even if they dont have any existing hip pain or tightness. The pillow can be placed between your thighs and knees but you can also use a longer pillow that extends down to your ankles as well.
The main reason that using a pillow to prop up the top leg relieves the hip pain at night lying on your side is that it helps keep your pelvic bone level, your spine straight, and your knees evenly stacked on top of one another.
Side sleeping is not always the best sleep position for those with hip pain, but this gets you much closer to proper alignment.
When you are sleeping on your side without a pillow between your legs, the gravity, and the weight of your leg, pulls on your hip muscles and irritates the joint area. By allowing your leg to be more in line with your hip, you relieve that strain on the hip joint and muscles.
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