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My Hip Hurts When I Sleep on My Side

My Hip Hurts When I Sleep on My Side

Hip pain is common as you get older, but that doesn’t make it any easier to deal with. Pain comes and goes, but it’s especially aggravating when you’re trying to rest and your hip flares up. There are several culprits to hip pain, including osteoarthritis, that make it difficult to get comfortable, especially when you sleep on your side a lot.

At Alpha Orthopedics and Sports Medicine, our team of highly trained orthopedic specialists help you get to the bottom of what’s causing your hip pain. Our six orthopedic surgeons offer state-of-the-art diagnostic tests and personally tailored treatment plans to help ease your pain and get you back to your busy life.

Causes of hip pain

Hip pain has a lot of different causes, from an acute injury to a simple muscle sprain. But when your hip hurts more when you’re laying down, there are a few other culprits as well. 

While it could be your mattress or referred pain from your back, hip pain that gets worse, especially when laying on your side could be a sign of:


Hip bursitis happens when tiny little sacs filled with fluid, called bursae, become inflamed. The bursae provide cushioning in your hip, especially with movement. Bursitis usually doesn’t hurt when you stand, but does flare up when you lay down on the affected side.


This form of arthritis is the most common, and it happens over time as the protective tissue, called cartilage, in your hip wears away. This protects the bones from rubbing against each other, so when it’s gone, inflammation and pain occur from osteoarthritis.


The tendons in your hip attach the surrounding muscles to your pelvis and femur to allow you to move. However, these tendons take on a great deal of stress, making them prone to tendonitis. This occurs when the tendons in your hip become inflamed due to overuse or injury.

There are many other issues that can lead to hip pain, including fractures and other forms of arthritis. Our team helps you determine the cause of your hip pain quickly, so you can begin treatment as soon as possible.

Why your hip hurts when laying down

A lot of the circumstances that lead to hip pain get worse when pressure is applied to your hip. This is especially true if your pain is mostly on the outer aspect of your hip, which you lie on as a side-sleeper.

Other than osteoarthritis, bursitis, and tendonitis, there are other factors that contribute to hip pain at night too. These include:

Any of these issues may lead to pain, especially when you’re laying on the affected side. As you get older, you’re more likely to suffer from osteoarthritis in your hip. Being overweight also puts a lot of strain on your hip, causing pain and inflammation.

Injuries can also sneak up on you, with the pain hitting you at night while you’re trying to sleep. If you’re laying on the injured hip, you’re putting pressure on the injury, which makes the pain flare up.

Tips on easing your hip pain

When you’re trying to get comfortable watching a movie or simply trying to sleep, hip pain makes it nearly impossible to relax. There are, however, several ways you ease hip pain when you’re trying to lay on your side.

First, try changing positions. If only one of your hips hurts and you need to lay on your side, attempt to lay on the unaffected hip. This takes pressure off of the painful area.

You can also try sleeping with a pillow between your legs. This helps to take the stress off of your hip joints by evenly distributing your weight.

Placing a wedge pillow or blanket under the affected hip helps to cushion the area. The cushioning takes some of the pressure off of the joint, relieving your pain. 

You can also try ice or heat, and take over-the-counter anti-inflammatory medications to decrease inflammation that could be leading to pain. However, if none of these tips work to ease your discomfort, you should seek help from our team. 

If you’re suffering from unbearable hip pain, call our team at one of our three locations in McKinney, Prosper, and Sherman, Texas, to schedule an appointment. You can also book a consultation online with one of our team members.

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