Hip Pain When Sleeping on Your Side: Pain Management Checklist

Hip Pain When Sleeping on Your Side: Pain Management Checklist
August 10, 2021


When you’re dealing with hip pain, getting a good night’s rest can be a challenge. And when you don’t get quality sleep, your pain can feel even worse. It’s common for pain sufferers to find themselves in a cycle where they struggle to fall asleep at night due to their discomfort, only to find that their pain is worsened by a lack of quality sleep. Taking steps to address your sleep routine is important in breaking this cycle and hopefully, feeling more like yourself again. Keep reading to explore ways you can assess yourself with a 5-point checklist that can help you with hip pain when sleeping on your side!

1. Sleep in an ergonomic position

An important first step in addressing hip pain when sleeping is assessing your sleep habits — particularly the positions you sleep in. It goes without saying that if your hip pain worsens when you sleep on your side, you should probably try to avoid it. For most pain sufferers, sleeping on your back with your spine ergonomically aligned (at 180-degrees) is ideal. However, adjusting this without assistance can be challenging. For side sleepers looking to sleep on their back more, try the following to prevent rolling over:

  • Put a large pillow or another blockage by each of your sides
  • Sleep with something round such as a ball in your pocket to make it more difficult to roll over

Still struggling to sleep on your back? Try putting a pillow in between your knees while sleeping on your side to encourage better spinal alignment and to alleviate hip pressure. In general, sleeping ergonomically is beneficial for anyone, helping to prevent neck pain, back pain, hip pain and more.



2. Ensure your mattress is supportive

Sleeping on the right mattress can make it that much easier to improve your sleep hygiene. For most pain sufferers, a mattress with medium firmness is ideal. While a firmer mattress can help support the back, it can also make it difficult to get comfortable. Conversely, a soft mattress may be comfortable but it may not offer adequate spinal support. A healthy compromise is a medium-firm mattress that gives your spine the support it needs without hurting your hip area if you sleep on your side.

3. Talk to your doctor about hip pain conditions

For some, managing hip pain when sleeping on your side is as simple as adjusting your habits or getting a more appropriate mattress. For others, hip pain is a symptom of an underlying condition. Consult your preferred healthcare professional for diagnosis and to discuss any major health and lifestyle changes you’re making.

Some of the most common underlying conditions behind hip pain include the following:

Bursitis: Bursae are small sacs filled with fluid that cushion some joints in the body, including the hip joints. Bursitis occurs when bursae become inflamed, often causing pain in the surrounding area.

Types of Arthritis: Types of arthritis including osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis, psoriatic arthritis and others can be the underlying cause of hip pain. Wear and tear over time can exacerbate the natural breakdown of the cartilage that surrounds joints, causing arthritis to occur.

Tendonitis: Tendonitis in the hip can occur when a tendon becomes irritated or inflamed, often leading to hip pain.

Injuries: Strains, sprains, tears, fractures, broken bones and more can all be related to hip pain.

4. Start a nighttime routine

Believe it or not, quality sleep starts before you hit the sheets. Your evening-time routine can help set you up for deep, restorative sleep at night, helping you break the cycle of poor sleep and worsened pain. Hours before bedtime, keep the following in mind for the best chance at a good sleep:

Keep yourself on a regular schedule: Staying on a regular schedule regardless of your daily plans can be a meaningful sleep habit as it helps reinforce your circadian rhythm, leading to widespread health benefits.

Reduce your screen time: Blue light from screens has been shown to disrupt sleep. Opt for calming, screenless evening activities such as reading or stretching.

Try heat therapy: Heat can help you wind down and relax before bed. This can include drinking a hot cup of tea, having a warm bath or using a heating device to soothe and loosen the muscles before bed.

5. Find a pain-relieving device you can count on

Hip pain sufferers can target pain at its source with a pain relieving device that’s appropriate for hip pain when sleeping on your side. A TENS-powered device is a popular, drug-free method of relief that delivers meaningful pain therapy whenever and wherever you need it. It can be the perfect non-invasive and natural option for pain sufferers looking to manage hip pain when sleeping on your side.



A Recap on TENS

TENS stands for Transcutaneous Electrical Nerve Stimulation. It is a form of nerve stimulation (or “neuromodulation”) that, according to the Arthritis Foundation, “uses electricity to decrease pain sensations. In some people, neuromodulation treatments can ease pain with minimal risks and offer an alternative to medication for treating arthritis pain.”

TENS machines are small, compact devices that produce gentle electrical currents conducted through small pads placed on the body. This stimulation targets the nerves, temporarily reducing pain signals. In addition, TENS therapy is thought to trigger the release of endorphins, natural hormones produced by our bodies to help temporarily relieve pain.

Pain sufferers can also benefit from the addition of EMS (Electrical Muscle Stimulation) and AMP (Auto Modulating Pulse) found in DR-HO’S Pain Therapy System 4-Pad. EMS works to relax and contract muscles, helping to soothe and restore, while AMP keeps the stimulation unpredictable, allowing TENS to continue working over time.

Interested in learning more about TENS? Discover DR-HO’S devices:

Interested in learning more about TENS? Discover DR-HO'S devices:

Manage Hip Pain When Sleeping on Your Side on Your Own Terms.

We hope that our tips for managing hip pain when sleeping on your side help you find meaningful ways to keep pain out of the way. Don’t let hip pain hold you back from living life to the fullest!