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Hip pain in middle of the night; dull ache that wakes me up. What could it be?

By Anonymous April 28, 2009 - 1:11pm
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I am in my mid-30s, and have recently been having pain in my hips in the middle of the night. It reminds me of the RLS (restless leg syndrome) commercials, although I do not have any of these symptoms (no needle-sensation, no crawling-sensation). It is a dull ache, and I try to move my hips and legs around to get rid of the pain (it feels like it is deep inside, not a muscle or bone), but moving it seems to irritate it a little more. It is actually not on my hip bone, but closer to the middle of my "gluteus maximus" on each side. It's been happening the past few weeks, always around 2am or 3am and wakes me up.

I've been taking some ibuprofen, and eventually falling back asleep, but would rather not have to keep taking medication.

When I was pregnant with my child 3 years ago, I had a real problem with my sciatic (spelling?) nerve in my hips. Feels similar, but not the same.

Any suggestions?

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EmpowHER Guest

This pain can be complex. If it is Ischeal bursitis (rest (avoid sitting on it, too - perhaps "sit" on recliners that get you to zero gravity on the sit bones), ice, anti-inflammatories) is possible but you could also have some piriformis syndrome, too, (a modified form of sciatica where burning / cramping, etc. can occur; stretching will help this). Many people posting here actually sound like they have piriformis syndrome moreso than bursitis. Stretching and exercise (walking, some squats), helps but avoid overly repetitive exercises (i.e. perhaps not running, running up hills, etc. You can do squats / leg press with some weights once in the rehab phase - but avoid over repetition).

June 11, 2017 - 9:09am
EmpowHER Guest

It sounds like bursitis. I have had it on and off for last 15 years, I was about your age when it started. At its worse I couldn't even dress my bottom half in the mornings and had to have steroid injections and even surgery was considered. Over the last 2 or 3 years it's got much better but I still get the pain if I lay too long on my hip and for about an hour after waking. I find if I get up when the pain starts and walk about a bit then go back to sleep it's not so bad but if I stay in bed for more than 7 hours it's terrible. Bursitis is mainly caused by uneven walking, carrying a heavy bag on one shoulder for example can cause you to walk unevenly as does cross country walking or running (the cause of mine), some people even have one leg slightly shorter. A 'bursa' of fluid develops at side of hip, mine was so bad I could actually see the bulge. If its Bursitis it will feel tender when you press on this area .

All I can say is that you kind of get used to the pain after a while and as long as you don't overdo it and keep moving it does get better.

April 19, 2017 - 3:46pm
EmpowHER Guest
Anonymous (reply to Anonymous)

I went to physical therapist after twisting my right knee. He poked around on my side hips and asked if they were sore. I ,surprised, said yes, it hurts most at night and wakes me up if I am sleeping on my left side and when I walk a lot. He added some exercises for my hip. It worked!!! I asked if the other physical therapists there knew about the exercises for the hip. I was ready to bow to him. He said they did know. Hallelujah !!! Knee AND hip were fixed!

May 29, 2017 - 1:09pm
EmpowHER Guest
Anonymous (reply to Anonymous)

Could you tell us what the exercises were that he had you do? For those of us without insurance this would be very helpful. The last three nights in a row I've been woken up from intense hip pain and cant stand it.

May 27, 2018 - 2:30am
EmpowHER Guest
Anonymous (reply to Anonymous)

What are the exercises for the hip/leg that the physical therapist recommend?

February 18, 2018 - 7:34pm
EmpowHER Guest
Anonymous (reply to Anonymous)

What exercises did he give you? Thanks!

December 4, 2017 - 5:30pm
(reply to Anonymous)

What kind of exercise?

June 25, 2017 - 11:30am
EmpowHER Guest

My Doctor suggested Pilates to strengthen core.

August 13, 2016 - 4:19pm
EmpowHER Guest

I took vitamin D3 5000 mg and it did the trick for me. I had terrible deep achy pain in my hips and upper legs. My chiropractor recommended large doses of D3 whenever you have lower body achiness. Not sure why it works but it does for me. Also helps my mood. Best wishes for good health everyone.

May 3, 2016 - 8:07am
EmpowHER Guest

Once my doctor told me to take magnesium. I took it once or twice, no hip/ leg pain for a very long time but now it is starting again. I'm going back to get more magnesium to try it again. (first bottle expired on me)

April 26, 2016 - 12:49pm
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