Why Does My Hip Hurt When Laying Down?


Asked by skuyk

Why Does My Hip Hurt When Laying Down?

I'm guessing I have arthritis in my hip, (my mother does, my grandmother did), but why does it mainly hurt when I lay down? It doesn't bother me a whole lot during the day, but is very painul as soon as a lay down.


Most of the time when people are talking about "hip" pain, they are really referring to pain over the "greater trochanter". The greater trochanter is the big bone on the side of the pelvis and represents the top of the femur, the femoral head. Many muscles attach on the greater trochanter, primarily the large butt muscles. These muscles can develop tendonitis and even bursitis. Tendonitis and bursitis at the greater trochanter causes pain, particularily when lying on that side.

If one had actual hip joint arthritis, that pain is located primarily in the groin. The groin is the actual location of the hip joint. Hip joint pain can also be more painful when laying down (side-lying) especially in women because of the shape of our pelvis.

Putting a thick pillow between the knees can help with both hip and "hip"/trochanter pain when lying on your side. This video provides exercises that can help relieve your hip pain. It's important to treat this hip pain and stay active to avoid surgery, and so it doesn't progressively get worse.

Ultimately, you should let your doctor exam you in order to determine which "hip" hurts, and therefore which area to treat and concentrate on.

Answered by Christina Lasich, MD