The causes of hip pain only when lying down are many, and don’t necessarily involve the bone itself.

The first thing you’ll want to do in coming up with a possible cause is to determine precisely what triggers your hip pain.

Greater Trochanter

This is the “ball” portion of the hip bone. It’s at the side of the pelvis and is the top of the femur (thigh bone).

Because many muscles attach (via tendons) to this ball-shaped portion of the bone, there is a lot of chance for pain in this area sooner or later due to physical activity, sport or exercise.

For example, if the tendons become inflamed, you’ll have tendonitis “of the hip,” and hence, pain there, which may be aggravated by lying down on that side.

Questions to Ask Yourself

“Is the pain from lying on a mattress or a workout mat?” begins Dr. Tom Carpenter, corrective exercise specialist, certified personal trainer and chiropractor, inventor of Stand Corrected™, a portable harness-like stretching tool that helps alleviate back, neck and shoulder pain.

“Does it happen when lying on the side or the back? If it’s a mattress then it could be that the mattress is too soft, causing an over-stretching of the ligaments and tendons around the hip.

“Also, there is the possibility of tendonitis or bursitis in and around the hip, so this should be checked by your health care provider.”

Any of these problems can be caused by physical activity – even activity that you’d never associate with the symptom.

For example, the offending activity might have been extra work in the garden; struggling with a new yoga pose or trying yoga for the first time; holding the leash of a dog and running with it; or carrying something heavy on only one side of your body.

Arthritis in the Hip Joint

Interestingly, pain from this would occur chiefly in the groin area, because the groin is the location of the hip joint.

Hip joint arthritis may hurt more when one is lying down, especially in women due to the natural construction of their pelvis.

dr. carpenter

Photo credit: Aleesia Forni

Based upon 30+ years of experience, Dr. Carpenter’s practice approach reflects his belief that restoring optimum health and function will enable his patients to enjoy a much greater amount of vitality and wellness. Chiropractic care is true health care, not sick care!
Lorra Garrick has been covering medical, fitness and cybersecurity topics for many years, having written thousands of articles for print magazines and websites, including as a ghostwriter. She’s also a former ACE-certified personal trainer. 


Top image: Shutterstock/Red Moccasin