Sleeping and relaxing are some of the best things a person can do for himself or for herself after working long hours in the office and taking on the daily challenges of life whatever they may be. However, there are some medical conditions that can disrupt this supposedly relaxing phase of the day. Some can outright keep the person at night while some conditions can lead to extreme discomfort which can affect their quality of sleep. One such medical concern is hip pain at night. But how can menopause and hip pain be related? What are its possible causes and treatments? In this article, we look at hip pain at night due to menopause, its possible causes, and treatment options. Read on to find out more!
Menopause and Hip Pain: A General Overview
Lateral hip pain is a general term to refer to the pain experienced by individuals on the hip particularly its outer side. This kind of pain may develop slowly as time passes or it can have a sudden onset. Most individuals experience the symptoms of this condition at night. In addition, females tend to be afflicted with this health condition compared to males and also be common in women who are 40-60 years of age. Hip pain can be the result of many different factors which include overuse, injury, and different other possible variables.
In terms of hip pain at night and menopause, there is evidence to suggest that older adults are more at risk for developing osteoarthritis and trochanteric bursitis. In addition, individuals who are shifting to post-menopause or to menopause itself, have a greater chance of experiencing hip pain at night.
Other Possible Causes of Hip Pain
Enumerated below are some of the other possible reasons for night time hip pain:
1. Greater Trochanteric pain syndrome
The buttocks have muscles that surround them which are referred to as the gluteal muscles. The strength that is poor in these muscles can lead to the hip’s front portion to be overcompensated in an attempt to support and stabilize the entire joint. This can lead to the tendons attached to the gluteal muscles and those connected to the pelvis and the hip to be squeezed, resulting in pain around the area of the hips, a condition referred to as GTPS or greater trochanteric pain syndrome. This medical condition occurs mainly to the tendons and the sacs which are fluid-filled which circles around the greater trochanter, which is the hip’s bony part. Injuries that can happen to the sacs or the tendons themselves can lead to tenderness and pain especially around night time.
The small sacs that are fluid-filled are called bursae and they serve as a form of cushion which can help in the reduction of the hip joint’s friction while it is moving or being utilized. Bursitis is a medical condition that occurs when the said sacs are inflamed. This inflammation can result in shooting type of pain which can run the side of the thighs. This pain can be intense and sharp and can become worse at night.
The term tendinopathy is used to refer to any form of tendon disease. The hip tendons connect the gluteal muscles to the pelvis and the hip and they collaborate and work together in supporting the hip and stabilizing the pelvis especially in the conduct of tasks that are routine, such as going up a flight of stairs and walking. This inflammation in the tendons usually occurs due to overloading without any recovery time or due to over-compression which can make the individual feel pain in the hip during night time. Sitting cross-legged frequently, or having to stand with the body’s entire weight on one side can also lead to pain in the hips and tendinopathy.
The hip joint can also be affected by osteoarthritis and is another common hip pain causes particularly during night time. The said condition is caused by wear and tear that is age-related. This wear and tear apply to the cartilage, the tissue that surrounds the bones’ tips or ends. As the hip cartilage is worn out, one hip bone can rub against the other which can result in pain, swelling, and inflammation. Osteoarthritis can have symptoms such as soreness and stiffness and can lead to everyday tasks becoming more painful and difficult as time passes. The pain in the hips can also move toward the ends of the legs and the area of the buttocks which can cause pain at night and can also lead to mobility issues.
5. Causes that are exercise-related
Exercise that is strenuous which includes dancing, running or soccer have all been identified as risk factors in the development of hip pain. This can be due to a combination of possible different conditions such as injured iliotibial band, tendinopathy, and bursitis. A recent and sudden change in the intensity and frequency of the exercise routine may result in hip pain.
Treatment And Remedies for Hip Pain
Individuals may be able to address hip pain by changing some lifestyle choices, sleeping routines, and exercises. These include:
- Exercising for Hip Pain. You can do exercise that can increase gluteal, pelvis, hip, and thigh muscle strength. This includes exercises with movement that works from side to side.
- Low Impact Exercises.– These can include walking, water exercise, swimming, yoga, and tai chi.
- Stretching. This can be done by having the hips stretched by doing stretches such as touching one’s toes and crossing the legs.
- Proper Sleep Routines. Changing some routines of sleep can aid in addressing hip pain. Individuals can try to sleep lying flat on their backs which have been observed to result in less back and hip compression. For those who prefer to sleep on their side, it may be best to place a pillow in between the legs to help in keeping the legs parallel and to give the spine, hips, and pelvis better support and comfort.
- Medication. For immediate relief, people may be prescribed by their doctor some NSAIDs (nonsteroidal anti-inflammatories) like naproxen and ibuprofen.