Need tips and stretches for hip pain from lying on my side
July 25, 2019 7:45 AM   Subscribe

Up until the last few days, I have been a back sleeper most of the time, sometimes switching to my right side between when I first wake up and when I finally decide to get out of bed. I like sleeping on my right side. But after my surgery, I have to sleep on my right side exclusively, and I am getting left hip pain.

I just got surgery two days ago that left two wounds on my back, and since then I have had to sleep on my right side out of necessity. Now my left hip hurts a lot when I walk and stand, and I want to make it feel better, so I'd like some tips for stretches and anything else you can recommend to help mitigate the pain. I am already using a sturdy thick-ish cushion between my legs when I'm in bed. The surgery involved placement of a permanent spinal cord stimulator, so my movement restrictions include not being able to bend, twist, lift, or put my arms over my head, so there are probably some exercises and stretches I cannot do.

Also there's a complication: I was switched to an antibiotic called Levofloxacin, which includes tendon problems as a side effect. I will be on this antibiotic for 6 more days. Unfortunately the tendon problems can even occur well after taking the medication. So anyway that's why I'm *extra* concerned about keeping my hip as good as it can be. I will get some relief when I can sleep on my back again, but that could be weeks at least, so I just need to really cope as well as I can right now.
posted by cats are weird to Health & Fitness (6 answers total) 4 users marked this as a favorite
Does the cushion you're using between your legs stretch all the way down to your ankles, so that all three joints (hip, knee, ankle) remain parallel in two straight lines?

I had a similar pain pop up when I started side-sleeping later in my pregnancy, and I found that the suggestion to use a pillow between my knees made things worse initially. When someone finally told me to get a long body pillow that would also keep my ankles aligned, it fixed the pain for me.

May be worth trying - I hope you find an effective answer, healing is hard enough without the extra pain.
posted by iminurmefi at 7:53 AM on July 25, 2019 [2 favorites]

A lot of hip pain actually comes from the pelvis, look up psoas and adductor stretches. Go really easy, most if the time the goal is to help the hip relax instead of lengthening. Good luck!
posted by Bistyfrass at 8:56 AM on July 25, 2019

yeah, the first comment is the way to go, you need that pillow to support the full length of your leg, it's the only way to release the hip joint. also be aware that this antibiotic doesn't just have tendon problems as a side effect, it can also cause actual (sometimes extremely intense) physical pain; i took it for a UTI and thought i was going to die.
posted by poffin boffin at 8:59 AM on July 25, 2019

Thank you for the suggestions, I will try a body pillow. I should have one by tonight, so I'll see how it goes. And when I was shopping for body pillows, I was amazed to see some of the kinds that are available. I just got a rectangular one, but I think it will do the job nicely.
posted by cats are weird at 9:37 AM on July 25, 2019

If you have a tennis ball (or hard ball of similar size), it can be rolled over the hip to help release it and to relax the tendons and fascia. You can do this by lying on your side on the ground, putting the ball under your hip and gently moving around on it to find points of tension. If that's too much given your mobility restrictions, I still find it helpful to just put the ball in my hand and roll it around the external parts of my hip joint manually, applying a fair bit of pressure especially where it is achey. This is supposed to be painful in a "hurts so good" kind of way, but when you stop there is usually both immediate and long-term pain reduction.
posted by deeparch at 6:37 AM on July 26, 2019

Update: I used the body pillow and it worked pretty well! Still a bit sore but nowhere near as bad as yesterday. I think my ankles were not quite on it for the entire night, but I'm sure I'll get used to it soon. Thanks so much for all suggestions, everyone.
posted by cats are weird at 10:30 AM on July 26, 2019

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