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Pain in the Sacrum or Crest of the Hip When Sleeping on Side

Your Pain Pattern,
What Aggravates It,

The Underlying Anatomy
How to Get Relief,
and more…

Want to skip ahead?
Here’s a link to my post about
getting relief on your own.

How People Describe This Pain Pattern

These people reach back and put a fist in the center of their hips, just below the beltline and say. “It hurts right here.” They go through explanations of wanting to sleep on that side but wake with aching pain in the middle of their hips. They often explain that they have tried sleeping on the other side and it bothers them less but will also wake them.

Walking and Standing

Other clients complain of pain of this pain while walking. Often it is worse after hiking on uneven ground or trudging through loose beach sand. These people are more likely to complain about the pain that extends along the crest of the hip, especially when they have unexpected shifts onto one leg. At times, this bothers them after cycling.

People that have this pain while standing find that they spend a great deal of time on one foot and fatigue quickly while standing.

Check Out This Other Pattern

Occasionally, but not often, the primary complaint is the pain along the crest of the hip. Usually, that comes from this trigger point on the low back.

How You Activate and Intensify This Pain Pattern

Wesley and buttercup recovering from the fall

Unexpected Shifting Sands

A sudden jerk often activates this pattern in the hip. Patients report that this happened after a fall, hike on uneven ground, walking in sand, mountain biking, or vigorous tennis. Some have latent trigger points that become more active when they unexpectedly walk, stand, or sit for long periods.

Sit Pretty

This can also be caused by sitting with your knees spread for long periods. This causes the muscle to shorten chronically. When the sacroiliac joint is binding, this is particularly quick to activate. Afterward, activities that bring the legs together for long periods aggravate this. This happens in activities like driving or sitting on public transportation. As mentioned above, it can be painful when standing for long periods.

Side-to-side movements like tennis, stair climbing, and especially cycling aggravate these trigger points in the lateral gluteal muscles.

The Musculoskeletal Anatomy Behind Your Pain

Start by Understanding the Anatomy.
About the coloring of the illustrations…

This muscle is a fan-shaped muscle with three sections. The front section often pulls at a 90-degree angle from the posterior section. You can learn more in this post about gluteus medius.

Very Similar Pain Pattern, Different Muscle

This trigger point also produces pain along the crest of the hip. It also disturbs sleep and makes it painful to get up but needs different self-care. Take a look at this post.

Getting Relief on Your Own

Clinically Proven
Self-Care Strategies

This post has strategies for getting relief on your own. Explore how to change your activities, stretch, and other strategies that relieve the pain associated with this trigger point.

Therapy Notes for Massage and Bodywork

Better Bodywork
Through Shared Expertise

This post has techniques, tips, treatment routines, and anatomy illustrations to improve the bodyworker’s approach.

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Tony Preston has a practice in Atlanta, Georgia, where he sees clients. He has written and taught about anatomy, trigger points, and cranial therapies since the mid-90s.

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*This site is undergoing significant changes. We are reformatting and expanding the posts to make them easier to read. The result will also be more accessible and will include more patterns with better self-care. In the meanwhile, there may be inconsistencies in formatting, content presentation, and readability. Until we get older posts updated, please excuse our mess.