A wedge pillow for hip pain is a valuable tool to help you sleep comfortably no matter your hip diagnosis. As a physical therapist, I will show you how a hip pillow wedge will help you sleep better.
When looking for a hip wedge pillow, look for one that properly aligns your hip, leg, and ankle. This is the most important aspect of a hip pillow wedge whether you have bursitis, arthritis, a total hip replacement, ITB syndrome, etc.
Hip wedge pillow for side sleepers
For side sleepers, a hip wedge pillow can also be referred to as a between your knees wedge pillow. When sleeping on your side, your injured hip should be the hip on top. In other words, you should not be lying on your injured side. The danger is, at this point most people will say “oh yes, I stick a pillow in between my knees when I sleep."
It is not good enough to just stick any old pillow between your knees. A wedge pillow for hip pain should run at least from your pubic bone to past your feet. It is critical that your entire leg be supported, I cannot stress this enough. Additionally, the thickness of a regular pillow or even a standard "body pillow" does not provide adequate support for your leg.
When lying on your side correctly with a hip wedge pillow, your hip, knee, and ankle should rest at the same height. Your knee should not slope down in relation to your hip and the same principle with your ankle. When your entire leg and hip are completely parallel to the bed, your hip and back muscles will be completely relaxed. There will be no pulling, tension, or rotation to cause your hip to hurt.
To effectively combat hip pain, a hip pillow wedge should be used in conjunction with a side sleeper wedge. A side sleeper wedge will return your low back to a neutral position. You do not have a straight spine when you lie without lumbar support because your spine curves to compensate for the surface of your bed. When your spine is allowed to curve, pressure immediately disperses to both hips, leading to soreness, stiffness, and pain.
Hip wedge pillow for back sleepers
A wedge shaped pillow for hip pain will look different for back sleepers. All back sleepers, but especially those with hip pain, should avoid lying flat on their backs. Most people have an arch in their back when they lie flat. This arch causes the muscles in your back to tighten and increases the pressure on both of your hip.
To solve this, use a knee wedge pillow that is at least 8 inches high. When a wedge pillow is supporting the weight of your legs, the arch in your low back disappears. Your spine and hips return to a neutral position. The pressure you felt in your low back and hips disappear.
Whether you use a wedge pillow for hip pain to sleep on your back or a wedge pillow for hip pain to sleep on your side, you can find a way for your body to sleep comfortably!