Thigh Pain

Dr. Nadheer K M (AIIMS)MBBS

January 11, 2019

March 06, 2020

Thigh Pain
Thigh Pain

What is thigh pain?

Thigh pain can develop gradually or intermittently due to an injury or a health condition in your thigh. Usually, the pain reduces within a few weeks with topical or oral pain-relief medications. People who participate regularly in physical activities like football, soccer, basketball, long jump, jumping hurdles and others tend to have thigh pain.

What are its main associated signs and symptoms?

The main signs and symptoms associated with thigh pain are:

What are the main causes?

The main causes of thigh pain are:

  • Muscle strain
  • Varicose veins
  • Tight clothing
  • Muscle injury
  • Overuse injuries
  • A direct blow or a fall
  • Stress fractures
  • Osteoarthritis
  • Pregnancy
  • Being obese or overweight
  • Iliotibial band friction syndrome
  • Performing repetitive exercises, for example, running and cycling
  • Deep vein thrombosis
  • Diabetic neuropathy (uncontrolled blood sugar levels can cause numbness and pain)
  • Sports injuries
  • Rheumatoid arthritis
  • Femur fracture
  • Osteoporosis
  • Blood clot in the thigh muscles
  • Meralgia paraesthetica (causes burning pain in the thigh)
  • Sedentary lifestyle
  • Weakened bones
  • Deficiency of nutrients, such as sodium, vitamin D and calcium
  • Stroke
  • Radiating pain from another leg injury

How is it diagnosed and treated?

Thigh pain is diagnosed using the following methods:

The doctor observes the symptoms and refers to the medical history to find out the cause of the thigh pain. The doctor then examines the thigh for bruises, swelling or tenderness. An x-ray or a CT scan might be ordered to check if there is an injury to the bone. Gait and range of motion of the thigh are also tested.

Treatment varies depending on the underlying cause. The following are some of the common treatment methods:

  • Rest, ice, compression and elevation (RICE) method to reduce pain and swelling
  • Painkillers – oral, topical or injections
  • Stretching exercises
  • Weight management
  • Strengthening exercises
  • Heat


  1. Orthoinfo [internet]. American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons, Rosemont IL. Muscle Strains in the Thigh.
  2. MedlinePlus Medical Encyclopedia: US National Library of Medicine; Leg pain.
  3. Orthoinfo [internet]. American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons, Rosemont IL. Burning Thigh Pain (Meralgia Paresthetica).
  4. National Health Information Service [Internet]. Government of Scotland; Thigh problems.
  5. Healthdirect Australia. Leg pain. Australian government: Department of Health

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