Doctors say that thigh pain is one of the most common complaints they hear from patients.
So it's surprising how little most people know about the conditions and causes of this nagging, chronic pain.
Before we run though some of the typical causes for this pain, it's important to learn the warning signs that show something serious is wrong with your leg.
If you pain is accompanied by any of these symptoms, or the pain is getting worse, you should see a doctor ASAP:
- A burning sensation
The simplest explanation for leg pain is your everyday habits, or your recent exercise routine. Sitting with bad posture for long periods of time, especially in tight clothing, is known to cause thigh pain.
Obviously if you're doing intense exercise that works your legs - like sprinting - you might feel some pain from your tense muscles the next day.
These are the simplest causes for thigh pain, and they can be easily treated at home by getting some rest, elevating your legs, and massaging the muscles.
Making sure you stay hydrated and keep your electrolytes balanced is also important.
If these causes can't explain your thigh pain, you should consider some of the more serious explanations.
Many common causes of chronic thigh pain relate to being overweight, or an existing condition like diabetes.
A painful buildup of hard plaque called atherosclerosis is common in the thigh, and can be controlled with diet, exercise, and cholesterol medication.
Pressure on the nerves in your thighs, known as meralgia paresthetica, is also common in overweight patients. If you feel tingling or numbness in your thigh, it could be a sign of this condition.
Finally, sitting for a long period of time can cause a type of blood clot known as deep vein thrombosis. the condition is sometimes called "economy class syndrome," because it tends to strike during long-haul airplane flights.
DVT can be deadly if blood clots travel through your body, so be on the lookout for painful swelling and warm, blue skin on your thigh.
But some conditions that cause thigh pain are even more dangerous.
The thigh bone is connected to the... well, you can probably guess. In fact, it's very common for conditions affecting your hip to cause pain in your thigh.
Hip bursitis, when the fluid in your hips is inflamed or infected, usually causes pain in your hips. But in some cases, bursitis creates a dull pain that travels from your hips to your buttocks and thighs.
Thigh pain combined with more severe hip pain could even be a symptom of a dislocated hip. If you're noticing pain in both your thing and your hip, it's time to see a doctor.
Cause For Concern
Finally, a number of serious bone, blood and joint diseases are known to cause thigh pain.
The most serious of all is bone cancer, which could strike on your femur (your thigh bone). Along with a tingling pain and swelling, bone cancer patients also notice dramatic weight loss, extreme fatigue, and trouble breathing.
In other cases, diseases affecting your blood vessels can cause thigh pain, especially the kind you notice while walking. Arterial disease cuts off blood flow to your limbs, making them numb or painful.
While the condition is serious, it can be treated with diet, exercise, and medication.
One of the more overlooked explanations for pain in the thigh is muscle pain caused by fibromyalgia.
If you experience chronic pain in your leg muscles, along with fatigue and trouble sleeping, it could be a sign of this chronic condition.
Whatever is causing your thigh pain, be sure to take it seriously!