Upper Thigh Pain : 9 Causes, Symptoms, Treatment And Important Ways To Avoid It

The upper thigh is a very delicate part of the human body, considering the location of important anatomical structures that can be found in the region.

In this article npflupdates.com will talk about pain in the upper thigh, its causes, symptoms and how best one can treat and avoid reoccurrence.

According Healthline to pain in the upper part of the thigh can be as a result of the straining of the hamstring muscles.

Pain in Upper Thigh: 9 causes, symptoms, and treatment

The upper thigh is a very important part of the human lower limb.
An athlete holding the dorsal part of his upper thigh.

Upper thigh pain can be caused by various factors such as nerve damage, blood clots, and arthritis, and can often be attributed to minor muscle injuries that can be treated at home.

However, if the pain is severe or persistent, it could indicate a more serious issue. Impact trauma, sprains, strains, and underlying conditions like nerve damage, blood clots, or arthritis can all contribute to upper thigh muscle pain.

Causes of pain in the upper thigh region

Injuries to the thigh can be attributed to various causes such as overstretching, twisting during activities, falling, or receiving a direct blow to the thigh. Additionally, thigh pain may sometimes occur without a clear cause.

Meralgia paresthetica:

Meralgia paresthetica (MP) occurs when the lateral femoral cutaneous nerve is compressed, leading to tingling, numbness, and burning pain in the outer thigh on one side of the body.

It also occurs due to compression of the lateral femoral cutaneous nerve, which can be triggered by factors such as pregnancy, tight clothing, hip surgery, obesity, and prolonged standing or walking.

Meralgia paresthetica, a condition that can occur during pregnancy, is caused by the pressure on the groin due to a growing stomach and weight gain. This pressure can compress a nerve and result in symptoms that may worsen as the pregnancy progresses but typically resolve after giving birth.

It is important to note that meralgia paresthetica does not pose any risks to the pregnancy or the baby.7

Blood clot or deep vein thrombosis:

Blood clotting

Although not all blood clots are dangerous, deep vein thrombosis (DVT) is a serious condition when a clot forms in a major vein.

DVT commonly occurs in the lower legs, but it can also develop in the thighs. If left untreated, DVT can lead to pulmonary embolism, a potentially fatal condition where a clot travels to the lungs.

It is important to be aware of the symptoms, treatment options, and risk factors associated with DVT.

Pinched Spinal Nerve or Lumbar (low back) arthritis and herniated lumbar discs:

Arthritis in the lower back and herniated discs can compress nerves that travel down the thigh from the spinal column, causing pain in the thigh. Lumbar arthritis is caused by deterioration and bone spur formation due to wear and tear in the low back, while herniated discs result from the bulging of the soft cushions between spinal bones.

Thigh pain due to pinched nerves may vary based on the position of the spine. Signs of a pinched nerve in the thigh may include pain, numbness, tingling, weakness in the thigh muscles, and trouble sitting or standing up.

Iliotibial Band Friction Sydrome:

ITBS is a typical issue for runners, occurring when the iliotibial band tightens and becomes inflamed as it runs down the outside of the thigh from the hip to just below the knee.

IT band syndrome is frequently observed in runners, but it can also affect cyclists, competitive rowers, soccer and basketball players, and beginners to exercise. It is commonly seen in endurance athletes and can result from specific exercises or workout routines.

Irritation of the IT band can happen when it rubs against bone during stretching and may also occur if there is swelling in the hip or knee bursa, a sac filled with fluid that aids in movement.

Possible factors that can lead to knee pain include;

(1) Wearing improper shoes
(2) Running on downhill surfaces
(3) Overexertion during workouts
(4) Failure to stretch beforehand
(5) Knee arthritis causing bow legs, and
(6) Faulty biomechanics such as overpronation putting strain on muscles and tendons.

What measures can be taken to avoid IT band pain?

– Change your exercise shoes once they lose their support
– Run in both directions if on uneven ground or a track
– Stretch before and after workouts
– Gradually increase workout intensity
– Exercise on flat surfaces
– Minimize downhill running or jogging
Quadriceps or Hamstring Tendonitis or muscle strain: Although muscle strains can occur in various areas of the body, they are particularly prevalent in the hamstring and can lead to pain in the thigh.

Excessive strain on the thigh muscles can lead to tendonitis(hence pain in upper thigh), an inflammation of the tendons connecting muscles to bones. This condition commonly affects the front thigh muscles, including those attaching to the knee, shin bone, hip socket, and hip bone.

Muscle strains can be caused by sudden tears in the muscle due to factors such as inadequate warm-up, lack of flexibility, poor conditioning, and excessive exertion leading to fatigue.

Common causes of injuries during physical activity are not properly warming up, lack of flexibility, poor conditioning, and overexertion leading to fatigue.

Diabetic neuropathy:

Diabetic neuropathy is a condition that arises from uncontrolled high blood sugar levels in individuals with diabetes. It usually starts in the hands or feet but can affect other areas of the body like the thighs.

Although there is no cure for this condition, a combination of lifestyle adjustments, blood sugar control, and pain medications can help manage the symptoms. It common causes include;
Injury to blood vessels due to elevated levels of cholesterol
physical harm like carpal tunnel syndrome
habits like smoking or excessive alcohol consumption

Ischial bursitis:

Ischial bursitis occurs when there is compression on the protective sac between the tendons and bones around a joint, leading to pain in the upper thigh at the back of the leg. Symptoms typically arise following physical activity or prolonged periods of sitting.

Peripheral arterial disease can cause pain in the upper thighs due to blocked blood flow in the arteries. This condition is frequently seen in individuals diagnosed with type 2 diabetes.

Ischial bursitis occurs when there is compression on the protective sac between the tendons and bones near a joint, leading to pain in the upper thigh at the back of the leg.

Discomfort typically arises following physical activity or prolonged periods of sitting. A bursa is a sac filled with fluid that provides cushioning between bones and tendons at joints.

Bursas can be found in various areas of the body like hips, knees, elbows, and shoulders. Inflammation caused by pressure on a bursa can result in a painful condition known as bursitis.


Thigh pain can vary in intensity from a dull ache to a sudden, sharp pain. Other symptoms that may occur with thigh pain include

Symptoms of PAD may include experiencing calf pain that improves with rest during walking or physical activity, known as claudication. Other signs could be numbness, tingling, or a sensation of pins and needles in the lower legs or feet, as well as slow or non-healing cuts or sores on the legs or feet.

Numbness: Numbness in the shins is a common occurrence. It may manifest as a lack of sensation, coordination issues, a pins-and-needles sensation, tingling, or a burning feeling in the front part of the leg below the knee.

The shin is the front part of the leg below the knee; the front edge of the shin bone.

Signs of quad or hamstring tendonitis can include pain in the front or back of the thigh, typically around the knee or hip area, as well as trouble walking or going up stairs because of the discomfort, and a sensation of muscle weakness in the thigh.

Symptoms can vary depending on which areas are affected by diabetic neuropathy.

Common signs of this condition may include sensitivity to touch, loss of touch sensation, trouble with coordination while walking, numbness or pain in the hands or feet, burning sensation in the feet, muscle weakness, bloating, nausea, indigestion, diarrhea or constipation, dizziness upon standing, abnormal sweating, bladder problems, vaginal dryness, erectile dysfunction, difficulty sensing low blood glucose levels, and vision issues like double vision.

The main indications of GTPS include hip discomfort on the outer thigh that intensifies when sitting for a long time, climbing stairs, engaging in high-intensity activities, or lying on the affected side.

Symptoms of DVT are only present in roughly half of individuals with this condition. Some common signs of DVT include swelling in the foot, ankle, or leg on one side, cramping pain in the calf, severe unexplained pain in the foot and ankle, warmer skin in a specific area, and changes in skin color in the affected region.
burning sensation, and
muscle discomfort,
strain, or soreness.
Trouble walking,

Note: Thigh issues such as pain, swelling, and bruising can result in various symptoms. Typically, new pain or a worsening of existing thigh problems usually improve within 6 weeks without requiring medical attention.

Solution or treatment

Using either heat or ice can be helpful in managing musculoskeletal pain. Ice is recommended for injuries, while heat can be used for non-injury related pain.

It’s important to always use a barrier like a towel to protect your skin from burns. Treatments should generally last up to 15 minutes with a few hours between each session.

If you experience increased redness, discoloration, or blistering, stop using heat or ice and consult a healthcare professional. It’s not advisable to use heat or ice on thigh pain if you have circulation or sensation issues.

Medical treatment is often not needed as symptoms generally improve on their own within a few months. To alleviate symptoms, your doctor may recommend measures to relieve nerve compression such as wearing loose clothing, resting, losing weight, taking NSAIDs, or getting deep tissue massages.

DVT is a critical health issue. Treatment for DVT aims to prevent the clot from worsening, potentially reducing the risk of a pulmonary embolism and future clot development.

To address it band syndrome, treatment options may range from self-care approaches to medication, physical therapy, and sometimes surgery. One effective method is following the R.I.C.E

Illustration of Blood clotting: clotting can lead to pain in the upper thigh region

The R stands for rest:

It is important to begin by resting or reducing activity in the affected leg, whether you have received a diagnosis or are just experiencing symptoms of iliotibial band syndrome.

I stands for Ice:

To alleviate pain and reduce inflammation, apply ice wrapped in a thin towel to your knee for 15 minutes every two hours.

C is for Compression:

If IT band syndrome has been diagnosed, consult with your healthcare provider about applying an Ace bandage above the knee for compression to assist in stabilizing the knee.

E stands for Elevation:

When applying ice to your knee, it is important to elevate your leg above the level of your heart.

While there isn’t a cure for diabetic neuropathy, you can still slow down its advancement. Maintaining healthy blood sugar levels is crucial in reducing the risk or delaying the progression of diabetic neuropathy and may even alleviate some symptoms.

Beyond that, ceasing smoking (if relevant) and engaging in regular physical activity are essential components of an effective treatment strategy. Before starting a new exercise program, it’s important to consult with a doctor or healthcare provider.

Additionally, you could inquire with a healthcare professional about alternative treatments or supplements for neuropathy.

To avoid PAD, those at risk should quit smoking as it can narrow blood vessels and impede blood flow.

It’s also crucial to follow a healthy lifestyle, including eating well, staying active, managing weight, and controlling blood sugar, cholesterol, and blood pressure levels as per medical advice.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *