Thigh pain, aching, or burning are common issues people deal with but must be properly taken care of. It can occur suddenly, most often due to an injury, or gradually and interfere with our normal daily functions. It is, therefore, important to understand the underlying cause of it as in some cases the pain could be a symptom of a more severe underlying condition. Listed below are a few reasons why pain in the thighs may occur.
Lipedema, an often overlooked condition, is the deposit of fat under the skin leading to enlargement of both legs (and buttocks). This disorder affects up to 11% of women and is often confused for lymphedema or being overweight. The fat deposits are typically under the waist and in severe cases may involve the upper body and trunk. Lipedema is not due to any fault of the person but can be linked to hormones and genes, however, the official cause is not known.
The condition is known to get worse at puberty, pregnancy, and around menopause. While this may be a concern to some women for the way it looks, getting it treated is rather important as it can, eventually, cause pain and other problems. It begins to occur during a women’s first menstruation, pregnancy, or later in life due to hormone therapy.
One way of treating it is through manual lymphatic drainage which stimulates the flow of lymph to healthy vessels around blocked areas using a form of gentle massage with rhythmic pumping movements.
2. Blood Clot
A blood clot is a clump of gel-like blood or blood in a semi-solid state that is formed to prevent a person from losing too much blood in the body in case of an injury or cut. This causes pain in the affected area and is often accompanied by swelling and redness. Treating a clot immediately is necessary so as to prevent it from further traveling to the lungs and becoming a fatal pulmonary embolism. Symptoms for the same include swelling, pain, warmth, tenderness, shortness of breath (if the clot breaks loose), etc.
Pain in the thigh can also be linked to Deep Vein Thrombosis (DVT), a blood clot in the blood vessel. This condition is of a heightened severity and can even become life-threatening, traveling to the heart, lungs, or brains, if the clot breaks loose. People at risk of developing DVT include: people who take long flights, are sedentary for long periods, smokers, people with poor blood circulation, or pregnant or overweight people.
3. Spinal Stenosis
Spinal Stenosis is the narrowing of spaces within the spine that causes pressure on the spinal cord and the nerves traveling through the spine. It occurs mostly in the neck and the lower back. It is caused by age-related deterioration, most commonly seen in people over the age of 50, and can be recognized by symptoms like pain in thighs and legs, muscle weakness, weakened bowel and bladder control, or numbness in the thighs. These make it hard to walk or stand and the person may resort to sitting most of the time. Typically, an x-ray, MRI, or CT scan is used to determine the cause of the signs and symptoms.
Treatment for spinal stenosis includes medication, physical therapy, steroid injections, decompression procedure, and surgery. Depending on the severity of the symptoms and with your doctor’s recommendations any one option may be fit for you. Here home remedies like massage therapy, chiropractic treatment, or acupuncture are also recommended. Pain relievers like pain relief oil are also highly recommended to reduce pain and inflammation.
4. Hamstring Tendonitis
Hamstring tendonitis is a condition that leads to an inflammation in the tissues that connect the muscles of the back thigh to the pelvis, knee, and shinbones. It is an injury in the hamstrings, the thick group of muscles and tendons, that happens to one or both of the hamstring tendons. Tendonitis or tendinitis is caused by overuse (often swelling or tearing) and leads to pain that decreases with rest and minor first aid. An injury in these makes it difficult to walk or bend the knee.
People with a more active lifestyle are most likely to cause such an injury, like swimmers, cyclists, runners, athletes, etc. It can be helpful to try exercises like yoga to ease some of the pain. Often a pulled hamstring is caused by overuse or strain on the semitendinosus muscle. Causes of hamstring tendonitis include poor form, not stretching properly before exercising, overtraining with weights, returning to exercising after a long time, aging, etc.
Most of the time, thigh pain is not a cause for concern, however, it is important to treat any condition with care and consult with your doctor about any symptoms so as to not lead to any further complications. There are some natural remedies though that can be really beneficial and give instant relief such as resting, hot baths, heat and ice therapy, compression wraps, etc.