Leg Pain Overview

What is it?

Leg and thigh pain is common after an injury, but there are also many non-traumatic causes.Pain in the legs and thighs can be present because of conditions that affect bones, joints, muscles, tendons, ligaments,blood vessels, nerves, and skin. And back ailments may also be present with leg and thigh pain.Upper thigh pain symptoms may be a result of arthritis or a degenerative bone disease such as osteoporosis. These symptoms can also be a sign of a circulatory problem such as peripheral arterial disease (PAD) or other circulatory problems like heart disease.

What causes it?

Trauma is the most obvious cause of leg pain. Falls, near falls, and twisting injuries can damage bones, muscles, and joints or a combination of all three. Pain from an injury to the back can inflame the sciatic nerve and cause sciatica, or pain that radiates down the leg. Overuse injuries can also cause pain. Upper thigh pain can occur in the muscles, tendons, joints and even bones in the pelvis region. It is often caused by repetitive stress movements during sports or rigorous activities, but it can also be caused by aging or certain diseases.Upper thigh pain symptoms can vary from mild aching to more severe or acute pain.

Other common causes include:  


Common treatments

The treatment of leg pain depends upon the diagnosis. Once the reason for the pain is established, treatment is focused on both pain control and controlling the underlying problem to prevent or lessen future occurrences. Home treatment depends on the reason for the leg pain. For sprains and strains, RICE is the most common treatment: rest, ice, compression and elevation. Anti-inflammation medication or over the counter pain relievers may also be prescribed for pain control. For hamstring injuries (strains) RICE treatment is also usually recommended. Often stretching exercises are used to help restore the hamstring muscles to their full length to allow full range of motion of the knee and leg. (Physical therapy is usually supervised by a health-care practitioner).People with sciatic pain should consider a short period of bed rest (usually less than 24 hours) followed by light activity, as tolerated. Alternating ice and heat may be helpful. Anti-inflammatory medication is also sometimes used.Chiropractic or physical therapy treatmentsmay also help. If acute pain with leg swelling or loss of feeling associated with a cold leg occurs, medical care should be sought immediately.


Common thigh pain treatments

Again, the treatment for thigh pain largely depends upon the source. The basic aim of thigh pain treatment is to remove the cause of compression of the nerves.

Home remedies for thigh pain include:  

However, some conditions may require surgery.For severe thigh pain a physician may administer an injection of a corticosteroid preparation to reduce the risk of inflammation.You should always consult a health professional for appropriate treatment to alleviate thigh pain.