Inner thigh pain can stop people in their tracks. It may last a few minutes or even a few hours and will vary according to its underlying cause. It may feel like a stabbing pain or a general ache. Often inner thigh pain is more prevalent at night, keeping the sufferer awake for hours. This pain could be a consequence of intense exercise resulting in a strained muscle, or it may be due to a health condition. In this article we will explore the different causes of inner thigh pain and effective treatments.
Causes of Inner Thigh Pain
When the adductor (inner thigh muscle) is strained or pulled it can result in inner thigh or groin pain. The most common muscular injury is a strain, which results if the muscle is overstretched. This pain will be localized to the inner thigh or groin region and will greatly restrict mobility. Running or high impact sports make an individual prone to muscle strain. Turning or stopping suddenly during an activity can also result in a muscle strain. Exercise induced inner thigh pain can range from severe to mild, depending on the extent of muscle strain. Mild discomfort will result if the muscle connecting the thigh bone to the pubic bone is strained, while it will be more severe if there is a complete rupture. If during exercise or activity you feel a persistent ache or acute excruciating pain, inner thigh muscle or groin strain has likely occurred, so the activity should be discontinued.
- Inguinal (groin) hernia: This is one of the most common forms of a hernia. They occur in the groin area, where the skin of the thigh intersects with the torso. This type of hernia can cause inner thigh discomfort. One way to determine if a hernia is causing your thigh pain is to check for any abnormal bulges in the groin area. This bulge is a clear indicator of an inguinal hernia. Hernias can be a condition that you are born with or one that is caused by many other factors. Obesity, substantial lifting, and excessive/rough coughing are just three potential causes.
- Kidney stones: Inner thigh pain may even be a symptom of kidney stones. This pain can either be localized to the thigh or groin area. The main cause of kidney stones is a high level of a specific substance present in your urine that creates a small crystal like matter. Inner thigh pain caused by kidney stones is very intense and presents itself quite suddenly. This pain will occur in spasms; it is severe and then diminishes in between the spasms.
- Osteoarthritis: This is the inflammation of the joints that results from cartilage degeneration. This degeneration of the cartilage can be due to aging, genetics, an accident, or disease. The most prominent symptom of this medical condition is pain in the affected joints. This pain typically gets worse as the day progresses. Other symptoms include creaking, swelling, and warmth in the joints.
- Pubis Dysfunction: This is predominantly experienced by pregnant women. The pelvic ligament that keeps their pelvic bone in place becomes relaxed, which makes the pelvic bone unstable. The ligaments become relaxed due to a hormone that makes the ligaments pliable to facilitate the baby's exit. The main symptom of this medical condition is intense pain in the pelvis, which can radiate down into other regions, including the inner thigh. This pain will be aggravated by walking, standing, or rolling.
- Osteosarcoma: This cancerous growth manifests in an individual's bone. This type of bone cancer typically affects children and teenagers; this is the most common form of bone cancer in children. The growth typically occurs in the shin, thigh, or upper arm. The symptoms include bone pain, which can manifest as inner thigh pain, restricted mobility, tenderness, swelling, and redness at the site of the growth.
Other causes of inner thigh pain are side effects of surgery, septic arthritis, sciatica, lipoma, and edema.
Treatment for Inner Thigh Pain
If your inner thigh pain is entirely muscular, you can remedy the situation at home if it is not too severe. You should first stop any activity and rest the leg. Rest is integral to recovery, so keep your legs raised and inactive. Applying an ice pack to the painful region will reduce the swelling and may even decrease the damage. The ice pack should only be applied for a limited time, around 20-30 minutes at the most. Finally, you can wrap it with a bandage or a compression wrap. This will apply pressure giving it the necessary support for healing and will also reduce the pain. Once the swelling has gone down and the pain becomes bearable, you should perform groin stretches. There are a range of different exercises that can aid in increasing mobility of the groin and thigh. One example is to sit on the ground and put the soles of your feet together. Then grip your feet with your hands and slowly lower your knees to the ground. Never force the muscles or strain them during these exercises; perform them slowly and carefully. These exercises should never result in pain. A medical professional should address severe muscle pain in the inner thigh.
- Hernia: If you are diagnosed with a hernia, then you will likely be required to undergo a surgical procedure. Until the date of your surgery, you will be advised to refrain from heavy lifting or any other straining activity to reduce the likelihood of the hernia increasing in size.
- Kidney stones: If you have kidney stones, seek medical attention immediately. Pain medication will be administered to help you cope with the acute pain and you will be kept well hydrated via intravenous fluids. Kidney stones will normally pass naturally, but if they are in a difficult position or are large in size, outside assistance may be required. Those who experience kidney stones on a regular basis may not need to visit the emergency room. Regular sufferers may be able to dull the pain with over-the-counter pain medication; they also need to adequately hydrate themselves.
- Osteoarthritis: There is no specific treatment for osteoarthritis, but the symptoms can be managed. If you are overweight, it is recommended that you lose weight to reduce the pressure on your joints. Only low impact exercises such as swimming, walking, and yoga, are recommended. High impact activity should be avoided. Pain medication should also be taken either orally or directly injected into the infected joints.
- Pubis Dysfunction: The unstable pelvis can be stabilized with a pelvic support belt, which is available online. The pain can be maintained with physician approved pain medication.
- Osteosarcoma: A bone biopsy must first be performed to provide a definite diagnosis. Treatment can then commence with chemotherapy. Once chemotherapy has adequately reduced the size of the growth, surgery will be performed to remove it.
Remedies for Inner Thigh Pain
There are a variety of ways to relieve inner thigh pain at home. Below we have listed a few:
- A hot bath may relieve the pain to a certain extent.
- Massage the inner thigh with oils, such as mustard, olive or primrose oil.
- Applying a medicinal ointment to the affected area may reduce the discomfort.
- Keeping the thigh region covered with warm clothes may prevent the pain from worsening.
- Yoga is a low impact exercise that can strengthen the thigh muscles without causing any further damage.
- Taking vitamin and mineral supplements such as Calcium, Magnesium and Zinc, may reduce the pain.
- A very hot heating pad or cloth applied to the inner thigh.
Hopefully upon reading this article you will be able to determine the cause of your inner thigh pain. Maybe you have just taken up jogging and the pain is a natural consequence of this new physical activity, or perhaps you have an underlying health condition. If the latter is true for you, contact your health professional immediately.