Causes and treatment of inner thigh pain
Home remedies can often alleviate the pain, but medical treatment may also be needed, depending on the cause.
This article will discuss some possible causes of inner thigh pain, other symptoms, and ways to treat them.
What is inner thigh pain?
Pain around the inner thigh may be accompanied by muscles stiffness or a limited range of movement.
Depending on its cause, pain around the inner portion of the thigh may either be described as:
- a dull ache
- a sharp pain
A person may feel pain in the inner thigh muscles or adductors. These muscles sit close to the groin, which refers to the region of the hip between the stomach and thigh. Pain in the groin and inner thigh may overlap because of this proximity.
Inner thigh pain may occur with other symptoms, such as:
- muscle stiffness
- limited range of motion
- clicking or grinding when moving
Other symptoms may also be present, depending on the cause.
The inner thigh muscles, or adductors, can become strained or torn by certain movements or activities. These can include running or turning too quickly. The resulting muscle damage can cause pain in the inner thigh or groin region.
The intensity of the pain will vary, depending on the extent to which the muscle was damaged. The pain can also be accompanied by swelling or bruising around the affected region.
Bone conditions that affect the hip can cause discomfort in the thigh area.
One example is osteoarthritis, a condition where cartilage on the ends of bones is broken down, causing inflammation in the joints.
Other symptoms of osteoarthritis include:
- pain and stiffness in joints in the surrounding area, which may spread to the inner thigh
- a grating or crackling sounds when moving
Another bone condition is called femoroacetabular impingement. This happens when extra bone develops in the hip joint, causing friction between the bones as they rub together. Over time, this can cause damage to the joint, pain or an ache in the thighs, stiffness, or a limp.
Osteosarcoma is a rare type of bone cancer that develops in growing bones, most commonly around the knee, including the femur or thigh bone. It is most common in people aged 10 to 25. It can induce swelling and tenderness in the affected area.
A hernia occurs when an internal body part pushes through surrounding muscle or tissue wall.
Inguinal hernias are the most common type of hernia. They occur in the groin area, where the intestines push through the lower abdomen, causing a fleshy bulge to develop.
Pain may be felt around the affected region, including the inner thigh. There may be no or very few other symptoms.
Kidney stones are solid lumps that pass through the urinary tract.
Kidney stones are where crystals build up to form a solid lump in the kidneys. When passed through the urinary tract they can cause significant discomfort, particularly with larger stones. It is possible to feel sharp pains in the inner thigh.
Other symptoms could include:
- aching in lower back or groin area
- pain when urinating
- intense bouts of abdominal pain
- blood in urine
Someone who is pregnant can develop pubis dysfunction, a condition that causes the pelvic bone to become unstable. This is caused by the ligaments supporting the pelvic bone becoming too relaxed and typically occurs during the second trimester.
This can cause severe pain in the pelvis, which may be felt in surrounding regions, including the inner thigh. It can also restrict mobility and cause clicking or grinding noises when moving.
Along with uterus cramps, a person may feel cramps, aches, or pains in other areas of their body near the uterus. These include the back, pelvis, and thighs.
If a person has substantial pain in their lower abdomen and the surrounding area during menstruation, it may be worth consulting a doctor.
Two conditions called endometriosis and adenomyosis are among those that can cause painful periods. These conditions can be managed with diagnosis and treatment.
It is possible to alleviate some inner thigh pain through experimenting with different home or natural remedies. These could include:
- Resting. Avoiding activity in the thighs is important in the early stages of a muscle injury, or immediately after physical activity in people with bone conditions.
- Heat and ice therapy. Hot compresses or ice packs can reduce inflammation, therefore alleviating pain in the inner thigh. This is useful for osteoarthritis and muscular injuries. Hot compresses and ice packs are available in pharmacies and online.
- Physiotherapy. Physiotherapy can help with the symptoms of femoroacetabular impingement, or in some cases, osteoarthritis. It can also be used to return function to a muscle following injury, after a suitable rest period.
- Painkillers. Over-the-counter or prescription pain medication can be enough to alleviate inner thigh pain in some cases.
- Bandages or compression wraps. These can provide additional support for a muscular injury, and help it heal faster. Both are available to purchase in supermarkets, pharmacies, and online.
- Hot bath. Soaking the muscles can reduce pain, as it helps to relax the inner thigh muscle.
- Supportive equipment. Using a cane or a brace can reduce pressure on the joints, which is particularly useful for bone conditions, such as osteoarthritis.
- Pelvic support belt. These are used to stabilize the pelvis in people with pubis dysfunction to reduce pain
- Lifestyle changes. For instance, weight loss may reduce pressure on the joints in people with bone conditions.
It is essential to work out the cause of inner thigh pain when deciding what methods to try. More serious conditions, such as hernias, osteosarcoma, or kidney stones, will require hospital treatment or surgery to reduce the pain.
Maintaining good physical fitness while avoiding high-intensity exercise may help.
It is possible to reduce the risk of developing inner thigh pain from some causes by making lifestyle changes. These changes might include:
- losing weight
- avoiding high-intensity exercise
- keeping hydrated
- eating a balanced diet, rich in vitamin D and calcium
- maintaining good physical fitness
- using proper footwear when exercising
- avoiding lifting heavy objects
Some causes, such as kidney stones or pubis dysfunction, are not as easily preventable.
When to see a doctor
In most cases, inner thigh pain is temporary and can be treated with home remedies or over-the-counter pain medication. However, if the pain is persistent or severe, medical attention should be sought.
If a lump has developed with the inner thigh pain, it could be a hernia, which requires medical attention. Intense pain in the abdomen could indicate the inner thigh pain is caused by kidney stones, which would require immediate emergency care.
Most cases of inner thigh pain do not pose any serious health risks, and they are often caused by a muscular injury. The pain will often disappear after a few days, but it can sometimes take longer, depending on the cause. It can usually be managed without the need for medical treatment unless the pain is the result of a more serious health condition.