Basically, the thigh has a stable structure that can support the entire body weight. It consists of three very strong set of muscles. They are, quadriceps, hamstring, and abductor muscles. Other structural components include bones, cartilage, ligaments, and of course a vital sensory nerve named lateral femoral cutaneous nerve. All of them work together to help us move our legs and feet while walking, running, jumping, etc. Any serious problem in any of the components can cause severe pain in the thighs.
The structural components of the thighs may get damaged due to an injury caused by strenuous physical activities or some underlying health problem. Some of the most common causes responsible for a burning pain in the thigh are as follows:
► Meralgia Paresthetica
- When the lateral femoral cutaneous nerve gets compressed under any ligament in the groin area, a burning pain is experienced in the upper part of the frontal thigh.
- It makes the area warm to the touch.
- Those who are overweight with a big belly and pregnant women are prone to meralgia paresthetica.
- Even upon wearing tight skinny jeans, this nerve can get compressed.
- This is another form of nerve injury that can cause a burning pain in the thighs.
- The sciatic nerve originates in the lower back area and runs through the back of the thighs up to the legs.
- When it is pinched by a bulging disc of the lower spine, then an agonizing pain is felt in the thighs.
► Thigh Muscle Injury
- Thigh muscles mostly get injured due to over-exercising or during sports activities that involve running and kicking.
- Abductor muscles present in the front, that help in straightening the knees, often suffer a damage due to foot imbalance while running on a slippery surface.
- Hamstring muscles present at the back of the thighs help in stretching the legs. These muscles get pulled when there is a change in the rhythm of running.
- Also, when these muscles get excessively strained, it causes the fibers to tear, which in turn leads to an excruciating thigh muscle pain.
- A common symptom of all kinds of muscle injury is pain in the thighs while walking.
- There are various forms of arthritis that affect the body joints.
- The hip and thigh joint is mostly affected by osteoarthritis in which the cartilage that protects the bones from getting rubbed gets degenerated with age.
- As a result, the friction between the bones at the joint causes a burning pain in the thighs.
- It is more commonly observed in the elderly who mostly complain about severe pain in the thighs while sitting or sleeping in the night.
► Other Factors
- Agonizing thigh pain can be a symptom of several underlying health problems as well.
- A bacterial infection at the hip joint called osteomyelitis can cause pain in the thighs. It is usually accompanied by indicants, like fever, pus drainage, and reddening of the skin on the thigh area.
- The symptom of persistent pain in the inner thigh region is often observed in people with problems, like hernia and kidney stones.
- Those who have undergone a hip or knee replacement surgery may experience this sort of a severe burning sensation in the thighs soon after the surgery.
- The intensity of the pain decreases after a few days and eventually subsides after some time.
➜ Underlying causes of the thigh pain are diagnosed with the help of physical examination, X-rays, CT scan, and studying the medical history of the patient.
➜ Overexerted thigh muscles or an irritated nerve need to be rested for some time. This prevents any further aggravation of the pain and facilitates faster healing of the damaged tissues.
➜ To render a soothing effect to the burning pain, ice can be applied several times in a day. Medicines like anti-inflammatory medicines, corticosteroid injections, and muscle relaxants are mostly used to bring down the painful symptoms.
➜ If there is some swelling because of some muscle injury, then the use of compression bandage is recommended. Physical therapy has also proved to be useful, because it stretches and strengthens the muscles really well.
➜ In most cases, these conservative methods of treatment are beneficial in healing the injury-related problem. However, if the muscle fibers get badly torn or the hip and thigh joint are in a badly damaged condition, then a surgery is required to repair the damage.
➜ Sometimes, the sciatic nerve gets pressed so badly that it can be released only with the help of a surgery. In case there is some underlying health issue, then it should be treated properly in order to provide relief from the pain.
Any injury-related thigh pain can be cured by toning the thigh muscles with the help of exercises. Those who are overweight should decrease their body weight to ease the pressure from the thigh muscles. On several occasions, it so happens that we tend to ignore a dull thigh pain for a long time, and it gets aggravated into a sharp thigh pain. So, an early diagnosis can prevent the worsening of any health issue.
Disclaimer: This HealthHearty article is for informative purposes only and should not be used as a replacement for expert medical advice.