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Sharp Thigh Pain

Sharp Thigh Pain

Pain in thighs is a symptom of multitude of health problems including infection, injury, pull, and so on. Read this article to know more about this debilitating condition.
HealthHearty Staff
Last Updated: Apr 23, 2018
The structure of the thigh consists of bones, muscles, cartilage, ligaments, tendons and blood vessels. Any major damage in these components can lead to acute pain. The biggest sensory nerve of the lower part of the body is known as lateral femoral cutaneous and is located in the thigh. The main function of this nerve is to send information from its surroundings to the brain. Whenever some extra amount of pressure is exerted on it, it gives rise to a painful condition.
Thigh Pain Causes
Some of the main and common causes of severe thigh pain are mentioned below.
Osteomyelitis
This is a form of bacterial infection in the hip joints which often gets extended to the thigh bone. As a result, normal blood circulation in the region is affected and a sharp pain is experienced, which intensifies while walking. It is accompanied by fever, drainage of pus, and reddening of the skin can be noticed at the site of infection.
Osteoarthritis
In this case, the cartilage at the hip-joint deteriorates with the increase in age. Cartilage consists of proteins that protect the bone joints from any kind of external shock. Due to the cartilage degeneration, excessive amount of joint fluid builds up in the hip which causes irritation. It mostly affects people who are above the age of 45.
Meralgia Paresthetica
This condition is characterized by numbness in the thigh. It happens when the lateral femoral cutaneous nerve is compressed under the ligament of the groin. As a result, pain is felt and the area becomes warm to the touch. This kind of compression occurs as the size of the belly increases because of obesity or pregnancy.
Sciatica
The cause of sciatica is herniated spinal disc. Actually, the origin of this is lower part of the spine which later extends to the buttocks and thighs. Every time the sciatic nerve root is pressed by a bulging disc, an unbearable pain is felt, accompanied by muscle cramps and tingling sensation. It tends to aggravate further due to wrong sitting or standing posture, excessive coughing, etc.
Lipoma
In this condition, there is an uncontrolled growth of the tissues that lie in between the skin and the muscles. This kind of tumor growth is usually non cancerous and hence, it is considered as harmless. It can be found in various parts of the body.
Cancer
Ewing's sarcoma and osteosarcoma are two forms of bone cancer that can affect the thighs. These bone tumors are commonly found in small children and young adults when they are growing up rapidly. The tumor growth can be identified as a bump formed on the thigh. Other symptoms are severe pain at night which is accompanied by inflammation and reddening of the affected part, unexpected weight loss, fatigue, etc.
How to Get Rid of the Pain
Doctors diagnose the cause by physical examination and with the help of X-ray and CT scan. Once the reason is ascertained, the treatment starts.
  • If any disease is detected, then measures are taken to cure it.
  • Oral medicines are used to bring down the symptoms of sciatica and osteoarthritis.
  • Hot and cold compressions are highly beneficial too.
  • Corticosteroid injections are administered to reduce inflammation.
  • Physical therapy helps a lot to recover from both these conditions.
  • In osteomyelitis, bone biopsy is first conducted to identify the infection causing bacteria and then, suitable antibiotic injections are given to destroy it.
  • Treatment for meralgia paresthetica involves use of painkillers, antidepressants, anti-seizure medication, etc. These patients are also advised to lose weight in order to minimize the pressure form the affected nerve.
  • In general, lipoma does not require any treatment. However, if the pain becomes unbearable, then it has to be removed surgically.
  • Malignant tumor growth is treated with chemotherapy, radiation therapy and surgery.
  • Sometimes, surgery is needed for a critically damaged arthritis affected hip-joint.
  • Similarly, the pressure from a badly compressed nerve may have to be released by the means of surgery.
You can see there are so many reasons that can lead to thigh pain. Hence, if you are suffering from such pain, then you need to consult the doctor immediately. Do not try to treat it yourself with over-the-counter pain relieving medicines.
Disclaimer: This HealthHearty article is for informative purposes only, and should not be used as a replacement for expert medical advice.