Thigh pain is a common problem among growing children and teenagers. Sometimes, this can be simply caused by an injury or trauma to the area. Children are more likely to get thigh pain after a day full of activities like, jumping, running and climbing. This type of pain is quite common and not associated with any major medical condition. However, chronic thigh pain in children can be an indicator of certain illnesses, some of which can be serious. But in general, thigh pain is the result of nerve compression. Nerves are responsible for transmitting signals or stimuli to the brain and then from the brain to various parts of the body. When the opening of the nerves get squeezed or compressed, due to injury, trauma or any other condition, it can lead to pain.
Causes of Thigh Pain
The causes can range from the trivial, muscle pull and strain, to the more serious. Given below are some cause that should not be neglected and may lead to serious health issues.
This is a very common condition in children, that mainly affects the muscles of the body. Children usually experience growing pain in the front of the thighs, calves and behind the knees. Growing pain is quite normal and it mainly affects children in the age group of 3 to 12 years. Children usually get this type of pain in the evening or during the night, and sometimes, the pain can be so intense that it can wake a sleeping child. What causes growing pain is not very clear, and no evidence has been found to prove an association between growing pain and growth of bones in children.
Osteomyelitis refers to inflammation of the bones and bone marrow, due to infection. This type of bone infection usually affects the thigh bone and the long bone of the upper arm. Children in the age group of 3 to 12 years are more likely to be affected by this bone infection. Osteomyelitis is accompanied by not only pain, but also tenderness, redness and warmth of the affected area, as well as fever and toxicity. It is generally caused by the bacteria Staphylococcus aureus.
Septic arthritis is the condition characterized by infection of the joints, which is generally caused by bacteria. However, it can also be caused by other infectious agents like, virus and rarely by fungi. Both young children and the elderly have an increased risk for developing this condition. If the condition affects the hip joint, it often produces severe pain in the thigh and the groin area. Apart from pain, it is accompanied by symptoms like fever with chills, joint swelling and warmness in affected area of the joint.
It is a type of cancerous tumor that can develop in the long bones of the body including the thigh bone. It usually occurs in the middle of the long bone of the thigh. Children and the teenagers are the most common victims of Ewing's sarcoma. If this type of tumor develops in the thigh, one can get intense thigh pain, swelling and bruising around the area where the tumor develops, followed by fever.
Lipoma is a type of non-cancerous or benign tumor made of soft fatty tissues. These tumors or outgrowths are soft to touch and movable. Their occurrence has been found to be quite common in areas like, the upper thigh, torso, armpit and upper arm. Lipomas are usually painless, but can become painful or infected occasionally.
This is a rare pediatric disorder affecting children between the ages of 4 to 10 years. This syndrome is more likely to manifest itself in a male child. The problem may start with a minor pain in the hip, groin and thigh area. The pain starts increasing gradually causing inflammation in the affected area. As the child grows, one may observe symptoms like discrepancy in sizes of legs and decreased abduction. This problem can be treated surgically or through usage of braces.
Osteosarcoma is a type of bone cancer that commonly affects the long bones of the body such as the thigh bone, arm bones, tibia and pelvis. Incidence of this bone cancer has been found to be more in children and young adults. Young boys experiencing a growth spurt are more likely to be affected by this cancer than the girls. If the cancerous tumor develops in the long bone of the thigh, then it can cause thigh pain, along with swelling and redness of the skin.
The treatment for thigh pain mainly depends on the underlying conditions that cause the pain. If the pain is not associated with any medical condition, then it will go away within a couple of days. In the meantime, one can gently massage the area or apply heat to ease the pain and discomfort. Even thigh exercises can prove helpful in pain management. Severe inner thigh pain can however, require administration of proper medication. Along with adopting the measures necessary to ease the pain, it is also important to find out the exact causes, especially if the pain is too severe and chronic in nature. This is because, constant thigh pain can be an indicator of certain serious health problems like, osteomyelitis, septic arthritis and osteosarcoma, which require immediate medical attention.