Thighs are vital part of our body and along with our spine; it takes most of the pressure of our weight. If we feel any kind of pain or burning in our outer thighs, it should not go ignored. Outer thigh pain, also known as lateral leg pain, can be caused due to various reasons, such as, nerve damage or muscle imbalances. It can be due to an injury or shock in the thighs due to sudden movement. People with heavy fat content in thigh often complain about it. Even athletes and runners facets problem there than often.But this is not permanent. It can be taken care of with a regular physical exercises regime and some therapies with the specialists.
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Causes of Outer Thigh Pain
Lateral leg pain can make you immobile, and inactive, hampering your work or your physical hobbies. But with proper care and supervision, this inability can eliminated and you can return to work in no time. The type of treatment and exercise requirement depends on the severity and type of pain you suffer. There are varieties of outer thigh pain.
1. Meralgia Paraesthetica
If you have had anytype of injury is the thighs or a hip surgery and, the lateral cutaneous nerve of the thighcan feel pressurised, causing the patient to feel a burning sensation in the thighs. It is Meralgia Paraesthetica. It is sensitive to touch. The patient can also complain of groin pain.
Treatment: Usually, the treatment depends upon the severity . If the pain is minor, the patient maybe asked to rest the hurting leg and avoid any physical activity temporarily. In case of more pain, the doctors may prescribe some steroids shots to reduce inflammation.
2. Trochanteric Bursitis
Trochanteric Bursitis causes limping and swelling. It can be very painful an the lower body, hips buttocks and thighs. It is caused due to the inflammation in the Bursa sac in the thigh, hip and groin, known as greater trochanter. It is a fluid filled sac near a joint.The inflammation is due to a prolonged pressure on the sacs. Continuous running or exercising or training, etc. are some of the causes.
Treatment: this type of pain usually can be treated at home. Applying ice packs, some stretching, over the counter painkillers and some rest should make you good to go. But if these don’t work, you should see a doctor, who may prescribe some steroid injections, licodine and or some physical therapies.
3. Iliotibial Band Syndrome
A pain or swelling and discomfort, or a feeling of friction in the knee joint, relate to iliotibial band syndrome. It is usually in the outer side of the knee joint. It is caused due constant running or hiking, inadequate warming up exercises, cycling for a long duration, etc., which causes the inflammation in the iliotibial band that runs along the outer thighs laterally.
Treatment: In any type of outer thigh pain, resting is an important part of the treatment. Putting an extra pressure on the hurt leg or thigh can worsen the condition. Along with it, a few anti inflammatory medicines can serve the purpose. As the pain slowly reduces, one should also perform some minor stretching exercises, prescribed by the physician, to bring back the flexibility.
- Muscle Contusion
An athlete, who plays an al contact sport like football, basket ball, rugby etc., has a high chance to get a muscle contusion. They cause, pain, discomfort, discoloration, limited motion of the joints, tenderness etc. It is a muscle injury and makes the thighs and area around it weak and rigid. There may also be an internal bleeding, or fractures, which can cause shock. It requires immediate medical attention.
Treatment: immediately, a doctor should be consulted, who will do some tests for determining the extent of injury. Again, rest is vital, along side, treating the injury with ice pack, which will help in numbing the pain and reducing inflammation. The area can be wrapped up in a soft bandage, to create compress.
5. Other Causes
- As the human body goes through the aging process, the connective tissues in the joint starts to wear off. The natural lubricating agents that keep the movements of the joints fluid diminish, causing friction between two connected bones. It is very painful.The ligaments and cartilage goes thinner. They reduce the mobility off the patient and weaken the joints. This inflammation and friction in the joints is called arthritis. There are more than a thousand types of arthritis, osteoarthritis, being the most common. It relates to the joints.
- It is a pain which radiates along the Sciatic nerve, which goes down the legs, and the lower back. It is caused when the spinal nerve root in the lower back is compressed or injured. The patient may complain continuous pain in one side of the buttock, pain in continuous sitting, a burning or tingling sensation in the legs, etc. It is a result of slipped disc or some kind of muscular imbalance. It can be slight or extreme, depending upon the severity of injury to the nerve.
- Hip Replacement. When you go for a hip replacement, or knee replacements operations, one of the major side effect is the outer thigh pain. Generally a mild pain in the thigh is associated with the hip replacement and it stays during the recovery period.The patients are told to expect it. They are asked to rest there hips and thighs for a few days. But if the pain is extreme and last longer than a week, one should consult the doctor immediately, because there may be some underlying complications.
If you are suffering from lateral leg pain, or outer thigh pain, it should be immediately treated. For the less extreme ones, some rest, a few stretching exercises and some anti inflammatory can be enough. BUT if the pain is excruciating, or, continuous, or comes and goes and comes back again, a visit to the doctor is called for. They may be a signal of an underlying disease. Therefore it needs a proper medical attention.