Complaints of inner upper thigh pain can also occur in a perfectly healthy person if he or she has been subjected to increased physical activity. But most often it is a sign of the development of various pathologies.
In young and middle age it is most often a consequence of stretching and tearing of ligament and tendon fibers in the groin area. Hematomas inside the fascia (muscular sheath) may also occur when you perform abrupt or excessive exertion.
In the elderly, pain on the inner side of the hip may be related to various degenerative dystrophic processes occurring in the body. In the first place is coxarthrosis (destruction of the hip joint) in the second place – gonarthrosis (pathology of the knee joint bones). Pathological processes in the cartilage tissues of the intervertebral discs may also be the cause of the unpleasant symptom. As a result, the process of innervation of the lower extremities is disturbed. Depending on which nerve is damaged, there may be pain in different parts of the thigh and lower leg.
This article presents the most common conditions that cause pain in the upper part of the inner thigh. Recommendations are given as to which doctor you should go to for help in any given situation. You will also learn about the safest and most effective ways to treat different pathologies.
Let’s start with the anatomy. There are large ligaments and tendons in the groin area. There is a thin muscle attached to the pubic bone. It is the second longest after the tailor’s muscle. The inguinal nerve is also located here. It innervates the upper part along the inguinal area. Below that are the subcutaneous branches of the femoral nerve. They are responsible for the innervation of the middle and lower part of the inner surface of the thigh.
The thin muscle is attached at its lower end to the knee joint. It simultaneously supports the functionality of the knee and hip joint bones. Therefore, when both of these joints are affected, there may be pain on the inside of the hip. When the hip joint is affected, pain most often occurs during external rotation (abduction) of the leg in the projection of the hip joint. In particular, a patient with coxarthrosis cannot sit without problems in a chair with his knees apart and facing the back.
The hip joint deserves special attention. It is one of the busiest joints of bones in the human body. It consists of the acetabulum of the iliac bone and the head of the femur. Inside, the joint is protected by a layer of synovial cartilage. It reduces friction during movement, provides an even distribution of the shock-absorbing load, etc. Unfortunately, if you lead a sedentary life, this joint quickly undergoes processes of degeneration and destruction. This can cause a variety of unpleasant sensations in the groin and inner part of the thigh.
It is also worth saying a few words about the provision of innervation. For it are responsible, as already written above, inguinal and femoral nerves. The lateral subcutaneous nerve partially enters. They are all formed in the lumbosacral nerve plexus from the lumbar and sacral radicular nerves. They branch out through the lateral foramen foramen in the vertebral bodies. When the intervertebral cartilage discs are normal, these nerves are well protected from compression and other negative influences.
Unfortunately, if a person develops a degenerative dystrophic disease of the spinal column, the intervertebral discs are affected. They lose their elasticity, height and cushioning ability. The process of destruction begins. The spinal column poses a threat to the safety and integrity of the radicular nerves as they move. They become inflamed and lose their ability to the physiological process of innervation. A person may experience pain that spreads along the path of the affected nerve. Thus, the cause of pain on the inner side of the hip can also be a disease of the spinal column.
We will talk about all the potential causes of this clinical symptom further in the material. In the meantime, we want to warn you that all the information presented in the article is not intended for self-treatment. You need to consult a specialist. Therefore, if there is pain on the inner side of the thigh, do not hesitate to see a doctor. Make an appointment with an orthopedist or neurologist. These doctors will conduct a full examination, prescribe additional examinations and make an accurate diagnosis.
And now let’s try to understand why the upper inner part of the thigh hurts, what the potential causes of such a sign of malaise may be.
Here is a list of diseases and conditions in which why the inner side of the thighs hurts:
- Sprain of the ligament and tendon apparatus (capillary blood accumulates inside the ruptured fibers, it provokes inflammation, which is accompanied by pain syndrome;
- Later on, in the place of the sprain a rough scar tissue may form, which puts pressure on the other soft tissues, a compression syndrome occurs, and the circulatory process may suffer;
- fractures and cracks of the femur, and in the elderly there is a high probability of femoral neck integrity failure, especially in the latent course of osteoporosis and osteomalacia;
- osteophytes in the area of the femoral head and acetabulum (these are deposits of calcium salts, which injure the adjacent soft tissues, provoking inflammatory reactions)
- development of deforming osteoarthritis of the hip joint (there is a gradual decrease in the height of the joint gap, calcium salt deposits develop, mobility of the lower extremity is impaired, short lower extremity syndrome may accompany);
- deforming osteoarthritis of the knee joint, as well as its other pathologies associated with degeneration of the medial and lateral meniscus, stretching and tearing of the posterior and anterior cruciate ligaments, meniscus inflammation, unstable patella position, etc.)
- Myositis of the muscles of the inner plane of the thigh (most often the tailor and thin muscles become inflamed under the influence of negative factors, such as overstrain, cold, prolonged position in an uncomfortable static posture);
- Lumbosacral osteochondrosis with radicular syndrome, complicated by radiculitis and plexitis;
- inguinal and femoral neuralgia;
- Posture disorders and curvature of the spinal column, including twisting of the pelvic bones on the background of thoracic scoliosis;
- Thrombosis of the veins of the inner surface of the thigh;
- diabetic angiopathy and neuropathy;
- tumors, infections, lesions of the structures of the dura mater of the spinal cord, etc.
It is very important to make a correct diagnosis. Only then will the doctor be able to prescribe individualized treatment. It is not recommended to take painkillers from the group of non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs until the diagnosis is made. This can affect the clinical picture and complicate the process of differential diagnosis. Also taking these drugs in most cases accelerates the process of destruction of various tissues of the spinal column and lower extremities.
So do not risk your health, go to an experienced doctor in a timely manner and take a prescribed treatment.
Pain in the inner side of the thigh when walking
What to do if the inner upper side of the thigh hurts when walking, what doctor should be consulted to diagnose and prescribe treatment? The first thing to do in such a situation is to exclude temporarily any physical activity. There is no need to overcome the pain and continue performing your professional duties. Be sure to make an appointment with an orthopedist as soon as possible.
This specialist will conduct an initial examination and a manual examination, make a series of functional diagnostic tests. This will allow him to make a preliminary diagnosis and provide the necessary medical care. He will then develop a plan for the examination. It may include:
- X-rays of the hip and knee joints (to rule out the possibility of osteoarthritis, calcium salt deposits, instability of the heads and condyles of the bones, etc.)
- X-ray of the lumbosacral spine to rule out the possibility of reduced height of the intervertebral spaces, which corresponds to the second stage of osteochondrosis development (also on the image an experienced doctor can see deforming osteoarthritis of the intervertebral joints, instability of the position of vertebral bodies and intervertebral discs, etc.)
- MRI of the lumbosacral spine, hip and knee joints (necessary to assess the condition of soft tissues, such as cartilage, ligament, tendon, muscle, connective tissue);
- Ultrasound of blood vessels of lower extremities (allows to diagnose atherosclerosis, varicose veins, obliterating endarteritis, thrombosis, vasculitis, diabetic angiopathy and other pathologies);
- Electromyography and electroneurography.
Based on the results of all studies, the doctor will be able to make an accurate diagnosis and prescribe the appropriate treatment.
Treatment for Pain in the Upper Inner Thigh
The first thing to do if the leg, and more precisely the inner part of the hip, hurts is to refuse any physical activity. If there was an injury, you need to see a trauma surgeon. If there was no traumatic impact, then make an appointment with an orthopedist. If necessary, this doctor will appoint a consultation with a vertebrologist or neurologist (if spinal column or autonomic nervous system disease is suspected).
If the upper inner surface of the hip hurts, treatment can only be given for the condition that manifests itself with a similar clinical symptom. Let us consider an example, if this condition is a sign of radicular syndrome in protrusion of the lumbosacral spine. the radicular nerve responsible for the formation of the femoral nerve is pinched. The patient experiences pain in the middle part of the inner surface of the thigh.
The first thing to do with this condition is to remove compression from the radicular nerve. This can be done by performing a manual traction procedure on the spinal column. During this procedure the cartilaginous intervertebral discs are straightened. The nerve fibers are released from pressure.
After the acute pain syndrome is cured, the doctor develops an individual course of rehabilitation for each patient. It may include the following types of procedures:
- massage to increase elasticity and permeability of all tissues (it also relieves excessive muscle fiber tone and spasm, and normalizes blood flow through large vessels);
- Osteopathy to restore the disturbed microcirculation of blood and lymphatic fluid, thereby improving tissue trophicity and accelerating regeneration;
- Therapeutic exercises and kinesiotherapy;
- Reflexology and physiotherapy;
- laser treatment and electromyostimulation, and more.
Now you know why you may experience pain in the upper inner thigh and how it can be treated. However, do not forget that the exact diagnosis as well as the treatment is prescribed by the attending physician.