Inner Thigh Pain

No one likes to experience pain, especially when it occurs in an area such as the inner thigh. The fact that the pain can have a variable duration – from several minutes to couple of hours  is even more disconcerting. The type of pain can vary from one person to the other.  Some people describe it as a stabbing pain, while others present it as a general discomfort. It is possible that the pain appears at the level of the inner thigh during the night, interfering with one’s sleep and keeping the person awake for hours on end.

If you have performed intense physical exercise, you can expect for the pain at the level of the inner thigh to appear sooner or later. The pain can sometimes signify that you have taken things too far, with the muscles in the area suffering from the excessive straining. It is important to contact a medical professional and present your symptoms to him/her. Only a trained specialist can decide whether the inner thigh pain is a temporary problem or a sign of a more serious medical condition. Based on the diagnosis that the doctor puts, you can receive adequate treatment, not only for your symptoms but also for the underlying condition.

What Causes Your Inner Thigh Pain?

These are the most common causes that lead to the appearance of the inner thigh pain:


  • Adductor/inner thigh muscle strained or pulled
  • The excessive stretching of the muscle can lead pain at the level of the inner thigh/groin
  • The available mobility is directly influenced by the intensity of the pain
  • Risk factors include:
    • Intense physical effort
    • Running/jogging
    • High-impact sports
  • Abrupt interruption of a physical activity – often cause of muscular strain
  • The pain can range from mild to severe, depending on the severity of the muscle pain (most intense pain – complete rupture of the muscle)
  • Once the inner thigh pain has appeared, it is recommended that the physical activity is interrupted (not abruptly)

Inguinal hernia

  • One of the most common forms of hernia
  • Appears in the inguinal area, hence its name
  • Can cause discomfort or pain at the level of the inner thigh
  • An abnormal bulge can be present in the area (definite sign of hernia)
  • Can be congenital or acquired
  • Potential causes for the inguinal hernia include:
    • Excessive weight
    • Lifting objects that are too heavy
    • Coughing in an excessive manner or for prolonged periods of time (chronic cough)

Kidney stones

  • The pain at the level of the inner thigh can be a sign of kidney stones
  • It is possible that the pain extends over the entire thigh or remains localized, at the level of the groin
  • Sudden onset of the pain
  • High level of intensity for the pain
  • Pain may be accompanied by spasms (more intense then and diminished in-between the spasms)


  • Joint inflammation with cartilage degeneration
  • Risk factors for cartilage degeneration include:
    • Aging
    • Genetics
    • Accidents
    • Different illnesses
  • Pain at the level of the affected joints (hips included)
  • The progression of the condition leads to the aggravation of the pain
  • Other symptoms include:
    • Creaking sounds at the level of the affected joint
    • Inflammation
    • The respective joint is warm to the touch

Pubic dysfunction

  • Often seen in women who are pregnant
  • The relaxation of the pelvic ligament leads to the lack of stability at the level of the pelvic bone
  • The ligaments become relaxed, so as to facilitate the passing of the newborn through the birth canal
  • Main symptom – intense pain at the level of the pelvis
  • The pain often radiates to the surrounding regions, such as the inner thigh
  • Physical movement, including maintaining the orthostatic position, walking or rolling can make the pain worse


  • Type of cancer, affecting the bone
  • Most commonly affected – children and teenagers
  • Pain can appear at the level of the inner thigh, as the cancerous cells grow on the bones in the respective area
  • Apart from the inner thigh pain, the other symptoms include:
    • Reduced range of motion
    • Tenderness to the touch
    • Inflammation
    • Redness.

Other Causes of Pain in Inner Thigh

  • Edema (caused by various conditions, especially those involving the kidneys)
  • Lipoma (growth of fat cells between the skin and the underlying muscle layer)
  • Septic arthritis (inflammation of one or more joints, caused by a bacterial microorganism)
  • Surgical intervention (the inner thigh pain can appear as a side-effect of certain surgeries).

Treatment for Inner Thigh Pain

The treatment and self-care measures that can be taken depend on the causes of the inner thigh pain:

  • Muscular
    • Physical rest
    • The leg should be kept elevated (for pain relief and reduction of inflammation)
    • Cold applications are recommended – either a cold compress or an ice pack wrapped in a towel (anti-inflammatory effect + pain relief); the cold application should be maintained for only a short period of time, so as to avoid the risk of circulatory problems
    • Bandage/compression wrap – pain relief and faster healing
    • Groin stretches – recommended only after the pain has subsided (purpose of the exercise – increase the range of mobility at the level of the groin and thigh)
    • Other exercises – you should perform only the exercises that were recommended by a trained physical therapist
  • Hernia
    • Surgical repairing of the inguinal hernia
    • Prior to and after the surgery, you will have to avoid lifting heavy objects or any other intense physical effort (before the surgery, such actions an increase the size of the hernia; after, you can increase the risk for the operation not to hold and for the hernia to come back)
  • Kidney stones
    • Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory medication for the pain
    • Administration of intravenous fluids to prevent dehydration and support the functioning of the kidneys
    • Larger kidney stones require surgical intervention, in order to be removed (smaller kidney stones can pass on their own, with pain medication and intravenous fluids)
  • Osteoarthritis
    • Diet plan to lose the excess weight (obesity puts a lot of pressure on the joints)
    • Low impact exercises
      • Swimming
      • Walking
      • Yoga
    • Avoidance of high-impact activity
    • Pain medication – oral or intraarticular administration
  • Pubic dysfunction
    • Pelvic support belt
    • Pain medication (pre-approved by the obstetrician)
  • Osteosarcoma
    • Bone biopsy for the confirmation of the diagnosis
    • Chemotherapy/radiation therapy to shrink down the tumor
    • Surgical removal (after the above mentioned therapies).

Self Care Measures for Inner Thigh Pain

These are the most common self-care measures that you can take, in order to improve the inner thigh pain:

  • Aromatic oil massage at the level of the inner thigh
  • Taking hot showers or baths (muscle relaxation effect)
  • Using topical ointments with anti-inflammatory or analgesic effect
  • Avoid going outside in the cold or wear warm clothes (prevent the aggravation of the pain)
  • Taking vitamin/mineral supplements (calcium, magnesium, zinc)
  • Using heating pads (pain relief and anti-inflammatory effect).

In conclusion, whenever you experience inner thigh pain, make sure that you trace back your steps and think about any intense physical activity you might have performed in the last few days. Once you have establish the right cause, it will be easier to choose the adequate treatment and potential self-care measures.


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