Pain in the upper thigh and groin area is a common yet distressing condition in females. It causes discomfort, ranging from a dull ache to a sharp, stabbing pain. This pain can prevent the affected females from carrying out their day-to-day activities.
There are several factors leading to this condition. The most common is strain and pressure, but several underlying health issues can also be the culprit. These include osteoarthritis, pelvic inflammatory disease, femoral hernia, and many more.
Fortunately, the pain in the upper thigh and groin area can be treated with medications, physical therapy, walking braces, and healthy lifestyle changes. However, in severe conditions, surgery may be your last resort.
Causes of Pain in the Upper Thigh and Groin Area in Females
Groin pain is mainly caused due to overuse or straining. Some other major causes of this condition in females include the following:
A femoral hernia occurs when a part of your intestine, or other tissue, protrudes through the inguinal canal in the groin area. This protrusion is typically found in the upper thigh and groin area but can extend to the lower bikini line.
A femoral hernia can cause considerable pain in your upper thigh and groin area by putting pressure on the nearby structures and nerves. You may feel aching, burning, or stinging pain in your upper thigh and groin area and discomfort when performing activities such as walking, running, or even sitting.
Osteoarthritis of the hip is a condition caused by the breakdown of the cartilage in the joint, resulting in pain and stiffness in the groin area in women. As your hip joint wears down, it can cause severe joint pain, swelling, and difficulty moving the hip joint.
Osteoarthritis can also lead to stiffness, a decreased range of motion, and a change in your regular walking style. You may feel a deep, dull ache in the upper thigh and groin area. Pain may also be felt in nearby regions, such as the hip’s lower back, buttocks, and sides.
A groin strain is an injury to the muscles and tendons in the groin area, which can cause pain and tenderness. Groin strains often affect female athletes who participate in sports involving quick changes in direction or sudden bursts of speed.
The pain caused by a groin strain can range from mild to severe and can last anywhere from a few days to weeks. It usually occurs in the front of the thigh and groin area, although it may also be felt in the upper thigh area near the lower abdomen.
Sciatica is caused by compression of the sciatic nerve, which can cause pain in the upper thigh and groin area. The pain can range from a mild ache to a sharp, burning sensation.
Sciatic nerves may become compressed or irritated due to a herniated disk, pregnancy, an anatomical defect, or a tumor. It can also be a result of excessive sitting or standing. You may experience pain, burning sensation, numbness, a tingling sensation, muscle weakness in the legs, and difficulty walking or sitting.
Pelvic Inflammatory Disease (PID)
Pelvic inflammatory disease is an infection of the reproductive organs that can cause pain in the upper thigh and groin area. It usually begins in the uterus and may spread to the ovaries and fallopian tubes. PID is usually caused by bacteria, such as gonorrhea or chlamydia, that enter the reproductive organs.
One of the most common signs of PID is a pain in the upper thigh and groin area. This pain can range from mild to severe, can last for days or weeks, and can worsen with movement.
Common PID symptoms include fever, chills, abdominal pain, unusual vaginal discharge, pain during sex, bleeding between periods, and urinary problems. However, many women with PID experience no symptoms at all.
Endometriosis is a painful disorder in which tissue similar to the lining of the uterus (endometrial tissue) grows outside the uterus. The condition causes varying levels of pain, which you’re more likely to feel in the pelvic region or throughout the whole body.
A common symptom of endometriosis-related pain is a dull, persistent ache in the upper thigh and groin area. You may feel this pain during ovulation and menstruation, lasting the entire cycle. Some women also report pain in this area during physical activities, such as running or sex.
Despite its widespread occurrence, the exact cause of endometriosis is still unknown, making it difficult to diagnose and treat.
Treatment for Pain in the Upper Thigh and Groin Area in Females
The best treatment for pain in the upper thigh and groin area may vary in every female, depending on its cause. The most effective ones include the following:
Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) are the first line of defense for upper thigh and groin area pain in women. These medications reduce inflammation, swelling, and pain, including localized pain in the upper thigh and groin. Commonly prescribed NSAIDs include aspirin, ibuprofen, and naproxen, among others.
If NSAIDs fail to provide adequate relief, stronger medications can be used to help manage the pain. Opioid-based analgesics, including Tramadol and Oxycodone, are widely used in chronic or severe pain cases. These medications are highly effective but come with a high risk of dependency, so they should only be used when other treatments have failed.
Physical therapy is excellent for those suffering from pain in the upper thigh and groin area due to muscle and joint problems. It reduces pain, increases range of motion, and restores normal function.
Physical therapists use various techniques, including stretching and strengthening exercises, ultrasound, electric stimulation, massage, and dry needling, to help promote healing.
Other Preventive Measures
Some preventive measures for females’ upper thigh and groin area treatment include healthy weight maintenance, wearing properly-fitted footwear, and performing regular exercises.
Platelet-Rich Plasma Therapy (PRP)
PRP has been a popular treatment for many sports, spine, and orthopedic injuries in athletes for decades. In this process, the doctor takes your blood sample, isolates platelets, and reinjects them into your upper thigh and groin area.
Platelets are the healing component in our bodies that perform three main functions. They release 10 Growth Factors to promote cell development, attract healing tissues from the blood, and produce a web-like scaffolding called fibrin. A high number of platelets in your pain area will promote early recovery.
PRP takes 45 minutes to complete, and you can go home after the procedure.
Popular as stem cell therapy, this treatment involves extracting the patient’s cells, concentrating them, and reinjecting them into the injury or pain site. Cell-based therapies take about 1.5 to 2 hours to complete, and the doctor uses live X-rays and ultrasounds to detect the injury site.
If the doctor harvests them from your adipose (fat) tissue, the process is called Minimally Manipulated Adipose Tissue Transplant (MMAT). Meanwhile, when they extract highly-concentrated cells from your bone marrow, the process is called Bone Marrow Concentrate (BMAC).
At CELLAXYS, we perform both orthobiologic methods: PRP and cell-based therapies. People who undergo both treatments report improved pain in the upper thigh and groin area in females.