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Pain at back of thigh

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I am a woman age 50. Starting Saturday of last week I started having pain in the back/side of my left thigh. Over the last few days the pain has gotten worse. I have not done any new exercises or other activities that would make it hurt. The area is not bruised or discolored. The pain is worse at night when trying to sleep. It seems better if I am up and moving about. To sit or stand from a sitting position is very painful. I have been taking Advil (not consistently) and have alternated heat and ice. Nothing seems to make it better. It is a dull pain but when moving it is a sharp pain.

Category: Family Physician-GP

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Dr. Deepu Sebin Sebastian is online now

Expert:  Dr. Deepu Sebin Sebastian replied 4 Days.


Thank you for choosing DoctorSpring.

I would like to get some additional information from you so that I can provide my best and learned opinion.

1. Is the pain radiating down to the legs ? or only present on the thighs ?
2. Is there any shock like sensation / pain while bending or moving ?
3. Is there a "lightning pain" or "shooting pain" occasionally in addition to the current symptoms ?
4. While lying down, which position makes you comfortable - eg lying on the right side. Lying on back with a pillow under knees etc

You can reply as a followup
Thank you

Patient replied :

The pain is only present in the thigh - left thigh
There is not a shock like sensation when bending or moving.
When bending or moving there is a lightning/shooting pain - but just in the area - not down the leg
When lying down, lying on my stomach is the most comfortable position.

Expert:  Dr. Deepu Sebin Sebastian replied 3 Days.


The symptom pattern is suggestive of an pinched nerve or lumbar radiculopathy. Although the symptoms are not very typical this is the most likely cause. The pinched or compressed nerve could be due a disc prolapse or mini fracture leading on to compression of the lumbar nerves when they come out of the spinal cord. Another less likely , but possible explanation is a muscle or ligament injury around the hip joint.

Either way you will need rest and NSAID (pain medications) in consult with your Doctor. A Xray of the Hip needs to be taken. And and MRI if clinical examination is suggestive of a compression. I recommend you to get in touch with your GP.

Hope this helps
Please feel free to ask followups
Thank you

Dr. Deepu Sebin Sebastian
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MD, Internal Medicine - Stanley Medical School
Medical School - MBBS - Govt. Medical College, Kottyaam

Diagnostic Prediction - Stanford School of Medicine
Received Specialty training in Critical Care, Cardiology, Neurology, Gastroenterology, Nephrology from Stanley Medical College and in Endocrinology, Rheumatology.

Hematology and Geriatrics from Madras Medical College.
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