Moderate Upper Leg Pain Symptoms, Causes & Common Questions

Understand your moderate upper leg pain symptoms, including 10 causes and common questions.

Moderate Upper Leg Pain Symptom Checker

Take a quiz to find out what might be causing your moderate upper leg pain

Contents

  1. 10 Possible Moderate Upper Leg Pain Causes
  2. Questions Your Doctor May Ask
  3. Statistics
  4. Related Articles

10 Possible Moderate Upper Leg Pain Causes

The list below shows results from the use of our quiz by Buoy users who experienced moderate upper leg pain. This list does not constitute medical advice and may not accurately represent what you have.

Hip strain

Hip strain means that a muscle and/or a tendon that supports one of the ball-and-socket joints of the hip has become overstretched or torn.

Most hip strains occur during sports or other physical work, though they can happen while doing ordinary activities. Both the pelvic bones and the femur, or thighbone, are large weight-bearing bones. The tendons, which attach muscles to these bones, can be subject to strain during hard work and are most vulnerable when the person is out of condition or did not warm up before exercising.

An acute strain happens suddenly, usually after a fall or other injury. It may be very painful and swollen, and interfere with movement. A chronic strain comes on gradually after weeks or months of overuse and may only produce some discomfort.

Once a muscle or tendon has been strained, it is vulnerable to being injured again if not treated.

Diagnosis is made through patient history, physical examination, and x-rays.

Treatment involves rest; ice; nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs to reduce pain and swelling; physical therapy; and sometimes surgery.

Rarity: Common

Top Symptoms: pain in one hip, moderate hip pain, mild hip pain, difficulty moving the hip, swelling of one hip

Symptoms that always occur with hip strain: pain in one hip

Urgency: Self-treatment

Repetitive strain injury of the quadriceps

Repetitive strain injury of the upper leg is caused by consistent repetitive use.

Rarity: Uncommon

Top Symptoms: upper leg numbness, thigh weakness, thigh pain from overuse

Symptoms that always occur with repetitive strain injury of the quadriceps: thigh pain from overuse

Symptoms that never occur with repetitive strain injury of the quadriceps: upper leg injury, severe upper leg pain

Urgency: Self-treatment

Repetitive strain injury of the hamstring

Repetitive strain injury of the upper leg is caused by consistent repetitive use.

Rarity: Uncommon

Top Symptoms: upper leg numbness, thigh weakness, hamstring pain from overuse

Symptoms that always occur with repetitive strain injury of the hamstring: hamstring pain from overuse

Symptoms that never occur with repetitive strain injury of the hamstring: upper leg injury, severe upper leg pain

Urgency: Self-treatment

Hip dislocation

Hip dislocation is relatively rare and means that the ball-shaped head of the femur, or thighbone, has been forced out of its socket in the pelvic bone.

In some cases hip dislocation can result from congenital abnormality or as a complication of hip replacement surgery, but it is most often caused by trauma. Car accidents, sports injuries, or falls from a height are usually involved.

Symptoms include pain; inability to walk or move the leg; and the knee turned inward with the foot pointed towards the other leg.

This injury is considered a medical emergency. Because hip dislocations are usually caused by trauma, broken bones and soft tissue damage are likely to be present even if not immediately obvious. Avascular necrosis, or death of bone tissue in the hip joint due to a cutoff in the blood supply, is a possible complication.

Diagnosis is made through physical examination and imaging, such as x-ray, CT scan, and/or MRI.

Treatment involves replacing the joint back in the socket and treating any other injuries, and may require surgery.

Rarity: Rare

Top Symptoms: hip pain, moderate hip pain, dull, achy hip pain, thigh pain, groin pain

Symptoms that always occur with hip dislocation: hip pain

Urgency: Hospital emergency room

Deep vein thrombosis

Deep vein thrombosis (DVT) is a blood clot that forms in a vein deep in the body. Most deep vein clots occur in the lower leg or thigh.

Rarity: Uncommon

Top Symptoms: fever, thigh pain, upper leg swelling, calf pain, butt pain

Urgency: Hospital emergency room

Moderate Upper Leg Pain Symptom Checker

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Compartment syndrome

Acute compartment syndrome describes the damage done to certain muscle groups of the arms or legs after a traumatic injury.

All of the long muscles are bundled into sections – "compartments" – by the white sheets of strong, tough connective tissue called fascia. If something interferes with circulation so that blood flow is trapped within the compartment, pressure rises because the fascia cannot stretch. This causes serious damage to the muscles and other tissues within the compartment.

Acute compartment syndrome is caused by a broken bone; a crush injury; burns, due to scarred and tightened skin; and bandages or casts applied before an injury has stopped swelling.

Symptoms can rapidly intensify. They include severe pain and tightness in the muscle; tingling or burning sensation; and sometimes numbness and weakness.

Acute compartment syndrome is a medical emergency which can result in loss of the limb. Take the patient to the emergency room or call 9-1-1.

Diagnosis is made through patient history and physical examination.

Treatment involves hospitalization for emergency surgery and, in some cases, skin graft.

Rarity: Rare

Top Symptoms: arm numbness, hand numbness, foot numbness, pain in one leg, thigh numbness

Urgency: Hospital emergency room

Sciatica

Sciatica is a general term describing any shooting pain that begins at the spine and travels down the leg.

The most common cause is a herniated or "slipped" disc in the lower spine. This means some of the cushioning material inside the disc has been forced outward, pressing on a nerve root. Bony irregularities...

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Thigh nerve issue (meralgia paresthetica)

Meralgia paresthetica is a nerve condition that causes an area of skin over the upper outer thigh to feel numb, tingly, or painful. This is caused by compression of a nerve known as the lateral cutaneous nerve of the thigh as it passes underneath a tough fibrous ligament known as the inguinal ligament.

Rarity: Rare

Top Symptoms: pain in the outside of the hip, pain in one thigh, thigh numbness, tingling upper leg, hip numbness

Symptoms that never occur with thigh nerve issue (meralgia paresthetica): new headache, swollen hip, swollen hips, swelling of one hip, leg swelling, weakness of both legs, leg weakness

Urgency: Primary care doctor

Diabetic neuropathy

Diabetic neuropathy is nerve damage caused by longstanding or poorly controlled diabetes mellitus (DM). Other risk factors for developing diabetic neuropathy include obesity, smoking, cardiovascular disease, and abnormal lipid levels.

Diabetic neuropathy can present as a number ...

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Greater trochanteric pain syndrome

Greater trochanteric pain syndrome, also called trochanteric bursitis or GTPS, is an inflammation of the bursa of the greater trochanter. Bursae are the small "cushions" between tendons, bones, and muscles. The greater trochanter is th...

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Questions Your Doctor May Ask About Moderate Upper Leg Pain

To diagnose this condition, your doctor would likely ask the following questions:

  • Do your symptoms get worse when you exercise?
  • Do you run for exercise or sport?
  • Where is your upper leg pain located?
  • What is your body mass?

If you've answered yes to one or more of these questions

Please take a quiz to find out what might be causing your moderate upper leg pain. These questions are also covered.

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Moderate Upper Leg Pain Symptom Checker Statistics

People who have experienced moderate upper leg pain have also experienced:

  • 10% Lower Back Pain
  • 10% Lower Leg Pain
  • 5% Muscle Aches

People who have experienced moderate upper leg pain were most often matched with:

  • 33% Hip Strain
  • 33% Repetitive Strain Injury Of The Quadriceps
  • 33% Repetitive Strain Injury Of The Hamstring

People who have experienced moderate upper leg pain had symptoms persist for:

  • 32% Over a month
  • 26% Less than a week
  • 22% Less than a day

Source: Aggregated and anonymized results from Buoy Assistant (a.k.a. the quiz).

Moderate Upper Leg Pain Symptom Checker

Take a quiz to find out what might be causing your moderate upper leg pain