Symptoms A-Z

Tingling Upper Leg Symptoms, Causes & Common Questions

Understand tingling upper leg symptoms, including 7 causes & common questions.

An image depicting a person suffering from tingling upper leg symptoms

Tingling Upper Leg Symptom Checker

Take a quiz to find out why you're having tingling upper leg

Contents

  1. 7 Possible Tingling Upper Leg Causes
  2. Questions Your Doctor May Ask
  3. Statistics

7 Possible Tingling Upper Leg Causes

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

Piriformis syndrome

The two piriformis muscles, left and right, each run from the base of the pelvis to the top of the thighbone. The two sciatic nerves, left and right, are each attached to the spine and run down between the pelvic bone and the piriformis muscle to the back of each leg.

If the piriformis muscle is damaged through sudden trauma, or through overuse as in sports, the resulting inflammation or spasm of the muscle can trap the sciatic nerve between the pelvic bone and the muscle.

Piriformis syndrome is most often found in women over 30.

Symptoms include pain over one or both sides of the low back, and shooting pain (sciatica) down one or both legs.

Diagnosis is made through physical examination and sometimes imaging such as CT scan or MRI.

Treatment involves rest; over-the-counter, nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs; physical therapy; therapeutic injections; and, rarely, surgery.

The best prevention is a good regimen of stretching before exercise, to help prevent damage to the piriformis.

Rarity: Common

Top Symptoms: pelvis pain, butt pain, pain when passing stools, leg numbness, hip pain

Symptoms that never occur with piriformis syndrome: involuntary defecation, leaking urine

Urgency: Primary care doctor

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

Herniated (slipped) disk in the lower back

The backbone, or spine, is made up of 26 bones called vertebrae. In between the bones are soft disks filled with a jelly-like substance. These disks cushion the vertebrae and keep them in place. Although people talk about a slipped disk, nothing actually slips out of place. The outer shell of the disk ruptures, and the jelly-like substance bulges out. It may be pressing on a nerve, which is what causes the pain.A slipped disk is more likely to happen due to strain on the back, such as during heavy lifting, and older individuals are at higher risk.

Rarity: Common

Top Symptoms: lower back pain, moderate back pain, back pain that shoots down the leg, back pain that gets worse when sitting, leg weakness

Urgency: Primary care doctor

Tingling Upper Leg Symptom Checker

Take a quiz to find out why you're having tingling upper leg

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 of the spine and narrowing of the spinal canal (spinal stenosis) can also cause sciatica.

Shooting leg pain that may begin suddenly or develop gradually is the most common symptom. Additional symptoms may include weakness, numbness, a pins-and-needles sensation in the leg, and, in severe cases, difficulty moving the foot or bending the knee.

Treatment consists of pain medications and exercises. In severe cases, corticosteroid spinal injections and surgery may also be recommended.

Rarity: Common

Top Symptoms: back pain, back pain that shoots down the leg, numbness in one foot, pain in one leg, numbness in one thigh

Symptoms that always occur with sciatica: back pain that shoots down the leg

Urgency: Self-treatment

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

Groin nerve irritation

There are several nerves supplying the groin, inner thigh and genital region. Entrapment or irritation of one of these nerves can result in pain or numbness in this area. This is often caused by surgery in this area but can happen without a specific cause as well.

Rarity: Rare

Top Symptoms: thigh numbness, groin numbness, testicle numbness, sharp testicle or scrotum pain, sharp groin pain

Urgency: Primary care doctor

Unexplained acute low back pain

Unexplained low back pain means chronic pain that comes on gradually, over time, with no specific injury, event, or illness causing it.

Common causes:

  • Prolonged sitting and lack of fitness can weaken back muscles and cause pain from lack of support.
  • Ankylosing spondylitis, a form of arthritis.
  • Spinal stenosis, a narrowing of the spinal column that puts pressure on the spinal cord.
  • Certain types of cancer, in rare cases.

Those most susceptible are over 30, overweight and/or pregnant, and not physically fit. Smoking interferes with healing after any sort of stress to the back.

If there are additional symptoms, medical care should be sought: fever, unexplained weight loss, leg weakness or numbness, or trouble urinating.

An exact diagnosis is made through blood tests and through imaging such as x-rays, CT scan, or MRI.

Once more serious causes are ruled out, treatment may include medications to ease pain, swelling, and inflammation. Steroid injections are useful in some cases.

Overall, exercise and maintaining a healthy weight can be very helpful with easing chronic low back pain.

Rarity: Common

Top Symptoms: lower back pain, back pain that shoots to the butt, fever, back pain

Symptoms that always occur with unexplained acute low back pain: lower back pain

Symptoms that never occur with unexplained acute low back pain: buttocks numbness, thigh numbness, involuntary defecation, fever

Urgency: Self-treatment

Questions Your Doctor May Ask About Tingling Upper Leg

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

  • What is your body mass?
  • Do you currently smoke?
  • Were you lifting weights or straining yourself right before your symptoms started?
  • Have you ever injected drugs?

The above questions are also covered by our A.I. Health Assistant.

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

Take a quiz to find out why you're having tingling upper leg

Tingling Upper Leg Symptom Checker Statistics

People who have experienced tingling upper leg have also experienced:

  • 8% Thigh Numbness
  • 5% Tingling Foot
  • 5% Tingling Lower Leg

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

  • 33% Piriformis Syndrome
  • 33% Thigh Nerve Issue (Meralgia Paresthetica)
  • 33% Herniated (Slipped) Disk In The Lower Back

People who have experienced tingling upper leg had symptoms persist for:

  • 36% Less than a day
  • 27% Over a month
  • 20% Less than a week

Source: Aggregated and anonymized results from visits to the Buoy AI health assistant (check it out by clicking on “Take Quiz”).

Tingling Upper Leg Symptom Checker

Take a quiz to find out why you're having tingling upper leg