Upper Leg Numbness Symptoms, Causes & Common Questions

Understand upper leg numbness symptoms, including 5 causes & common questions.

Upper Leg Numbness Symptom Checker

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

Contents

  1. 5 Possible Upper Leg Numbness Causes
  2. Real-Life Stories
  3. Questions Your Doctor May Ask
  4. Statistics
  5. Related Articles

5 Possible Upper Leg Numbness Causes

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

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

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

Upper Leg Numbness Symptom Checker

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

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

Spinal stenosis

The spine, or backbone, protects the spinal cord and allows people to stand and bend. Spinal stenosis causes narrowing in the spine. The narrowing puts pressure on nerves and the spinal cord and can cause pain.

Rarity: Common

Top Symptoms: lower back pain, back pain that shoots down the leg, back pain that shoots to the butt, difficulty walking, thigh pain

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, leg swelling, leg weakness, leaking urine

Urgency: Primary care doctor

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Questions Your Doctor May Ask About Upper Leg Numbness

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

  • Where on your upper leg is the numbness?
  • What is your body mass?
  • Do you currently smoke?
  • Were you lifting weights or straining yourself right before your symptoms started?

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

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

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Upper Leg Numbness Symptom Checker Statistics

People who have experienced upper leg numbness have also experienced:

  • 12% Lower Leg Numbness
  • 9% Foot Numbness
  • 5% Hip Numbness

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

  • 33% Groin Nerve Irritation
  • 33% Herniated (Slipped) Disk In The Lower Back
  • 33% Piriformis Syndrome

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

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

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

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