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How to Cure Thigh Muscle Pain

by Patty Weasler, RN September 29, 2021 0 Comments

wearing thigh brace

Looking to learn how to cure muscle pain in your thigh? Commonly caused by muscle strains or soreness, there are many simple ways to treat your thigh pain from home. If you’re experiencing sharp, burning, or even dull pain in the thigh region, we recommend getting a proper evaluation and diagnosis from your doctor to rule out any serious conditions. Once you’ve been properly assessed try these remedies to ease your pain.

Rest the Injured Muscles

When thigh pain stems from a muscle injury then rest is the first step to recovery. Resting the injured area will give your body time to heal and let the pain and swelling subside. It’s important to know that overuse is one of the most common causes of thigh muscle pain. So taking that time off to rest is vital to your recovery from muscle strains and sprains.

Use Hot & Cold Therapies

Hot and cold therapy are two complementary treatments that work in very different ways. If you’ve recently injured your thigh then start off with an ice pack placed on the skin for 20 minutes at a time. Cold causes blood vessels to tighten, medically known as vasoconstriction. This decreases blood flow to the area which reduces swelling. The cold also numbs the skin and interrupts the pain signal to the brain which will minimize leg pain.

After the initial injury phase has passed, about 72 hours, then it’s time to introduce heat. A heating pad or hot water bottle applied to the injured muscle for 20 minutes will soothe soreness and lessen healing time. The heat increases blood flow to the injury which brings in all the oxygen and nutrients to the soft tissue. While heat is a great option for muscle injury treatment, be careful because it can increase swelling.

How to Use Heat Therapy for Injuries

Alternating Hot & Cold Therapy

Apply Compression

A light compression wrapped around your thigh will prevent swelling and give you a little added support. Use an elastic fabric bandage to wrap around your thigh,  soft-sided thigh brace, or compression sleeve. These will give you the necessary compression to improve blood flow prevent or reduce painful swelling.

More on Compression Therapy

Elevate Your Thigh

Another way to curb swelling in your thigh is through elevation. While you are resting on the couch or bed place a pillow or folded blanket underneath the injured area of your thigh. Try using a leg-raise pillow when you’re sleeping. By raising your leg above the level of your heart you are encouraging blood to return from your leg to your heart. This will work to swelling and pain. Try and remember to elevate your thigh each time you sit down or go to bed to mend that injury.

How to Reduce Thigh Pain at Night

Use Seat Cushions

Sitting around all day letting your thigh heal can get old. But as a necessary part of your treatment, it is unavoidable. To keep your bottom from getting sore try using a seat cushion. These cushions are gel-filled, taking pressure off of bony areas of your bottom. Most cushions can be moved around to any place you sit down.

How to Prevent Thigh Pain When Sitting

Choosing the Best Seat Cushion

Topical Pain Creams

There are several pain creams on the market that can help give you relief from thigh pain. Each type of cream works differently. There are creams that create a cooling effect on the skin. These numb the area providing temporary relief from aches and pains. Other types of pain creams actually warm the skin to provide relief. Topical pain creams are a great treatment option as you recover from thigh pain. It allows you to get moving with less pain without restricting your movement. Try CBD pain cream for additional pain relief.

Massage the Tissues

Massage relaxes muscles, releasing muscle tension and reduces spasms. Sufferers will find that they feel less muscle soreness after a massage. The pressure against the tissue encourages blood flow to the area which will aid in healing. It’s best when massage is used in conjunction with other therapies in the treatment of muscle pain in the thigh.

One contraindication to massage is blood clots. If you have a history of clots or deep vein thrombosis (DVT) talk to your doctor before you get a massage. Blood clots in the thigh can break away causing a pulmonary embolism which is a medical emergency.

Learn More About Self-Massage Techniques

Stretch & Exercise the Thigh Muscles

When thigh pain has subsided then it’s time to start stretching and exercise to regain any lost strength and flexibility. Exercise that strengthens all the thigh muscles like the hamstring and quadriceps will not only help you support your leg during recovery it will work to prevent future injury. If you are uncomfortable exercising on your own reach out to your local physical therapy office for guidance. They will be able to guide you through range of motion exercises and stretches to get you back to all the activities you enjoy.

Effective Exercises for Thigh Pain

OTC Pain Relief

Over-the-counter pain relievers like ibuprofen (Advil) are anti-inflammatory medications that reduce swelling and pain. They are generally well-tolerated and can be used by most people.  Acetaminophen (Tylenol) is a pain reliever that does not have the same anti-inflammatory properties. OTC pain medication is useful in reducing pain so that you can sleep, move around, and just get through basic activities. These medications will not cure the cause of your pain but just make it less prominent.

Ensuring Relief

Muscle pain in your thigh can make it hard to get through your day. Treatment should start off with a trip to your doctor’s office to rule out any serious cause of the pain. When you have been cleared to treat your pain at home, start off with some rest and ice. Then bring in heat therapy, medication, bracing, and exercise. Over time, the pain will get better and you’ll begin to move around more easily.



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Patty Weasler, RN
Patty Weasler, RN

Patty Weasler is a freelance health writer and nurse. She is certified in critical care nursing and has been practicing for over 10 years. Patty lives in Milwaukee, WI with her husband and three children. She enjoys spending her time with family and educating people about their health.

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