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Thigh pain, back pain. Varies in intensity. What is the likely cause? Should I visit the ER?

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Practicing since : 2002
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I have an aching pain in my left upper thigh. The intensity rises and then lessens. It sometimes radiates to my inner thigh but is mainly on the outer side and front of my thigh. The pain will come and go while resting but will increase with activity. Occasionally, my lower back will ache but the pain is mainly in my left thigh. I've had these symptoms for about a week and now the pain does not go away, it just varies on intensity. What is the likely cause? Does this constitute a visit to the ER or a doctor visit.
Posted Thu, 19 Apr 2012 in Bones, Muscles and Joints
Answered by Dr. Robert Galamaga 2 hours later
Hello and thank you for submitting your question.

Your question is a very good one and I will work on providing you with some good information and recommendations regarding what is going on.

Regarding the symptoms what you have reported I am suspicious that you may be experiencing lateral femoral cutaneous nerve syndrome. This is a syndrome which involves inflammation of one of the nerves of the lower extremity. It can be significantly painful.

Another possible cause would be compression of one of the vertebrae in your back which may be causing a bulging disc. The bulging disc can put pressure on one of the nerves in the back which could radiate into the leg.

I do not think this is worrisome or life-threatening; but I think you need to keep an eye on things for quite some time and possibly try some anti-inflammatory medications to see if this helps. I would recommend ibuprofen 600 mg three times per day for the next 10 days. Make sure to take this with food. Using this type of approach may provide you with some terrible relief.

I would say that if within seven days you have not experienced any symptomatic relief or if things have gotten worse that you should make an appointment to see your response to be helpful and informative. If you have any additional concerns or if you need any clarification please let me know.


Dr. Robert
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