The common types of pain in the legs and thighs are those resulting from doing physical exercises or workout especially when they are too rigorous. This is particularly true for people who have just started an exercise routine or played a sport. The ache in this part of your body after such activities is called delayed onset muscle soreness. You usually experience them a few hours after doing the strenuous activity. In most of these cases, simple home medication and treatment may be enough to relieve the pain.
In different situations where there are no physical activities involved and pain in the legs and thighs are experienced, the cause can be more serious and a visit to the doctor is necessary to diagnose the condition.
Relieving Pain in the Legs and Thighs
What can be done to relieve your discomfort from the pain your legs and thighs?
- Rest – The cause of the muscle pain you feel may be an indication of a pull or strain. A simple rest may be all that your body needs to relieve the discomfort and not cause exacerbation of your condition. Elevating your leg as you rest it will control the swelling. Doctors recommend getting enough rest to allow the pain in your legs and thighs to subside before going back to your exercise routine or sport. This may take a week for your full recovery. On your return to your physical activity and you still feel the pain, extend your rest to a day or two more.
- Medication – Medication, especially when combined with other forms of treatment, can greatly help relieve pain and swelling. Over-the-counter anti-inflammatory medicines such as aspirin and ibuprofen are options. These medications also promote improved blood flow to your muscles and help in the repair and recovery.
- Ice – When muscle pain presents itself, apply an ice pack to your thighs and legs for relief and to ease inflammation. Place a bag filled with ice cubes on your thighs and legs for ten minutes. Remove the bag for twenty minutes and repeat this step several times in a day until you get rid of the pain. A 2012 study showed that an ice bath, wherein your body is submerged in cold water (temperature of 12 to 15 degrees Celsius) brought relief from sore muscles. It is not recommended that you stay longer than ten minutes in the cold bath.
- Massage – A light massage to your legs and thighs can be a soothing treatment to delayed onset muscle soreness. Massage your legs and thighs gently soon after workout and when pain sets in. In a study conducted in 2005, it was found that participants who employed massaging of the sore muscles after a workout experienced up to 30 percent better pain relief and reduced swelling compared to those who did not use massage.
Pain in the legs and thighs that are not apparently caused by an activity or event may be a symptom of other underlying conditions. For example, sciatica, an indicator of more serious conditions in your lower back, shows up as pain in your legs. A more thorough examination is necessary in such a case. The treatment options will have to be suited to the underlying cause of the leg pain.