Persistent thigh pain

Updated November 21, 2016

Experiencing persistent pain in your thigh can be an indication that you are suffering from a condition called meralgia paresthetica, which means that the large sensory nerve in your legs, called the lateral femoral cutaneous nerve (LECN), is compressed, resulting in a burning and painful sensation in your outer thigh. Other injuries and conditions can also, less commonly, result in persistent thigh pain.

Compressed Nerve

When meralgia paresthetic surfaces, pressure on the nerve, as well as trauma and swelling, can narrow the nerve opening and squeeze the nerve. Pain, dysfunction and even paralysis can result, according to the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons.


Symptoms of meralgia paresthetica include numbness, pain in the outer thigh that radiates to the outer knee and a burning and tingling sensation in your thigh.


Your thigh may be extremely sensitive to the touch. The pain is generally only on one side of the body.


If you wear a heavy tool belt at work, this can result in thigh nerve compression. Tight girdles can also cause nerve compression. A seat belt injury during an accident can cause thigh pain. A tumour can cause pressure and result in thigh pain.

Addtional Causes

Thigh pain can also be caused by a hamstring pull or hamstring contusion, which will cause pain in the back of your thigh, or from referred pain, which can come from the buttocks, lower back or sacroiliac joint and tight hamstrings. Front thigh pain can be the result of a pulled muscle in the quadriceps muscles or from a direct blow to the front of the thigh and a rupture of the rectus femoris muscle, according to

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About the Author

Cindi Pearce is a graduate of Ohio University, where she received her bachelor’s degree in journalism. She completed both the undergraduate and graduate courses offered by the Institute of Children’s Literature. Pearce has been writing professionally for over 30 years.