When you suddenly have inner thigh pain or cramps, it can be alarming. Most people have had cramps in their calves or other areas in their legs, but inner thigh cramps are less common. There is a difference between inner thigh pain and cramps and what causes these types of leg conditions.
What Is a Muscle Cramp?
Before exploring inner thigh cramps, it is important to understand the basics about muscle cramps. These are spasms in the muscle that can be caused by a variety of factors, but the cause is not always known. When a muscle is stressed by too much exertion or not enough nutrients, it can cramp or spasm.
What Does an Inner Thigh Cramp Feel Like?
Any leg cramp, including in the inner thigh, is a fleeting, painful sensation. It can be a mild pulsing or excruciating inner thigh cramps, but most cramps do not last very long. The contracting pain usually will go away within a few minutes, especially if you massage or stretch the muscles.
Inner thigh cramps can occur when you are using your legs, but they can also occur when you are sleeping. You may experience a sudden inner thigh cramp when you are on a jog, or it may wake you up in the middle of the night. Timing often depends on what is causing or triggering the cramp.
Inner thigh pain that does not pulse or contract like a cramp can be due to a wide variety of conditions. When you have ongoing pain in your inner thigh, it can be caused by injury to the leg or other potential internal health problems.
Common Causes of Inner Thigh Cramps
Inner thigh cramps have the same contributing factors as other leg and muscle cramps. While they may not occur as much as a quadricep, hamstring or calf muscle cramp, there are those who are more prone to these leg muscle contractions. Some people that are at higher risk for leg and inner thigh cramps include:
- Athletes who over fatigue their muscles
- Individuals with diabetes
- Individuals who are pregnant
- Elderly or those who have lost extensive muscle mass
- Inactive individuals who suddenly exercise
- Those on certain medications like diuretics
- Individuals with a poor nutrient diet
These people are more likely to experience muscle cramps, but anyone can have cramps. There are specific causes that contribute to why some individuals are at higher risk for any muscle spasms, including excruciating inner thigh cramps.
- Dehydration. When you do not get enough fluids through the day, it can lead to muscle cramps, including in the inner thigh muscles.
- Overexertion. If you push your inner thigh muscles too hard, you may experience cramping during or after the activity. A strained or injured muscle may cause a cramping sensation.
- Disease. Diabetes, peripheral artery disease (PAD), deep vein thrombosis (DVT) and Parkinson’s disease are possible diseases that can cause painful leg cramps, including in the inner thigh.
- Stationary positions. Even if you are not overexerting the inner thigh muscle, holding it in the same position can lead to cramping. Sitting, standing or laying in an odd position for the thigh can trigger an inner thigh cramp.
Knowing the cause of your thigh cramp can help you determine the best way to relieve the spasm and prevent future excruciating inner thigh cramps.
Causes of Inner Thigh Pain
Ongoing inner thigh pain can be a serious condition, especially if there are other symptoms. If there is redness, lumps or radiating pain in inner thigh near the groin, it may be a hernia, DVT or injury that should be evaluated by a doctor.
Relieving and Preventing Inner Thigh Cramps
If you experience an excruciating inner thigh cramp, you want to know how to get relief quickly and the best way to prevent future cramps. To relieve your muscle cramp, you can try:
- Applying a heating pad or bottle to the area
- Take a hot bath or shower
- Gently stretch the muscle
- Massage the muscle
While these can help relieve a cramp, most cramps do not last very long, and they will go away on their own. The best advice for cramps of the inner thigh muscle is preventive options. In many cases, there are ways to avoid these painful episodes by adhering to the following tips:
- Stay hydrated
- Eat a healthy diet
- Replenish electrolytes and minerals, especially if you take diuretics
- Stretch and warm up your muscles before exercising
- Vary your leg position when sitting for long periods
- Gentle stretching before bedtime can reduce nighttime cramps
Knowing the possible causes of inner thigh cramps and pain can help you find the best solution to get relief or prevent future painful episodes. If you suspect a medication or medical condition are causing your inner thigh pain or cramps, talk to your doctor about possible treatments.