Causes of Thigh Pain
     Tension in the muscle groups on the back of the thigh is extremely common. If left unaddressed, this tension will often lead to painful stiffness that is experienced in the back of the thigh region. Occasionally this muscle group will suffer "charlie horse" cramping episodes. The abnormal tension that inflicts these muscle groups will often predispose athletes to hamstring strains or tears.
The Muscles and Trigger Points that Cause Thigh Pain & Cramps
     The three muscles groups that are frequently involved with back of the thigh pain and tension are:
  • The Semitendinosus and Semimembranosus
  • The Bicep Femoris
  • The Gluteus Minimus
      The Semitendinosus and Semimembranosus muscles are two of the three muscles that comprise the Hamstring group. These muscles attach to the lower pelvis and run downward to attach to the lower leg just below the inside of the knee. These muscles function to keep the trunk erect when standing, and to flex the leg at the knee. Trigger points in these muscles refer pain to the back of the thigh, lower buttocks and back of the knee regions. People with active trigger points usually experience pain while walking, causing them to limp. Trigger points in these muscles may also contribute significantly to knee pain disorders.
     The Bicep Femoris is part of the Hamstring muscle group that is found on the back of the thigh. It attaches on the pelvic bone and the femur (thigh bone), and extends downward to attach to the smaller lower leg bone (the fibula) just below the outside aspect of the knee joint. When the Bicep Femoris muscle contracts, it flexes the knee to bend the leg. It is heavily used in walking, running and other activities. Trigger points in this muscle refer pain to buttock, back of the thigh, and back of the knee regions. Additionally, they may cause "charlie horse" type cramping episodes. The pain is felt during walking, sitting, and may disturb sleeping. The muscle weakness created by these trigger points, will frequently cause the other thigh muscles to become overloaded and develop their own trigger points.
     The Gluteus Minimus is a small, fan-shaped muscle group that lies deep in the buttock region, just above and behind the hip joint. It attaches to the pelvic bone and runs downward to attach to the thigh bone (the femur) near the hip joint. Like the larger Gluteus Medius muscle group that lies over it, the Gluteus Minimus functions to stabilize the pelvis during walking and other upright activities. Gluteus Minimus trigger points can refer pain to the hip joint, buttocks, down the back of the leg to the calf, and down the outside of the leg to the ankle. These trigger points can be activated by trigger points in the Quadratus Lumborum muscle group, by long periods of immobilization, or by the abnormal body mechanics that are created when a person must limp for any reason. Additionally, men may activate these trigger points by sitting on a large wallet that is kept in the back pocket. The posterior trigger points, typically three or four in number, refer pain to buttocks, back of the thigh, and calf regions
Important: The following content is provided for information purposes only. A proper diagnosis of any condition requires a physical examination by a licensed doctor.