pain across side and front of thigh

by Francesca
(Chicago, IL usa)

But hip arthritis also goes down the front of the leg to the knee.

But hip arthritis also goes down the front of the leg to the knee.

Pain across side and front of thigh

I started walking and exercising a year ago. I was then and am now 200 pounds and sedentary. I got up to walking 5 miles three times a week, felt great and improved muscled mass. I lost 10 pounds. however since five months ago I have pain on the side of the right thigh, which travels to the front of the right thigh and then down to the outside of the right knee when I walk. It is so painful i can no longer walk or stand.

I have to lie down for half an hour with a heating pad just to alleviate it somewhat. Sitting aggravates it and now walking for more than five minutes does too. There is also pain on the right back hip bone.

Ten years ago i was treated by a chiropractor for two herniated discs l4 and l5 which were causing major sciatic pain. The discs are no longer bulging (mri). This new pain is preventing me from exercising and I have lost much muscle mass. all doctors have said there is no surgical treatment.

I am looking first for a diagnosis, rather than just degeneration and arthritis. thank you.

Hello Francesca,
First, let's be sure this isn't an arthritic hip. Lie on your back, and pull the left knee to your chest and then towards the opposite shoulder. Now the naughty right knee. Does it hurt in the groin or side of the hip? Is it much stiffer?

Secondly, bend slowly forwards, then backwards, then to the side. Does it hurt in the back, and does it radiate down the leg?

Thirdly, sitting in a kitchen chair, straighten first your left leg parallel to the ground, then the right leg. Does it hurt in the right leg?

Fourthly, lying on your tum, bend the left knee. Ask a friend to raise your left knee stretching the thigh muscle and the femoral nerve. Now raise the right knee. Is it much tighter in the thigh?

Lastly, bounce on your left knee, and then the right. Does the knee give?

Let me know. Keep to this thread.

Dr B

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Mar 02, 2015
more tests
by: Anonymous

sciatic top - i meant three inches below the waist and one inch to the side

lying in bed with knee bent but still on the bed - sharp pain on trying to lift knee off bed - pain is on top right buttock

sitting and trying to move right knee to right - sharp pain on top right buttock

lying on back and pulling knee to chest and opposite shoulder - not painful for either knee

sitting in a chair and straightening the leg - not painful for other leg. And the right leg?

thank you again, francesca

Hello Francesca,
It's hugely difficult or me to make a diagnosis like this, but I'm tending towards a sacroiliac syndrome, but do understand that's by guess and by God!

It seems that you don't have an arthritic hip, but there are other hip conditions that could easily be a part of this. SI syndromes often go along with hip problems.

An important test is the so called Slump Test for Sciatica. Type it into the search function at Chiropractic Help and get help to do the test; it's passively done, meaning someone else must lift your leg. Let me know.

What's needed now is a thorough examination by a local chiropractor. Start asking around for someone is who is conscientious and will examine you properly and try to come up with a diagnosis before treatment starts. Print this out and take it with you.

Meantime start the exercises you'll find at this page:

Swimming would be good if you have access to a pool.

Take a look at our Modified Banting diet; use that search function key again. It IS important not just for this problem; you know why.

Let me know about Slump.

Dr B

Feb 25, 2015
more tests
by: Anonymous

Bending to the sides is a little painful near the sciatic top; more on the right than the left, but not a lot of pain. What do you mean by the sciatic top?

Pressing down the side of the right leg is sore if I have been lying down, it is only painful after sitting or walking. Possibility of an ITB syndrome or trochanteric bursitis.

When I am lying on my stomach in bed, and then I slide my right knee up so it is bent, and with slightly more weight on my left side, it is sharply painful Where? to lift the right knee off the bed, as if something were pinched. The left is totally fine.

If I am sitting, and I move my right leg outward, it is the same pain. where?

All this started when I had been walking for months, 5 miles a day, 3 days a week. I began to notice that I was having discomfort when the right leg was extended back, pain above the right knee in front, and on the outside of the right hip near the hip joint but still on the thigh, a little bit to the back from the outer side of the hip.

Thank you for your methodical analysis. Francesca

Two important tests you've missed; lying on your back pull your knee to the chest and then opposite shoulder. You need to be a specific as you can about what and where it hurts.

And the sitting in the chair test, and straightening your leg?

Reread my original please.

Dr B

Feb 19, 2015
by: Francesca

It's no to answer all your questions, except that the right knee does give a little. It did when walking as well. The pain is a band encircling the top of the right thigh, especially after sitting. And on walking, the pain is makes the outer right thigh spasm, as in a charlie horse. Thank you.

Ok, Francesca, it's not sounding like an advanced arthritic hip. Now a few more tests.

Take a little oil on the heel of your hand, and run it quite forcibly down the side of your thigh. Press on the muscle on the side at the top of your hip. Compare sides. We are looking for a condition called ITB or iliotibial band syndrome; find it using the search function at Chiropractic Help.

Now take your thumb and run it down the inner thigh starting at the pubic bone, and working to wards the knee. Compare sides.

This is difficult for you, but does the hip seem very extra mobile compared to other folks' hips? Does it pop, or seem to give in the hip? Do you have a family history of hip disease?

Again, bending forwards, back, to the side produces nothing?

Dr B

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Interesting challenges of the day

1. Mr S is a 76 year old man with neck pain of some 9 months duration. Luckily, most of the discomfort is upper cervical which is only rarely arthritic; his lower cervical spine is a degenerative mess that I have left alone. After seven treatments his pain and stiffness is 50 percent better, and he is happy in the circumstances. He can sleep through the night now and that makes a huge difference.

2. Mr P is 32 year old man with very severe lower back pain radiating to the big toe which is 30 percent numb. He had an episode three weeks ago, took anti-inflammatories and was soon better as is typical of the medial disc herniation. But before it healed, after a trivia it came roaring back, much worse. The characteristic crossed sign was evident; sitting in a chair, straightening the right leg provoked severe left back pain and tingling in the leg. He is doing well.

3. Severe lower back pain is scary; just ask Mrs P. Just watching her get out of the car I she was in trouble; she had a slipped disc at L4 making her lean towards the opposite side; luckily she had no pain in the leg. Despite family pressure that this was far too severe for a chiropractor, she persevered. Within five days she was standing upright, and after two weeks almost pain-free. 

Despite a hectic job, she wisely took my advice and stayed home for what I call exercising bed rest.

4. Mr S has had lower back, groin and back of thigh and calf pain for fourth months.

He has a pincer deformity in the hip causing the stabs in the groin, and a degenerative facet causing the sciatica. Both are responding well to chiropractic and he is well pleased; sixty-five percent better after three treatments.

5. Mr T is a wise man; he has taken a warning TIA seriously and has lost 15 pounds, and has at least as much again to lose. A change to a low starch diet and half hour daily stroll has made the difference; but the walking is making his foot and back miserable. The expensive orthotic is hopeless; luckily his hips and back are fine, but he needs a simple heel lift; he has a short leg.

6. I too have had serious lower back issues, luckily fixed by my own chiropractor; so I too have to do my exercises, take care when lifting supers full of honey, gardening and using the chainsaw. Regaining the function of your spine is just as important as the pain.

7. My own granddaughter, only 7 is hypermobile giving her pelvic, knee and ankle issues. X-rays show a mildly dysplastic hip. Years ago we would have called it growing pains. She too regularly needs chiropractic care and luckily responds well. Increased range of motion is more difficult than too stiff in my opinion. Our care is for kids too.

8. This 65-year old lady is a serious gardener; every day she is bending, lifting and digging for 2 to 3 hours a day. It regularly catches her in the sacroiliac joint, so she has a treatment once a month that sorts it out. She does her lower back exercises faithfully.

9. This 88-year old lady is an inspiration; every day she is busy in the community. With a nasty scoliosis she manages very well with a chiropractic adjustment every six weeks and exercises faithfully done. 

10. Mr X is a 71-year old retired man who wants to continue with maintenance care every six to eight weeks; he had suffered from two years of lower back pain when he first came a few months ago. He has no discomfort now after 8 chiropractic treatments, but is aware that danger lurks.

11. Mrs C has been having severe headaches, and taking a lot of analgesics. It is a non-complicated upper cervical facet syndrome, and she is doing well.

12. Mr D is a 38-year old year man with chronic shoulder pain after a rotator cuff tear playing cricket. It responded well to treatment, but he knows he must do his exercises every day; for two years he could not sleep on that shoulder.

13. Mr D, a 71-year old man, has a severe ache in the shoulder and midback since working above his head. Trapped nerve tests are negative but he has advanced degenerative joints of Luschka; after just two treatments he is 50 percent better. Can we reach 90?

And so the day goes; chiropractors should not be treating the elderly most medical sites state but that is so much bunkum.

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