We are independent & ad-supported. We may earn a commission for purchases made through our links.
Advertiser Disclosure
Our website is an independent, advertising-supported platform. We provide our content free of charge to our readers, and to keep it that way, we rely on revenue generated through advertisements and affiliate partnerships. This means that when you click on certain links on our site and make a purchase, we may earn a commission. Learn more.
How We Make Money
We sustain our operations through affiliate commissions and advertising. If you click on an affiliate link and make a purchase, we may receive a commission from the merchant at no additional cost to you. We also display advertisements on our website, which help generate revenue to support our work and keep our content free for readers. Our editorial team operates independently of our advertising and affiliate partnerships to ensure that our content remains unbiased and focused on providing you with the best information and recommendations based on thorough research and honest evaluations. To remain transparent, we’ve provided a list of our current affiliate partners here.

What are the Most Common Causes of Groin and Leg Pain?

By Deborah Walker
Updated Mar 03, 2024
Our promise to you
The Health Board is dedicated to creating trustworthy, high-quality content that always prioritizes transparency, integrity, and inclusivity above all else. Our ensure that our content creation and review process includes rigorous fact-checking, evidence-based, and continual updates to ensure accuracy and reliability.

Our Promise to you

Founded in 2002, our company has been a trusted resource for readers seeking informative and engaging content. Our dedication to quality remains unwavering—and will never change. We follow a strict editorial policy, ensuring that our content is authored by highly qualified professionals and edited by subject matter experts. This guarantees that everything we publish is objective, accurate, and trustworthy.

Over the years, we've refined our approach to cover a wide range of topics, providing readers with reliable and practical advice to enhance their knowledge and skills. That's why millions of readers turn to us each year. Join us in celebrating the joy of learning, guided by standards you can trust.

Editorial Standards

At The Health Board, we are committed to creating content that you can trust. Our editorial process is designed to ensure that every piece of content we publish is accurate, reliable, and informative.

Our team of experienced writers and editors follows a strict set of guidelines to ensure the highest quality content. We conduct thorough research, fact-check all information, and rely on credible sources to back up our claims. Our content is reviewed by subject-matter experts to ensure accuracy and clarity.

We believe in transparency and maintain editorial independence from our advertisers. Our team does not receive direct compensation from advertisers, allowing us to create unbiased content that prioritizes your interests.

The groin is the area where the leg meets the torso. Common causes of groin and leg pain can include hip joint problems, athletic injuries, and muscular or neurological conditions. In children under 10 years old, pain in this area may be due to Legg-Calve-Perthes disease or an infected joint. Treatment generally involves resting, applying hot or cold packs, and taking over-the-counter medications for the discomfort.

When a person complains of this type of pain, the problem may actually in the hip rather than directly in the groin or the leg. Tight tendons may cause painful iliotibial band syndrome, which usually causes pain on the outside of the hip and thigh. It worsens when the person walks or when pressure is applied. Stretching exercises, massage, hot packs, ice, and rest are often recommended. Corticosteroids, nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAID), or surgical intervention may be suggested to relieve the problem.

The bursae are liquid-filled sacs near the joints that act as padding for the bones, muscles, and ligaments. Trochanteric bursitis, or inflammation of the bursae over the hip, may be the cause of groin and leg pain. The discomfort is usually localized on the outside of the hip and may increase when walking up stairs or getting out of a low chair. Medical professionals typically recommend rest, heat, compression, and NSAIDs to patients with bursitis.

Athletic injuries can also cause pain in this area. An injured muscle may develop myositis ossificans, or become calcified. Sports hernias, also called groin strains, can be quite common. Avulsion fractures, in which the tendons are pulled from the bones, are sometimes seen in soccer players, sprinters, and hurdlers. Sprinters may also suffer from adductor tendinitis. NSAIDs, the application of hot or cold packs, and rest are most often among the treatments.

Neurological conditions sometimes cause pain in the groin and leg. When the sciatic nerve is pinched by vertebrae, pain may be felt in the lower back, and running into the groin, hip, and down the leg. Piriformis syndrome may occur when the piriformis muscle in the lower back is injured, causing swelling and pressure on the sciatic nerve. Treatment centers around reducing inflammation with muscle relaxants or NSAIDs, heat and/or ice, and rest.

Young children with Legg-Calve-Perthes disease may experience groin and leg pain. In this disease, the blood supply to the hip is limited. Without enough blood, the bone becomes more likely to break and does not heal correctly. Treatment is focused on preventing as much damage to the joint as possible. This may be helped by limiting the pressure on the joint until the disease runs its course.

Children may also experience a septic hip joint or toxic synovitis. Pain in the hip, as well as fever, are symptoms of a septic or infected joint capsule. In addition, when children have infected joints, they will typically be unable to stand without help. Toxic synovitis, a type of hip arthritis, is similar, and may include pain in the hip and thigh, fever, and a visibly inflamed hip. Rest, pain relievers, antibiotics, or surgical intervention may be a part of the treatment for these conditions.

The Health Board is dedicated to providing accurate and trustworthy information. We carefully select reputable sources and employ a rigorous fact-checking process to maintain the highest standards. To learn more about our commitment to accuracy, read our editorial process.
Discussion Comments
By anon348188 — On Sep 14, 2013

I have really bad pains in my lower abdomen and both sides of my groin. If I walk or stand too long, I get pins and needles in my groin and down my legs. I've had a stomach scan and womb and ovaries scan which were all clear. I'm in so much pain and still no answers as to what is wrong.

By anon343326 — On Jul 29, 2013

I play soccer and one day a few years ago I went to get up off a chair and twisted a weird way. I felt a slight pain and decided to stretch it out and my groin area clicked. Ever since then, if I do a hard training session or play a game, that groin is sore for about 30 minutes after, then it goes away and sometimes when I stretch my groin it clicks. Could anyone tell me what the problem is and what I can do to fix it?

By anon330541 — On Apr 17, 2013

I am feeling a lot of pain in my right groin and right leg. I don't know what has caused it.

By jonrss — On Nov 02, 2012

I think the most common cause of groin and leg pain is exercising improperly, or picking up an exercise routine after a long absence. I am one of those people that seems to start and stop exercise programs all the time and whenever I start working out my legs again they are incredibly sore for the first week or two.

Luckily, the solution to this is pretty obvious; try to stick with an exercise routine. Easier said than done, I know, but it is worth it to avoid the mornings of creaky legs.

By ZipLine — On Oct 28, 2012

Is groin and leg pain normal after total hip replacement surgery? If so, how long does it last?

Has anyone here had partial or total hip replacement and experienced these symptoms during their recovery? I'm asking for my elderly neighbor who got this surgery last month.

By discographer — On Oct 27, 2012

@turquoise-- Have you been to a doctor? And have you tried hot or cold compression at home to see if it helped?

It could be a pulled/strained muscle in your groin that's radiating pain down into your leg. But you really can't know until your doctor examines you.

I don't think you should delay a visit to the doctor about this. I don't mean to scare you, but it could be something serious like a hernia in the groin. My grandfather had this and he had two surgeries for it. He suffered a lot because he wasn't aware of his hernia for a long time and wasn't careful.

By turquoise — On Oct 26, 2012

I've been having constant pain on the right side of my groin as well as left leg pain. I don't remember hurting myself, I'm not sure how it happened. Could it be a pulled muscle?

By honeybees — On Oct 22, 2012

When my son ran track in high school he was a sprinter and many times would complain of leg pain. This didn't stop him from competing though. If it was really bad he would take some pain relievers and put ice on the area that was sore.

He always did a good job of stretching before he ran, but still ended up with quite a bit of pain. The only time this pain bothered him was after he ran a lot, so it was something that wasn't all that serious.

By Mykol — On Oct 21, 2012

When I was younger I had a lot of leg pain at night. In the middle of the night my legs would start aching and wake me up. I was told I just had growing pains because there wasn't any other reason found for the pain. I wasn't quite sure what growing pains were, but I eventually outgrew them and my legs haven't ached like that for a long time.

By LisaLou — On Oct 20, 2012

Once when my husband was breaking a horse he was caught off guard when the horse turned suddenly and he ended up with severe pain in his groin and down his leg. He took some over-the-counter pain relievers but that didn't really even touch his pain.

In the middle of the night we made a trip to the emergency room and they took x-rays and checked him out and told him he pulled a groin muscle. They gave him muscle relaxers for the pain, but it still took a few days for the pain to completely go away.

The Health Board, in your inbox

Our latest articles, guides, and more, delivered daily.

The Health Board, in your inbox

Our latest articles, guides, and more, delivered daily.