Meralgia paresthetica is the name
given to the tingling, numbness and burning pain in
the outer thigh. The cause of meralgia paresthetica is
compression of the nerve that supplies sensation to
the skin surface of the thigh. It happens when there
is too much pressure on or damage to this nerve in
your leg. It is a type of neuropathy that only affects
this one nerve. This is a purely sensory nerve and
doesn’t affect your ability to use your leg muscles
(it is not a motor nerve).
The nerve is called the lateral
femoral cutaneous nerve, which supplies sensation to
your upper thigh. Thus pressure will cause:
- Tingling and numbness in the outer (lateral)
part of your thigh
- Burning pain in or on the surface of the outer
part of your thigh
These symptoms commonly occur only on
one side of your body and may intensify after walking
In most people, this nerve passes
through the groin to the upper thigh without trouble.
But in meralgia paresthetica, this nerve becomes
trapped — often under the ligament which runs along
your groin from your abdomen to your upper thigh.
Common causes of this compression
include any condition that increases pressure on the
- Tight clothing, such as belts, corsets and tight
pants even wearing a heavy tool belt.
- Obesity or weight gain which may increase the
pressure on the nerve.
- Pregnancy, growing belly puts added pressure on
- Scar tissue near the ligament that the nerve
passes through due to injury or past surgery
- Seat belt injury after a motor vehicle accident,
or any trauma
- Anything which causes nerve damage can injure
In most cases, meralgia paresthetica
can be relieved with conservative measures, such as
wearing looser clothing, or losing weight. The nerve
most often will become healthy again.
If it doesn’t lessen, medical
doctors will suggest drugs to cover up the symptoms,
or surgery. There are other remedies for nerve injury.
For more information about what can
cause this and what to do.
or compression nerve damage
cause of nerve damage
and Risk for Nerve Damage
and what can be done about it
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