Meralgia paresthetica is a condition characterized by tingling, numbness and burning pain in the outer part of your thigh. The cause of meralgia paresthetica is compression of the lateral femoral cutaneous nerve which is part of the lumbar plexus nerve network. It provides sensation to the antero-lateral aspect of the thigh and has some overlap in sensation with the femoral nerve. As a pure sensory nerve, it does not operate any muscles.
This can be caused by swelling, trauma, or pressure narrowing and squeezing the nerve. Tight clothing, obesity or weight gain, and pregnancy are common causes.
In most cases, meralgia paresthetica can be relieved with conservative measures, such as wearing looser clothing and hands on treatment. In severe cases, treatment may include medications to relieve discomfort, occasionally injections are used but surgery is rare.
Treatment for Meralgia Paresthetica
Physiotherapy treatment for patients with this condition is vital to hasten the healing process, ensure an optimal outcome and decrease the likelihood of injury recurrence. Treatment may comprise:
- Spinal and pelvic realignment
- Dry needling /acupuncture
- Deep tissue massage/myofascial release
- Joint mobilisation
- Joint manipulation
- Exercise programs to stretch, self treat and improve proprioception, balance, strength and core stability
- Biomechanical Assessment
- Neural mobilisation
- Education / training advise/ phased return to exercise
- Activity modification advice
- Orthotic/Insole advice
- Ice or heat treatment
- Clinical Pilates
- Injection advice