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This section @ the Leg Pain Guide is about Meralgia Paresthetica.

The Leg Pain Guide proves information, guidance and useful web resources on a comprehensive list of leg & foot based diseases and ailments.

We hope you are able to benefit from this page on Meralgia Paresthetica.

Meralgia Paresthetica – from the Leg Pain Guide

Learn the following from this section:

  • What is Meralgia Paresthetica?
  • What are the main symptoms for Meralgia Paresthetica?
  • What are the reasons behind Meralgia Paresthetica?
  • What are the main treatments & medications for Meralgia Paresthetica?
  • Videos, Communities, FAQs and Other Resources for Meralgia Paresthetica

What is Marelgia paresthetica?

Meralgia paresthetica is a condition in which the patients have tingling, numbness and burning pain in their outer thighs. (See image for the region where the pain usually is – Image )

What a strange name – Meralgia Paresthetica! What indeed does it mean or how did such a name come by?

The name Meralgia paresthetica is actually coined from the Greek words meros that means thigh and algos which means pain. So the term was meant to refer to a pain in a localized area on the thigh.

Oh, and what about the word Paresthetica? This is derived from the Greek term paraesthesia which in medicine refers to an abnormal sensation, typically tingling or pricking. Eventually derived from Greek para- (at, beyond) + aisthesis (sensation or perception).

What causes meralgia paresthetica?

The cause of meralgia paresthetica is usually due to the compression of the nerve that supplies sensation to the skin surface of the thigh (see this image to know how the nerve, which is a purely sensory nerve, gets compressed by the Inguinal ligament ). Tight clothing, obesity or weight gain, and pregnancy are common causes of meralgia paresthetica. However, meralgia paresthetica can also be due to local trauma or a disease, such as diabetes. In most cases, you can relieve meralgia paresthetica with conservative measures, such as wearing looser clothing. In severe cases, treatment may include medications to relieve discomfort or, rarely, surgery.

Symptoms for meralgia paresthetica 

The pain is mainly owing to the pressure on the sensory lateral femoral cutaneous nerve, and this usually causes the following symptoms:

  • Numbness and tingling in lateral of thigh
  • Burning pain on surface of the outer part of thigh

What are the treatments for Meralgia paresthetica?

Simple treatments

Most treatment focuses on relieving nerve compression, and rightly so!

  • If you are lucky, some simple measures, such as wearing looser clothing could well give you relief. Losing excess weight could also give relief to some, though losing weight is not an easy task for most of us!
  • Over the counter pain relievers ( such as acetaminophen, ibruprofen, aspirin) also work, though these should be tried after trying out looser clothing and trying to lose some weight if applicable.

Other interventions

Many people with meralgia paresthetica benefit from other interventions like:

  • Physical therapy, specialized exercises and stretches
  • Phonophoresis, which uses ultrasound waves to help your body absorb topically applied pain medications
  • Transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation (TENS) to provide symptom relief by using an electric current to stimulate your nerve

Your doctor may recommend medications to help ease your symptoms, including:

  • Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory medications (NSAIDs)
  • Certain antidepressants
  • Anticonvulsants
  • In more severe cases, corticosteroid injections or injectable pain medications may relieve symptoms. Only rarely is surgery necessary to correct any compression on the lateral femoral cutaneous nerve. Surgery is usually only recommended for people who try other treatments but still experience symptoms.

Comprehensive Web Resources for Meralgia Paresthetica

Meralgia Paresthetica – Basics

  • Meralgia paresthetica – Symptoms and causes – Mayo Clinic – Meralgia paresthetica is a condition characterized by tingling, numbness and burning pain in the outer part of your thigh. The condition is caused by compression of the lateral femoral cutaneous nerve, which supplies sensation to your upper leg – Link
  • Meralgia Paresthetica | Nerve Injuries and Symptoms | Johns Hopkins – Meralgia paresthetica, also called Bernhardt-Roth syndrome, is caused when one of your large sensory nerves (lateral femoral cutaneous nerve) to one of your legs is being compressed. This compression results in a terrible burning sensation felt in your outer thigh. Link
  • Meralgia Paresthetica Causes and Treatment – MedicineNet – Learn about Meralgia Paresthetica – a condition that causes pinching of the nerve that supplies sensation to the outer thigh. Learn about exercises, treatment – Link
  • Meralgia Paresthetica—A Common Cause of Thigh Pain – Meralgia paresthetica, a common condition seen by both primary care physicians and specialists, and is easily misdiagnosed says this web page. Read more – Link
  • How long does it take to recover from meralgia paresthetica? – It can take some time for your pain from meralgia paresthetica to go away. Some people will still feel numbness even after treatment. In most cases, though, you should be able to recover within four to six weeks. Know more from this WebMD link 
  • What happens if meralgia paresthetica is left untreated? – Left untreated, meralgia paresthetica may cause increased pain, numbness, or other sensations like burning. These effects may interfere with your ability to walk or move normally. Know more from this Cleveland Clinic web page.

Videos – some excellent video guidance for Meralgia paresthetica

  • Meralgia paresthetica – everything you need to know – an excellent video by Dr Nabil Ebraheim – Link
  • Meralgia paresthetica – single cell animation – Link
  • Ultrasound Guided Lateral Femoral Cutaneous Nerve Injection Technique – Link
  • Professor Matthew Kiernan discusses Meralgia Paraesthetica on Channel 10 – Neurologist and Neuroscientist, Matthew Kiernan talks about how our current trends in fashion may be linked to the condition called meralgia paraesthetica – Link
  • Meralgia Paresthetica — The Book Godfree Roberts Godfree battled Meralgia for over a year, talked to neurologists, therapists, and fellow-sufferers, and tried every medication and remedy on earth. He claims he finally figured out what it takes to cure Meralgia and created a book that lets everyone share the information. The book covers many aspects of finding a cure for Meralgia Paresthetica: (Know more about the book from here – Link)
    • Diagnosing Meralgia
    • Symptoms
    • Understanding where it comes from and who gets it
    • Emergency treatments for  Meralgia
    • Night-time strategies for dealing with Meralgia pain
    • Walking and sitting with Meralgia
    • Long-term Meralgia treatments
    • Natural remedies for Meralgia
    • Pharmaceutical drugs theat ease Meralgia symptoms
    • Exercises to relieve and prevent Meralgia symptoms
    • How doctors look at Meralgia (and what they tell each other)
    • Meralgia and Pregnancy
    • Professional treatments for Meralgia
    • Claiming Disability for Meralgia Sufferers (how insurers see you)
    • Long-term recovery from Meralgia: the author’s personal story Curing Meralgia Paresthetica is for sufferers and caregivers alike. Meralgia afflicts millions of people world wide every year and is greatly under-diagnosed.
  • Anatomy Lateral Femoral Cutaneous Nerve of Thigh – Everything You Need To Know – Dr. Nabil Ebraheim – Dr. Ebraheim’s educational animated video describes the Anatomy of the lateral Femoral Cutaneous Nerve of the Thigh through an easy and simple animation  – See the video from here – Link
  • Femoral nerve stretch 1 – Link to YouTube video
  • How to Treat Paresthesia Naturally at Home – Natural Healing Remedies – Are you having a sensation as if your skin was crawling, or have numbness or itching for no apparent reason? If the answer is yes, you may be suffering from paresthesia, which is characterized as an anomalous sensation in the body. Here are the main 5 approaches to treat paresthesia normally. 1. Warm Compress. 2. Magnesium. 3. Back rub. 4. Castor Oil Pack. 5. Exercise – More info from this video – Link
  • Inguinal Cutaneous Nerve Treatment – Video Link
  • Meralgia Paresthetica Pain Relieved with Nerve Surgery = John had burning and numbness in his thighs and hips. After 10 years of pain and frustration, he found Dr. Tim Tollestrup who diagnosed him with Meralgia Paresthetica. Dr. Tollestrup successfully denervated and decompressed nerves on both sides. Watch John’s story – Video – Link

News & Updates on Meralgia Paresthetica

  • Skinny Jeans Cause Painful Disorder Called Meralgia Paresthetica, Surgeon Says – Link
  • Cell phones & skinny jeans cause a spike in tingling thigh syndrome – Link
  • Lateral femoral cutaneous nerve entrapments – Link
  • Tight ties, killer heels – clothes make the fashion victims – Wall Street Journal – Link
  • How long does it take to recover from meralgia paresthetica? – Link
  • Effectiveness of acupuncture in treating meralgia paresthetica – Link
  • Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation for Meralgia Paresthetica Treatment & Management – Link
  • Surgical decompression of the lateral femoral cutaneous nerve (LFCN) for Meralgia paresthetica treatment – Meralgia paresthetica (MP) is a rare lateral femoral cutaneous nerve-(LFCN)-mononeuropathy. Treatment for this disorder includes conservative and operative approaches; the latter is considered if conservative therapy fails. The most commonly used surgical approaches are decompression/neurolysis and avulsion/neurectomy. However, there are no definitive guidelines on the optimal surgical approach to be used. The purpose of this study was to evaluate the outcome of surgical decompression of the LFCN for the treatment of persistent MP with preservation of sensation along the distribution of the LFCN. Learn more from here – Link
  • What are the warning signs and symptoms of meralgia paresthetica? – from WebMD – Link
  • Ultrasound guided lateral femoral cutaneous nerve block in meralgia paresthesia; review of 25 cases – Aim was to evaluate the feasibility and efficacy of ultrasound guidance technique for the treatment of meralgia paresthetica (lateral femoral cutaneous neuropathy) – Link

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Top 20 Web Sites & Guides for Health, Illnesses & Diseases

Bupa – BUPA UKBUPA Global Cleveland Clinic – Link
Cedars-Sinai – Link Centers for Disease Control & Prevention (CDC) – Link – Link eMedicine Health – Link
Everyday Health – Link HealthLine – Link
John Hopkins Medicine Health Library – Link LiveStrong – Link
Mayo Clinic – Link Medical News Today – Link
MedicineNet – Link MedlinePlus – Link
MedScape – Link Merck Manuals – Link
NHS UK – Link NIH – Link
Patient Info – Link WebMD – Link