Also referred to as burning pain in the thighs, Meralgia Paresthetica is a medical condition of the nervous system of the periphery, which is often accompanied by numbness, pain, and tingling of the thigh’s outer portion. It occurs when compression of the femoral cutaneous nerve happens. The said nerve is responsible for providing sensory impulses coming from the outer thigh’s skin to the brain. Once this compression happens, it can lead to sensitivity that is heightened and abnormal sensations.
In most cases, this health condition will go away on its own or through modifications in the person’s lifestyle, such as wearing looser clothing. In cases where some pain is present with the aforementioned condition, medications that are antidepressant or anti-seizure may be utilized to help any symptoms being experienced by the nervous system. For cases that may be considered extreme, interventions requiring some form of surgical procedure to have the compressed nerve released.
This compression of the nerves may occur due to certain physical activities, weight gain, tight clothing, injury, and swelling. In the majority of cases, alleviating the underlying cause of the said medical condition can help in the prevention of further complications. If not immediately addressed, meralgia parenthetical can result in paralysis and severe pain.
Meralgia Paresthetica: Possible Symptoms
The symptoms of the aforementioned medical condition include:
- Outer thigh tingling
- Being sensitive to touch
- Outer Thigh Pain
- Buttocks, Groin, and Knee Pain
- Outer Thigh numbness
- Outer thigh-burning sensation
Some symptoms may be an indication of a condition that is more serious. For these symptoms, it is the best evaluation to be conducted immediately by a medical professional, and medical care (from 911) should be sought. Some of these serious symptoms include pain in the thigh that is severe, which can disrupt the routine activities of individuals, weakness, tingling, or numbness in the body’s other parts, and weakness of the legs.
Diagnosing Meralgia Paresthetica
The medical professional will first check the patient’s surgical and medical history. The doctor will then ask for certain details, such as the use of alcohol and types of clothes worn. Blood tests and X-rays may also be requested by the doctor for further diagnosis. Doctors may also conduct a study known as nerve conduction. This will have the nerves evaluated using electrodes.
Meralgia Paresthetica: Possible Causes and Risk Factors
This medical condition is usually the result of the lateral femoral cutaneous nerve experiencing some form of pressure. The said nerve is responsible for sending impulses to the brain coming from the outer thigh. Once the nerve experiences compression due to certain causes, clothing that is overly tight, and swelling, the regular signals sent by this particular nerve can get prevented, leading to abnormal sensitivity. Some of the more common factors that can lead to this health condition include obesity and weight gain, tight clothing, swelling, injury, and certain forms of activities that are physical.
Several variables can lead to an increased risk of being afflicted with meralgia Paresthetic. Some of these risk factors are the use of certain clothing that is restrictive and obesity. To reduce the risk of developing this medical condition, it may be best to have some lifestyle factors that may be modified. Individuals can have these risks reduced by wearing much looser clothing, ensuring that a healthy weight is maintained, and avoiding certain routines that can have the thigh compressed.
Possible Treatments for Meralgia Paresthetica
For some instances, Meralgia Paresthetica can go away on its own without the need for any medical treatment or intervention. For the majority of cases, meralgia Paresthetica can be managed by ensuring that the factor causing compression of the nerve is addressed. These include wearing loose clothing, avoiding certain routines, or weight loss. For people who may find that their condition is persistent or painful, medical treatment may be necessary.
Those who find that symptoms are severe or that their lifestyle modification does not address their medical condition, some treatment options may be advised by a healthcare professional. These include the following:
- Surgical procedures that can help free the compressed nerve
- Drugs or meds that can manage the pain by having the nerve suppressed, such as anticonvulsants and antidepressants
- Corticosteroid shots that can provide relief for the swollen nerve.
In addition to all of these, individuals can also try to have their condition improved by wearing looser clothing, stopping routine that puts pressure on the affected area, and by losing weight or maintaining their ideal weight.
Complementary treatments are also available and can aid individuals in dealing with this health condition. The said treatments also called alternative therapies, can be utilized along with other medical treatments that are traditional. Complementary treatments should not be considered as a substitute for full medical treatments. Some of these treatments include yoga, massage therapy, and acupuncture. Individuals can also try several different exercises to help treat and lessen the pain caused by this health condition.
Below are some of these exercises:
- Cat-Cow– An exercise routine that can in people becoming more mobile and encourage moving the affected area of the thigh
- Lunges- These exercises can help in strength building and improving stability and balance. This can also lessen pain by having tight muscles in the hips loosened.
- Bridges- This exercise routine can help strengthen and stretch the flexors of the hip and reduce pain and improve the function of the individual.
Best Sleeping Position for those with Meralgia Paresthetica
According to experts, the best sleeping position for patients suffering from Meralgia Paresthetica is on the side and has a pillow placed in between the legs. It is also recommended that the number of pillows is increased until relief from the pain is experienced. Sleeping on the side alone can still result in pain for the patient.