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Do You Suffer from Numbness and Leg Pain? (Meralgia Paresthetica)

Posted on the 10 August 2012 by Georgiaclinic @ChiroAugustaGA

Do You Suffer from Numbness and Leg Pain? (Meralgia Paresthetica)What is Meralgia Paresthetica?

It is a mononeuropathy (injury to one nerve) which causes numbness or pain in the outer thigh not caused by injury to the thigh, but by injury to a peripheral nerve that travels from the spinal cord to the thigh. This nerve is called the lateral femoral cuntaneous nerve. While vascular insufficency and lumbar radiculopathy are the diagnosis most often considered, in some cases the cause may be a less well-known neuropathy, Meralgia Paresthetica.

The nerve most often becomes injured by entrapment or compression where it passes between the upper front of the hip bone (ilium) and the inguinal ligament near the attachment of the anterior superior iliac spine (the upper point of the hip bone). Less commonly it could be entrapment by other muscles or structures like the psoas muscle or the tensor fascia latae, or damaged by diabetic or other neuropathy.


What Causes Meralgia Paresthetica?

The most interesting aspect of meralgia paresthetica is the multiple different causes. MP has been reported to be caused by obesity, pregnancy and compression from tight pants, belts, uterine fibroids and tumours. Furthermore, MP can be due to direct trauma, like seat belt incidents, surgery complications and even associated with disorders such as diabetes and leprosy.  Recent reports have also surfaced regarding MP being caused by exercise or even prolonged periods of standing that increase compression on the inguinal ligament.

How Can Meralgia Paresthetica Be Treated?

Conservative manual therapy from a chiropractor should be tried before seeking drugs or surgery.  A chiropractor can manually release (or stretch) the muscles and ligaments that may be entrapping the lateral femoral cutaneous nerve. Soft tissue therapy such as Active Release Techique can provide much needed relief.  Additionally, a chiropractic assessment of the pelvis and ilium bone can detect any bony misalignments where adjustments may have an effect.  Georgia Clinic of Chiropractic (Augusta, GA) has had great success in treating patients with meralgia paresthetica, and patients pursuing conservative treatments first may be able to avoid taking prescription medication as well as riskier options such as surgery.


The Georgia Clinic of Chiropractic Blog is written by Dr. Mark Huntsman.

Georgia Clinic of Chiropractic is conveniently located off Furys Ferry Rd in Martinez, Georgia and provides quality chiropractic care to the Augusta, Martinez, and Evans communities. Visit our main website at

Choose several options to schedule your appointment: call (706) 814-5053, use our online voicemail, or use our online form.

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