Meralgia Parasthetica: What Is It & How Do I Treat It?


Davenport Chiropractor Explains Meralgia ParastheticaDavenport Chiropractor Discusses Meralgia Parasthetica

Davenport Chiropractors


Meralgia Parasthetica is one of my favorite fancy medical terms. It just rolls off of the tongue. Basically it is a fancy way of saying “numbness in the lateral thigh.” It can also include a “pins and needles” feeling as well as pain. So, now that we know what it means, lets talk about what causes it.

What Causes Meralgia Parasthetica?

It is caused by damage to the lateral femoral cutaneous nerve. There can be a few different causes for problems with this nerve:

  • Skinny Jean Syndrome – When you wear your jeans or belts too tight that they compress on the nerve and cause¬†numbness in the lateral thighs.
  • Damage to the Lumbar Plexus at L2 and L3 – The lateral femoral cutaneous nerve originates in the lower back at L2/L3. If you have rotation or degeneration at these levels, it is possible to develop meralgia parasthetica.
  • Anterior Pelvic Tilt – If your hips are tilted forward, the lateral femoral cutaneous nerve can become compressed between the pelvic bone and the inguinal ligament.

What People Often Think Meralgia Parasthetica Is

  • Sciatica It is NOT Sciatica! I hear this all of the time. It is highly confusing to patients. Many people think that any time that they have pain in their leg, that it is sciatica. This is not the case. Sciatica is pain down the back of your leg. Read our article on Low Back Pain for more information.
  • IT Band Syndrome – This problem is much more closely related, but has different symptoms and different causes. IT band pain comes from the tensor fascia lata muscle becoming too tight and pulling the IT band tight. The IT band then becomes inflamed as it rubs over the lateral aspect of the knee and thigh, causing pain and swelling. This is usually resolved with rest and ice.
  • Hip Bursitis – This is where the femur rubs and inflames the bursa. This is very painful in the actual hip joint, but will not exhibit the numbness in the thigh.

What Are Some Common Treatment Options?

Luckily, this one is not a surgical candidate unless the problem stems from the lumbar discs. In this case, there will several other factors determining whether surgery is necessary or not. So let’s jump into the treatment options.

  1. Stop Wearing Skinny Jeans! If you stop cinching your belt too tight and buy pants that fit, the problem fixes itself. Enough said.
  2. Chiropractic Care! Besides the obvious reason of wearing properly fitted clothing, the other main reasons for this problem are due to improper spinal alignment and muscular imbalances. Chiropractors who use myofascial release can help to loosen tight musculature around the lower back and hips that can help to alleviate pressure on the lateral femoral cutaneous nerve. Chiropractors are also experts at properly aligning the pelvis and lumbar spine that the nerves are functioning normally.
  3. Physical Therapy. To stretch and strengthen the muscles around the pelvis and lumbar spine.

So if you are looking for a good Chiropractor in Davenport, be sure to give us a call. Get Adjusted and Be Well!



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