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What is Meralgia Paresthesia?

Have you ever felt a shooting or burning pain down the side or at the front of your thigh? You could be suffering from Meralgia paresthesia. Today we will discuss what is Meralgia paresthesia, what causes it and how we manage it.


What is Meralgia Paresthesia?

Meralgia Paresthesia is a condition that involves the lateral femoral cutaneous nerve (LFCN). It is often caused by excessive pressure or compression at the site of the nerve.

The nerve originates from the upper lumbar spine then splits into two branches and attaches to the knee.

What are the signs and symptoms and what causes it?

  • Aching, burning, numbness
  • Muscle fatigue / weakness
  • Pain on the thigh
  • Altered sensation

Meralgia Paresthesia is usually caused by:

  • Wearing tight clothing such as heavy belt
  • Diabetic
  • Muscle tightness commonly TFL or Sartorius muscle
  • Overweight
  • Pregnancy

Meralgia Paresthesia Diagram


How can physiotherapy help?

Soft tissue release: Releasing the surrounding muscles such as the hip flexor, TFL or sartorius to reduce compression of the nerve.

Nerve glides: A technique to assist stretching and compressing the nerve to desensitise the nerve.

Exercises: Strengthening and stretching exercises are essential for recovery from Meralgia Paresthesia. Physiotherapists will mainly target the glutes and lower back muscles. This will enable the muscles to work more efficiently and become stronger to protect the lower back and the nerve.

In conclusion, Meralgia Paresthesia is a nerve condition at the front of the thigh. It could be very painful and decrease your ability to function in daily activities. If left untreated, it can lead to other parts of the body to compensate which ultimately result in more serious injuries.


This information can be used to gain a better understanding of Meralgia Paresthesia. To find out more about how we can help, or to book in for a consultation you can contact us via our Limp in Leap out Physiotherapy & Wellness contact us page, or book online here.

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