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  • Writer's pictureDr. de Castro

What Is That Tingling In The Front Of My Thigh?

Meralgia paresthetica is a fancy term for a compressive neuropathy of the lateral femoral cutaneous nerve.

It causes burning pain and paresthesia (a funny feeling like numbness or tingling) in the front and side of the thigh. The lateral femoral cutaneous nerve comes off the lumbar plexus in the pelvis, along the outside edge of the iliopsoas muscle. It then passes under the inguinal ligament, which is typically where the nerve can become entrapped and compressed.

This typically happens in middle ages adults, often men and diabetics are much more likely to have this condition. Obesity often precedes the condition, or weight gain in something like pregnancy. Other risk factors include wearing tight belts, jeans or body shaping garments as well as wearing belts at work like tool or police belts.

Direct trauma can also cause this condition. MP typically presents with pain, paresthesia or hypersensitivity on the outside and front part of the thigh, and it can get in the way of sleep, walking and sitting.

Treatment in clinic can look like working on hip flexors, sartorius, TFL, quads and adductors, nerve mobilization, stabilization exercises and taping. Changes in living can also help, including losing weight or changing clothes or work items. For example, equipment vests for police officers can help with this type of pain, versus wearing all of their equipment on a belt.

Psoas stretch: Keep the pelvis neutral when doing this stretch. Hold for 20-30 seconds.

Back extensions: This can be done as a stretch (hold for 20-30 seconds) or as a repetitive movement, slowly repeating from laying to up on the elbows and repeating 10-12 times.

TFL stretch: Try not to rotate when doing this stretch, hold for 20-30 seconds.

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