Does your work involve long term standing? Do you experience pain in the outside of the thighs and legs? If yes then there is a possibility that you have meralgia parasthetica.
Meralgia parasthetica is the entrapment of a nerve that travels through the outside of the thigh. Pregnancy often causes compression of the lateral femoral cutaneous nerve of the thigh, making it difficult to stand and move. Some people have habit of wearing tight belt and clothing restricting the nerve space. There may be sharp shooting pain, burning sensation, tingling, and numbness on the outer side of the thighs and legs. If this continues to exist it may lead to weakness of the thigh muscles. If you are experiencing this problem, you need to meet your doctor for a thorough check up.
Simple tests are available to confirm the nerve compression. Like tapping on the path of nerve can aggravate the symptoms. Other investigation includes X- ray to rule out any impingement, Nerve conduction test, Electromyography. Based on the severity of the compression treatment is done. There are enormous treatment techniques available in Physiotherapy.
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- Stretching: Exercises like stretches for the thigh and leg muscles are extremely helpful to reduce the entrapment of the nerve. These stretches have to be performed twice a day and each stretch should last for about 10 seconds at least
- Traction: It is an effective way of causing distraction between the bones. This helps relieving compression of the nerve and helps to resolve the symptoms.
- Joint manipulation and mobilization: Techniques like joint mobilization improves joint flexibility and helps to rescue the stuck nerve. Techniques like Kinesio taping is a specialized taping procedure which is done to to reduce pain, create space for the nerve and to facilitate weak muscles. Once the pain and discomfort is reduced you can focus on the strengthening exercises.
- Strengthening exercises: It includes training with dumbells, weight cuffs, elastic bands etc. Simple calisthenics can also improve muscle strength. However, these exercises should be planned by your Physiotherapist as they are individually tailored.
- Cryotherapy: Cryo pack applied two to three times a day for 5-10 mins has proven to relieve the pain effectively.
If the symptoms are severe and does not resolve with Physiotherapy, surgery is done which targets on nerve resection. Physiotherapy sessions are beneficial after the surgical treatment also. Simple solutions like frequent change in positions, repeated stretches are really helpful.
Remember the key to success is a healthy and pain free you. Do not ignore your symptoms. Feel free to meet a Physiotherapist for a swift recovery!!