Treatment for meralgia paresthetica focuses on relieving compression of the nerve.
Conservative measures are effective for most people, with pain usually going away within a few months. They include:
- Wearing looser clothing
- Losing weight
- Taking OTC pain relievers such as acetaminophen (Tylenol, others), ibruprofen (Advil, Motrin IB, others) or aspirin
If symptoms persist for more than two months or your pain is severe, treatment may include:
- Corticosteroid injections. Injections can reduce inflammation and temporarily relieve pain. Possible side effects include joint infection, nerve damage, pain and whitening of skin around the injection site.
- Tricyclic antidepressants. These medications may relieve your pain. Side effects include drowsiness, dry mouth, constipation and impaired sexual functioning.
- Gabapentin (Neurontin), phenytoin (Dilantin) or pregabalin (Lyrica). These anti-seizure medications may help lessen your painful symptoms. Side effects include constipation, nausea, dizziness, drowsiness and lightheadedness.
Rarely, surgery to decompress the nerve is considered. This option is only for people with severe and long-lasting symptoms.
March 29, 2014
- Anderson BC. Meralgia paresthetica (lateral femoral cutaneous nerve entrapment). http://www.uptodate.com/home. Accessed Nov. 19, 2013.
- Burning thigh pain (meralgia paresthetica). American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons. http://orthoinfo.aaos.org/topic.cfm?topic=a00340. Accessed Nov. 19, 2013.
- NINDS meralgia paresthetica information page. National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke. http://www.ninds.nih.gov/disorders/meralgia_paresthetica/meralgia_paresthetica.htm. Accessed Nov. 19, 2013.
- Patjin J, et al. Meralgia paresthetica. Pain Practice. 2011;11:1533.