Symptoms

Some symptoms of meralgia paresthetica include: 

  • Tingling on the outside of the thigh 
  • Numbness on the outside of the thigh 
  • Pain on the outside of the thigh 
  • Burning pain on the outside of the thigh 
  • Sensitivity to light touch 
  • Sensitivity to heat 
  • Sharp or shooting pain on the outside of the thigh 
  • These symptoms may get worse after standing or walking. 

When to See a Doctor

You should see your doctor if you notice you have any of the symptoms of meralgia paresthetica, especially if these symptoms don’t go away on their own after a few days. This meralgia paresthetica isn’t usually a sign for a more serious condition, but getting looked at by your doctor can help rule out other causes and keep you healthy.

Causes

Meralgia paresthetica happens when the lateral femoral nerve, which supplies sensation to the outside of your thigh, becomes trapped or compressed. 

Many times, this can be caused by: 

  • Weight gain or being overweight 
  • Tight clothing (such as belts or tight pants) 
  • Pregnancy 
  • Trauma, like nerve injuries 
  • Diabetes 
  • Wearing a heavy tool belt 
  • Nerve irritation, such as repetitive movements 

Diagnosis & Tests, Treatments, & Prevention

Diagnosis & Tests

To diagnose meralgia paresthetica, your doctor will start by performing a brief physical exam and asking you about your symptoms and medical history. This is usually enough to diagnose the condition, but they may also want to do one or more of the following tests: 

  • X-ray 
  • MRI 
  • Electromyography (EMG) 
  • Nerve conduction study 
  • CT scan 
  • Nerve blockade 

It can be difficult to rule out other conditions that have similar symptoms to meralgia paresthetica. Be patient while you work with your doctor on a diagnosis.