Treatment

For most people, the symptoms of meralgia paresthetica ease in a few months. Treatment focuses on relieving nerve compression.

Conservative measures

Conservative measures include:

  • Wearing looser clothing
  • Losing excess weight
  • Taking OTC pain relievers such as acetaminophen (Tylenol, others), ibruprofen (Advil, Motrin IB, others) or aspirin

Medications

If symptoms persist for more than two months or your pain is severe, treatment might 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 might relieve your pain. Side effects include drowsiness, dry mouth, constipation and impaired sexual functioning.
  • Gabapentin (Gralise, Neurontin), phenytoin (Dilantin) or pregabalin (Lyrica). These anti-seizure medications might help lessen your painful symptoms. Side effects include constipation, nausea, dizziness, drowsiness and lightheadedness.

Surgery

Rarely, surgery to decompress the nerve is considered. This option is only for people with severe and long-lasting symptoms.

Feb. 23, 2017
References
  1. Anderson BC. Meralgia paresthetica (lateral femoral cutaneous nerve entrapment). http://www.uptodate.com/home. Accessed Oct. 24, 2016.
  2. Burning thigh pain (meralgia paresthetica). American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons. http://orthoinfo.aaos.org/topic.cfm?topic=a00340. Accessed Oct. 24, 2016.
  3. NINDS meralgia paresthetica information page. National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke. http://www.ninds.nih.gov/disorders/meralgia_paresthetica/meralgia_paresthetica.htm. Accessed Oct. 24, 2016.
  4. Patjin J, et al. Meralgia paresthetica. Pain Practice. 2011;11:1533.