Meralgia Paresthetica

Meralgia Paresthetica


Meralgia Paresthetica (MP) is a nerve entrapment which may cause pain, paresthesia, and a sensory loss within the distribution of the lateral cutaneous nerve of the thigh.  MP often produces similar pain/symptoms of common lumbar spine pathology.

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Commonly occur in individuals in their 30s and 40s.  more common in people with diabetes with a higher rate among men than women.  Coincides with symptoms from L1-L3 radiculopathy and GT bursitis- these diagnoses must be ruled out first. 

Factors that may bring on MP include: Pregnancy, tight garments, military armor, seat belts, recent hip or spine surgeries. 

Anatomically it is thought that the sxs lateral cutaneous nerve (LTN) may become compressed at inguinal ligament.  Theoretically sitting may reduce the sxs as the inguinal ligament is placed on slack and standing may increase the sxs as the ligament is placed on tension.  Patient present with pain, burning, muscle aches, coldness, lightening pain, and buzzing.

Clinical testing:  Limited research supports specific testing for MP. Pelvic compression test, Neurodynamic testing, and Tinels sign have been shown through limited research to positively identify MP.  More research is needed.


Rehabilitation: to this date there is no comprehensive study assessing the efficacy of physical therapy interventions for MP.  This creates a challenge in treating MP.  Future studies are needed to improve clinical diagnostics and effectiveness of interventions.