Causes and Treatments for Numbness and Nerve Pain in the Thigh

Written by Mary | Last Updated on 
April 27th, 2020 at 02:14 pm

When it comes to nerve pain, the first places people tend to think are the most affected are usually the hands and feet. However, some individuals suffer from leg pain, a pinched nerve, or sciatica and require physical therapy, while others experience nerve pain in their thigh. Called meralgia paraesthetica, this is a condition in which there is a burning pain, tingling, and numbness within the thigh.

There are a few symptoms, as well as treatment options. Here’s what you need to know for nerve pain in your thighs.

Causes and Symptoms

Symptoms are pretty much what you’ve heard so far. There will likely be tingling and numbness in the outer part of your thigh. You may also experience a burning sensation on the surface part of your outer thigh.

Generally, these symptoms only happen on one side of your body, so there’s a good chance you won’t have it on both thighs. And, if you feel it get more intense after you walk or stand up, you’re likely suffering from nerve pain in your thigh.

Meralgia Parestheticain Causes

So, why does this happen? The most common causes of meralgia paresthetica clued tight clothing, weight gain, a pinched nerve, or even pregnancy. 

However, these aren’t the only causes. If there has been some kind of trauma to the thigh, it can also cause nerve pain and/or a burning sensations. Additionally, there are a few diseases, such as diabetes or a damaged spinal cord that can cause it.

Your lateral femoral cutaneous nerve is in charge of sending sensation to your outer thigh. So, when this becomes pinched or compressed, meralgia paresthetica happens. Because the lateral femoral cutaneous nerve is only a sensory nerve, you don’t have to worry about it affecting your muscles.

Why It Happens

In most cases, the nerve goes right through the groin into the upper thigh, and there are no hiccups. But with meralgia paresthetica, the nerve gets trapped. Often, it gets trapped right under the inguinal ligament, which goes along from your groin to your abdomen up to your thigh.

Scar tissue from an old injury or surgery can cause meralgia paresthetica—so can wearing a heavy tool belt or a seat belt injury because of a car accident.

If you’ve put on extra weight, you will increase your chances of having nerve pain and damage in the thigh. When someone is overweight or obese, there’s additional pressure on that lateral femoral cutaneous nerve. This increases the likelihood of nerve damage.

Pregnancy does a similar thing. As a woman’s stomach gets bigger, there’s more pressure on her groin. Because this is where the lateral femoral cutaneous nerve passes through, it can cause meralgia paresthetica.

As mentioned earlier, diabetes can lead to nerve damage and pain in the thigh. Generally, people between the ages of 30 and 60 are at the highest risk of this.

Treatment Options

In order to diagnose you correctly, your doctor may have a few different diagnostic procedures. An X-ray or electromyography may be done in order to take a closer look.

Nerve Conduction Study

Some doctors carry out a nerve conduction study, which is where electrodes are put on the skin in order to stimulate the nerves. This can help healthcare professionals determine if there are any damaged nerves.

If your nerve pain in your thigh is due to weight gain, something as simple as losing the extra weight can help cut back on your pain. Wearing looser clothing may help, too. And, if you find your pain bothersome but not life-altering, you can always try over the counter pain relievers. These include ibuprofen—such as Motrin IB or Advil—and acetaminophen like Tylenol.

However, there are thousands of people are crippled by nerve pain every single day. If this is the case for you, you may need to kick your treatment up a notch.

Corticosteroid Injections

Some doctors may recommend corticosteroid injections. While this is only a temporary solution, it can cut back on inflammation and get rid of the pain. However, it isn’t without its side effects, you may find you have pain or whitening of the skin around where the injection site is, joint infections or additional nerve damage.


Painkillers may be prescribed by your doctor in order to help you deal with the pain. While these are certainly successful at getting rid of your pain, they come with their own risks, such as addiction and abuse. These should be considered temporary.

Vitamin Supplements

If you’re looking into a more natural remedy, Nerve Renew is a fantastic option. It’s an FDA-approved supplement that can help people not only get rid of their nerve pain but also help themselves.

This natural blend of ingredients can assist damage cells in regenerating themselves. Therefore, you aren’t just taking something for temporary relief—Nerve Renew not only works to get nerve pain under control but also ward it off in the future by keeping your nerves nice and strong.


Surprisingly, tricycle anti-depressants have been used to treat nerve pain. They work to counteract the chemicals in the brain so the pain signals aren’t constantly firing. These also come with side effects: dry mouth, drowsiness, constipation, and impaired sexual functioning.

Anti-Seizure Medications

Anti-seizure medication scan help as well. Gabapentin (like Neurontin and Gralise), phenytoin (Dilantin), and pregabalin (Lyrica) have all been proven to help with nerve pain. Like the other treatments, these also come with side effects: drowsiness, dizziness, nausea, constipation, and light headedness have all been reported.

In very rare instances, surgery may be an option for some people. Surgery can be successful to decompress the nerve. This is generally only considered for people who are suffering from severe pain that has been going on for a long period of time. This is often considered a last resort.

Final Thoughts

Your first step should always be identifying why you have nerve pain in your thigh. After you know what’s causing it, you can treat it. This may be enough on its own to get rid of the nerve pain in your thigh once and for all.

If your pain lingers, then it’s time to take additional steps in order to nip it in the bud. Regardless, the sooner you’re able to investigate the causes and get started on your treatment the better likelihood of a good outcome.