Meralgia Paresthetica: Care Instructions

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Meralgia paresthetica (say "muh-RAL-juh par-uhs-THET-ick-uh") is pain and numbness in the outer part of your thigh. The pain might get worse after you walk or stand for a long time.

This pain and numbness occur when a nerve in your thigh is pinched (compressed). Sometimes the problem is caused by wearing tight clothing or being overweight.

Most of the time the problem goes away on its own in a few months. Lowering any pressure on the thigh area may help. Wear loose clothes, and lose weight if you need to.

Follow-up care is a key part of your treatment and safety. Be sure to make and go to all appointments, and call your doctor if you are having problems. It's also a good idea to know your test results and keep a list of the medicines you take.

How can you care for yourself at home?

  • Most times the problem gets better on its own. Try wearing loose clothing to see if this helps.
  • Lose weight if you need to. Talk with your doctor if you need help.

When should you call for help?

Watch closely for changes in your health, and be sure to contact your doctor if:

  • You have new symptoms, such as pain that gets worse or new numbness in your thigh.
  • You do not get better as expected.

The Health Encyclopedia contains general health information. Not all treatments or services described are covered benefits for Kaiser Permanente members or offered as services by Kaiser Permanente. For a list of covered benefits, please refer to your Evidence of Coverage or Summary Plan Description. For recommended treatments, please consult with your health care provider.