Spinal problems- meralgia parasthetica

Meralgia paraesthetica is a condition characterized by tingling, numbness and burning pain in the outer part of the thigh.  It is caused by injury or irritation to a nerve that extends from the spinal column to the thigh.  The nerve is called the lateral cutaneous nerve of the thigh.

The nerve most often becomes injured or compressed where it passes over the front of the crest of the pelvis and between it and what is called the inguinal ligament.  Less commonly the nerve may be trapped by other anatomical or abnormal structures or damage by a diabetic or other neuropathy or trauma such as from a seat belt in an accident.  Other common causes or contributory factors include tight clothing, obesity or weight gain and pregnancy.  

In most cases meralgia paraesthetica can be relieved with conservative measures such as wearing looser clothing or losing weight.  Drugs can be helpful in the form of non steroidal anti inflammatory drugs or codeine based painkillers and acute pain may require absolute bed rest.  For severe or persistent cases more aggressive intervention such as a nerve block or surgical decompression may be the last resort.  

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