Meralgia paresthetica is an often missed diagnosis for tingling, numbness, and burning pain on the front and outside of your thigh. The condition is caused by a pinching or irritation to the “lateral femoral cutaneous nerve” that supplies sensation to your thigh.
This nerve can be compressed beneath a ligament, tendon or tight muscle in your hip and pelvis. Pregnancy or being even slightly overweight makes this condition more likely. Tight clothing including girdles, compressive shorts, or tight belts may aggravate or cause this condition. Carpenters’ tool belts or police duty belts may compress this nerve. Prolonged sitting or lying in a fetal position may aggravate this problem. Diabetics are at greater risk.
In the early stages of this condition, your symptoms are usually mild and intermittent. Walking or standing may aggravate the symptoms, and sitting tends to relieve them. In more advanced stages, numbness and tingling changes to shooting pain that is unaffected by your position.
The central goal of treatment is to decrease any cause of compression. In some cases, simply wearing looser clothing or belts may help relieve your symptoms. Some men find relief by switching from a belt to suspenders. Avoid wearing a tool belt or duty belt that places pressure over the area. If you are overweight, begin a sensible weight loss program to avoid compression from excessive tissue.