Thigh Pain Treatment

In addition to reducing risk factors, like carrying your cell phone in your front pocket, there are exercises and medications you can take to help reduce painful symptoms. 

Modifying Risk

If you are diagnosed with meralgia paresthetica, the most important first step in reducing thigh pain is to identify and eliminate any underlying causes (risk factors) of the pain (tight pants, belts, wallets, cell phones). If you are overweight, your clinicial will recommend that you lose weight. Weight loss plays a critical role, and often the condition will not improve sufficiently until some degree of weight loss has been achieved.

Often when you are made aware of the risk factor of tight clothing or belts, you can immediately recognize situations at work or in your wardrobe that are contributing to the problem. Often just relieving the pressure of the belt or clubbing will result in improvement of symptoms in the next 2 to 4 weeks without need for other specific treatments

Physical Therapy and Exercises

Simple exercises that stretch the muscles in front of the hip may be helpful. Your doctor may also prescribe physical therapy. A physical therapist  can also look for other factors that may contribute to pressure on the nerve, such as leg length discrepancy or pelvic rotation abnormalities.


There is no specific first choice for medication therapy for MP.  Depending on your specific medical conditions and severity of pain, several different medications may be tried.

Gabapentin is a medication frequently used for neuropathic pain. Side effects include sleepiness and lightheadedness, but these symptoms often improve with continued use.  A corticosteroid may be tried to decrease any swelling in or around the nerve that may be contributing to compression. Opioids are rarely indicated for this condition

Injections and Surgery

It is estimated that about 85% of patients will improve with the conservative measures described above. If risks modification and exercise and medication therapies fail, another consideration would be local injection.  Increasingly, this is being done with ultrasound guidance so the clinician can see the nerve and make sure that the medication is being placed as close to it as possible without damaging the nerve.

The need for surgical intervention is rare. The few studies available, however, suggests that has a very high success rate in patients who failed all previous treatment options

Updated on: 04/13/16
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Thigh Pain Overview