Possible Neuropathy from Femoral Nerve Compression

by Caroline
(London, UK)


I am a healthy 41 year old female who has developed just over 3 weeks ago (following a bike ride of 20 miles having done no exercise for a while) a strange sensation on the front outer thigh that feels like I have sunburn at the lightest touch ie bedsheets or clothes touching me as opposed to pressured touch but there is nothing there.
I did have a smaller patch of the same on the inner thigh just above the knee on the same leg but that went away a few days ago. I also have some deeper shooting nerve type pains in the top and side of thigh but these seem to be less now however the skin tender sunburn sensation remains and it is becoming quite annoying. I went to the GP who confirmed it was a nerve issue and the sunburn feeling under the skin was quite common and to take ibuprofen for 2 weeks but I don't seem to find it talked about being common except for in the case of some scary illnesses.

Is this Meralgia Parasthesia or something else? I know the term is allodynia but I am not sure if this fits in with sort of nerve problem? I do have a slight tenderness around the groin but nothing to speak of but I do also have what seems to be a slightly enlarged inguinal ligament which sticks out more on that side than the other side and is a bit tender too.

Any ideas?

Hello Caroline,
It certainly sounds like meralgia paresthetica.

Just to be sure that it has nothing to do with the hip, lie on your back and pull your knee to the chest and then to the opposite shoulder. Drop your knee into the lotus position. No significant stiffness or side of hip or groin pain?

Usually there's associated discomfort and sometimes pain in the mid to upper lumbar spine. If you lie on your tum and your partner presses in that region, is it tender?

Take a needle and prick the side of your thigh and compare with the other leg. Is it more or less sensitive, or no difference?

The key features of MP are the burning pain you describe, tenderness just medial to the ASIS (google it), some lower back pain or tenderness and no motor effects; in other words no change in the knee jerk reflex and no weakness at the knee if you hop on one leg.
There is no scientifically proven treatment that I know of, either medical or chiropractic but I treat it quite regularly and successfuly. It's a so-called 'double entrapment' syndrome, both in the mid to upper lumbar spine and under the inguinal ligament. Both have to be addressed for a successful resolution of the condition. The treatment in the groin is quite painful; ask hubby to go with you.

Tight belts and clothing, and obesity are often blamed but frankly that hasn't been my experience, but it's worth a thought.

Start looking for a chiropractor with a sport injury background. A FICS qualification would be a great help; I'm sure the BCA could help you find a chiropractor in your area who could help.

Start our 'Maigne's syndrome exercises' which is a kindred condition. Use the search this site function at chiropractic help.

Let me know how you get on.

Dr B

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