What does pain or numbness down the outside of your thigh mean?

Are you experiencing pain or numbness down the outside of your thigh?

Lateral femoral cutaneous nerve

You may have a common nerve disorder called Meralgia paraesthetica!

Meralgia Paraesthetica is caused by chronic compression of the lateral femoral cutaneous nerve which travels from your lower back, over the pelvis and down the outer thigh. Compression of this nerve commonly occurs where the inguinal ligament crosses the pelvis as shown in the image to the right.


“But Katie, how could this possibly have happened to me?!”
“This is a very common condition that can be caused by a number of things. Don’t worry, with a few small changes you will be back to your pain-free self in NO time!”

So what causes the compression?

  • Prolonged sitting postures
  • Clothing: tight pants or skirts, rigid material or belts
  • Storing items such as keys in your front pockets
  • An increase in body weight
  • Hypertonic or irritated body tissue around the nerve: chronically tight hip flexors, a thickened inguinal ligament, or scar tissue

What can you do to manage this condition on your own?

  • Avoid prolonged sitting postures: take frequent breaks if working at a desk or try a standing desk which will allow you to work in various postures.
  • Reassess your clothing sizes and material choices: especially if you know that you will be sitting at a desk or driving for a long time try to wear looser pants or skirts made of comfortable fabric that do not have tight elastic bands or belts!
  • Keep your pockets free of hard objects such as keys or coins which would place pressure on the nerve
  • If necessary, speak to your healthcare practitioner regarding healthy options for weight loss

What can we do as chiropractors?

  • Perform a history and physical exam to make sure that you are correctly diagnosed with Meralgia Paraesthetica!
  • Assess your low back, pelvis and hip joints to ensure that the entire nerve path is free from skeletal restrictions!
  • Assess the muscles and connective tissues in the area to address and correct any imbalances or potential adhesions!


Do you still have a few questions about Meralgia Paraesthetica or how chiropractic can help you?


Call Hands on Health Care at (02) 9949-3017 or book online at for your next appointment!


May 15, 2018
Katie MacRae