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What Are the Different Types of Meralgia Paresthetica Treatment?

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  • Written By: Jennifer Long
  • Edited By: Allegra J. Lingo
  • Last Modified Date: 16 November 2016
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Meralgia paresthetica treatment will depend on the exact cause of the compression. Treatment for meralgia paresthetica in most cases combines behavior modification to reduce the cause and medications to alleviate pain and swelling. Surgical repair may be recommended for severe instances.

Bernhardt-Roth syndrome, another term for meralgia paresthetica, is the name given to a numbness or pain in the outer section of the thigh. The pain and numbness are a result of injury to the lateral cutaneous nerve that runs from the spine down to the thigh, along the hip section, and is not caused by injury to the thigh itself. Nerve damage in the thigh can be caused by compression or trapping between the upper tip section and the upper front section of the hip bone. The damage may also occur from a pinching of the nerve caused by injury, gradual compression of the area, or neuropathic conditions.

Weight gain is one problem that can cause compression leading to pain. Meralgia paresthetica treatment should include a diet to encourage weight loss. If pain is persistent during dieting, pain relievers may be given to the patient.

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When trauma causes semi-permanent or permanent nerve damage, meralgia paresthetica treatment must address the pain as well as the cause. If the cause of the nerve damage is unknown or cannot be repaired, doctors will suggest several treatments in an effort to find one that helps. Hydrocortisone injections at the site can reduce pain and swelling. Narcotic pain relievers and non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs may also be prescribed.

Another type of meralgia paresthetica treatment is decompression therapy. This is not an immediate solution, but many patients have reported some relief of symptoms after the first few sessions. Decompression therapy helps gradually stretch the spine, usually on a special padded table, over many sessions. Some doctors believe that through this gentle stretching, the pressure on the nerve is alleviated because the nerve is allowed to move into proper position.

Surgery is recommended for chronic nerve damage. The damaged section of nerve can be removed if that is the cause of symptoms, or the nerve can be moved from its current position where it is being compressed or pinched. In this instance, the nerve is shifted slightly but still remains in the general location where it should be.

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