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Portea Homecare

  Domlur, Bengaluru     Feb 9, 2017

   1 min     

Meralgia paresthetica, also known as, Bernhardt-Roth Syndrome is a nerve disorder that causes numbness and pain in the upper and outer parts of the thighs. The pain is not related to any injury but is because of  the damage to an important nerve connecting the thighs to the vertebral column.

Pain sensation is the most prominent symptom of Meralgia paresthetica, and it primarily affects one side. Long periods of standing or walking may increase the pain.

Treatment approach to the condition typically follows a four pronged approach consisting of:

  • Physical therapy to build the muscles of the legs, lower back, and buttocks, and improve the mobility of the hips
  • Wearing loose fitted clothing
  • Weight loss and exercise
  • Surgical treatment (sensory nerve surgery)

Improve with Exercise: Conservative Technique Is the Best

The best recommendation from physicians and medical personnel worldwide is conservative therapy in the form of physiotherapy and exercise along with supervised pain medications. Surgery is the  last resort, adopted in some rare cases.

Exercise is very much necessary to cure the disorder because excess weight can put unnecessary pressure on the nerve. Stretching and improving the flexibility of the hip joints and vertebral column will aid in reducing the numbness and pain. Lifestyle changes and choice of looser clothing must also be incorporated in order to see results quickly.

Physical Therapy to the Rescue

Physical therapy is also beneficial and is recommended in combination with analgesic medications. Trigger Point Therapy and other Soft-Tissue Techniques may also show results to reduce tightness in the hip and pain in thigh muscles. However, there is no alternative to following a general fitness program.

Exercises helpful in Meralgia paresthetica: 

Cat-camel pose


The above exercise targets abdominals, lumbar extensors, and spine stabilizers muscles

Hold each posture shown above for 15 to 20 seconds. Repeat the pose 5 times.

Quadriceps Stretch


The above exercise targets quadriceps and hip-flexor muscles of the body.

Every quadriceps stretch should be held for 30 seconds on each leg and repeated at least five times. This will greatly improve the strength and flexibility of the muscles thus allowing for a greater range of motion.


Lunges are one of the most effective exercises for building lower body strength. They are extremely effective in strengthening the quadriceps and the glute muscles while also improving core stability and balance.


Lunges have many variations each of which target a different portion of the leg muscle.

Three to five sets of 15-20 repetitions each is recommended. Weights should not be incorporated as it might put additional pressure on the already damaged nerve. Care must be taken to note that the knee of the bent leg should not go past the ankle. Otherwise, the knee might get injured or damaged


Back bow


This is an extremely beneficial lower back strengthening exercise that also gives great results for lumbar pain. It is a hip abduction exercise that allows the spine to become more flexible. It targets the following muscles: muscles in the lumbar and sacral region, external obliques, quadriceps, gluteus, and abdominals.

Perform 15-20 repetitions and hold the posture for 5 seconds at the top. Beginners can also start with ten repetitions. Repeat 3 to 5 sets for best improvements. An easier modification would be to lift either arms or legs, not both at once

The Takeaway

When all these stretches and exercises are combined with appropriate lifestyle modifications like losing weight, refraining from alcoholism, etc. can help prevent or improve the symptoms of meralgia paresthetica. Also, tight clothing and accessories should be avoided for prolonged usage.

Tags:  MERALGIA PARESTHETICA, Physiotherapy, Exercise, ,

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