Why numbness occurs in the outer thighs?

Fact Checked

The numbness that occurs in the outer thigh is commonly called as meralgia paresthetic medically. The condition is characterized by tingling, numbness and burning sensation on the exterior part of the thigh. The condition can be sore or sensitive to the touch. In most cases, the condition can be treated. If the individual suffers from persistent numbness in the outer thigh, a doctor must be consulted. If you want to learn how to manage this condition, click here.


The numbness in the outer thighs can occur due to the compression of the lateral femoral cutaneous nerve. It is important to note that this nerve supplies sensation to the upper thigh. Once the nerve is pinched or compressed, the individual will experience difficulty in using the leg muscle. The condition is usually triggered by extensive pressure on the groin region. Other factors that can lead to the condition include constricted clothing, pregnancy, obesity, scar tissue, standing for long periods, excessive cycling or walking and nerve injuries can lead to the condition.

Numbness in outer thigh
If the individual has meralgia paresthetica, he/she can suffer from numbness and tingling on the outer part of the thigh.

Symptoms of numbness in the outer thigh

If the individual has meralgia paresthetica, he/she can suffer from numbness and tingling on the outer part of the thigh. The burning and dull pain all over the groin and thigh region is the indications of this condition. The pain across the buttocks is another possible symptom. It is important to note that these symptoms usually worsen if the individual shifts all the weight to the affected leg while standing or walking. Once these symptoms are experienced by the individual, it is best to consult a doctor right away.

Diagnosing the condition

When a doctor is consulted, the doctor will gather a medical history. The medical history along with physical examination can help in diagnosing the condition. The doctor will ask the individual to describe the pain and its location. The doctor will assess the affected part of the leg.

The doctor will also order further testing. An X-ray can be used to rule out other conditions involving the hip and pelvis. An electromyography can be carried out to test the muscles and nerves in the thigh. The test utilizes a thin electrode needle to record the electrical activity. The doctor will also request for a nerve conduction study in which small patches of electrodes are placed on the skin to check for nerve damage.


Numbness in the outer thigh is often treated in a conservative manner. The individual must be encouraged to wear loose fitting clothes and try to lose weight to help relieve the pressure off the thigh. Pain medications usually available over-the-counter or anti-inflammatory medications can help reduce the pain. In some cases, the doctor will also recommend steroid injections if the pain is severe or continuous. An injection can help relieve the pain and minimize the inflammation. The last resort is surgery which decompresses the nerve.


Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

The information posted on this page is for educational purposes only.
If you need medical advice or help with a diagnosis contact a medical professional

  • All firstaidcprvictoria.ca content is reviewed by a medical professional and / sourced to ensure as much factual accuracy as possible.

  • We have strict sourcing guidelines and only link to reputable websites, academic research institutions and medical articles.

  • If you feel that any of our content is inaccurate, out-of-date, or otherwise questionable, please contact us through our contact us page.