Treatment options for meralgia paresthetica include weight loss, the use of loose clothing, over-the-counter pain relievers and certain medications for persistent symptoms, according to Mayo Clinic. If a doctor suspects symptoms are due to a compressed nerve of the thigh, he may consider surgery for decompression.
Conservative treatment options, such as losing weight, avoiding tight clothing and taking pain relievers such as ibuprofen, are effective in most patients, normally relieving pain within several months, confirms Mayo Clinic. Patients with severe pain or symptoms that last more than two months may consider medical treatments, such as corticosteroid injections, which provide temporary pain relief by reducing inflammation. Side effects may include pain at the injection site, joint infection and nerve damage. Another option is tricyclic antidepressants, which relieve pain but may cause sexual impairment, drowsiness, dry mouth and constipation.
Meralgia paresthetica patients may also consider the anti-seizure medications phenytoin, gabapentin and pregabalin, whose side effects include lightheadedness, nausea, dizziness and drowsiness, according to Mayo Clinic. Doctors normally only consider surgery for patients with long-lasting, severe symptoms. Depending on the cause of the leg nerve compression, patients may also benefit from physical therapy to strengthen leg muscles while reducing the likelihood of hip injuries, according to Johns Hopkins Medicine.