How Do I Relieve Femoral Nerve Pain?

A medical professional examining a patient for femoral nerve damage.
Doctors frequently prescribe pain relievers to alleviate femoral nerve pain.
Article Details
  • Written By: Angela Crout-Mitchell
  • Edited By: Allegra J. Lingo
  • Last Modified Date: 20 August 2014
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Medications commonly used to reduce femoral pain are anti inflammatory medicines and drugs for pain relief. It is not uncommon for doctors to also suggest life style changes, such as weight loss, especially when the femoral nerve dysfunction cause is unknown. Femoral nerve pain is typically centralized to the thigh region of the leg and can be the result of injury or compression to the nerve, though in some cases no cause can be found. This nerve is responsible for activating the muscles of the thigh responsible for straightening the leg and providing sensation to the upper front region of the leg, as well as to part of the lower leg. The symptoms of femoral nerve damage can include numbness, feelings of weakness in the extremity, and pain.

Femoral nerve pain is often first treated with medications. When the injury or compression of the nerve has produced swelling or inflammation, corticosteroids are frequently prescribed to reduce pressure on the femoral nerve from the irritated surrounding tissues. If this treatment is slow to produce results or is not sufficient on its own, many medical professionals will also prescribe pain relievers in addition to the anti inflammatory medications. These pain relievers can be as mild as over the counter options or as potent as narcotic preparations, depending on the severity of damage and the pain threshold of the patient.

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In some situations of femoral nerve damage, the cause may require treatments in the form of physical therapy or surgery. Physical therapy exercises may be ordered to ensure the femoral muscles retain as much of their original strength as possible during the healing period. Braces and splints are also occasionally used to support the entire leg while the nerve has to time to recover. Surgery is only used in cases where tumors or other growths are the cause of the femoral nerve pain. Most cases of femoral nerve damage can be treated without surgical procedures, however.

Not every case of femoral nerve pain has to be treated with doctor prescribed medications, physical therapy, or surgery. Some patients are instructed to modify their clothing choices, such as tight belts and waistbands, in favor of looser fitting clothes. This type of restrictive clothing can sometimes lead to femoral nerve compression or entrapment, and cause pain. It is not unusual for excess weight to lead to this condition as well. In these circumstances, the patient is usually advised to change their dietary habits, begin a safe and effective exercise plan, and lose some of the extra weight to relieve the symptoms of femoral nerve pain.

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orangey03
Post 4

@OeKc05 – The two nerves both are responsible for pain in the leg, but they send signals to different regions. The femoral nerve just handles the front of the thighs, while the sciatic nerve can go all the way down to the toes.

However, when my aunt was about to have knee surgery, she got both a femoral nerve block and a sciatic nerve block. I suppose that the surgery could have caused painful sensations along both nerves.

This is typical during surgery on the leg. Doctors want to cover all their bases.

OeKc05
Post 3

My sister has sciatic nerve pain that runs along her legs and even down to her toes. Is this related to the femoral nerve at all, or is it something totally separate?

feasting
Post 2

@cloudel – I have the same problem. I was told that it's likely that my thigh and uterus have the same nerve pathway.

Not everyone experiences this, so I guess only some of us have body parts that are forced to share a nerve path. For me, the pain is more of a dull ache, as if I have walked for miles and am fatigued.

It could also be something called endometriosis. With this condition, you have uterine cells growing in places where they don't belong, like in your thighs. They all ache together around that time of the month.

cloudel
Post 1

I have always had pain in my thighs during my period. It is worse during the first two days of it, when the flow is the heaviest.

Could this be pinched nerve pain, or is it caused by something else? I can't help but wonder if it is related to my femoral nerve, since my leg really doesn't have anything to do with my uterus. It seems very strange that my thighs would be bothered by my period.

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