Thigh Numbness

Possible Reasons for Thigh Numbness

Sometimes, a person can experience thigh numbness of some degree for one reason or another.  In most cases, the reason for the numbing sensation is nothing serious but when persistent or associated with other symptoms, there would be times to be seen by a doctor.  In this article, we wanted to address some of the more common reasons for this experience, as well as information on how to eliminate it.

Keep in mind that thigh numbness is usually associated with some kind of nerve problem, which could be something as simple as compression to a serious trauma or disease.  For instance, if a person were sitting in an odd position or had fallen asleep on one side without turning through the night, the nerve in the thigh would be compressed.  With this, a temporary sensation of numbness would be expected.  However, after getting up and moving around for a few minutes to release the pressure on the nerve, the numbness would disappear.

Another possible cause could be associated with a recent surgery in which those particular nerves were involved.  In this case, the numbness could be a lingering side effect of having surgery, which in time normal sensation in the thigh would likely return to normal or sometimes, a slight reduction of sensation is permanent.  In addition, the numbness could be the aftermath of numbing medication used during surgery, which after wearing off would allow the thigh numbness to go away.  As an example, if someone had been given a nerve block, an injection of corticosteroid with a numbing agent would be injected to interrupt nerve signals temporarily.

Another common cause of thigh numbness has to do with the nerves in the upper leg becoming irritated.  When this happens, the nerve or nerves that supply sensation to the skin on the outside and upper portion of the thigh is called the femoral cutaneous nerve.  However, sometimes a person will develop a condition called Meralgia Paresthetica, which can be triggered by obesity, surgery, trauma, diabetes, and even constrictive clothing items.  Obviously, to prevent the development of this condition, an individual would need to lose weight, live a healthy lifestyle to avoid surgery and the onset of diabetes, and wear looser clothing.

People who are in pre-diabetes may also experience thigh numbness.  A common problem that diabetics face is peripheral neuropathy, again a condition caused by irritated or compressed nerves, which ultimately leads to nerve damage.  For diabetics, it would be important to notify the doctor about any such sensations so the exact problem could be identified and proper treatment provided.

Then, if the nerves located in the lower region of the back were compressed due to a herniated or bulging disk, with these nerves running down into the thigh area it would be common for a person to have some degree of thigh numbness.  Obviously, the problem with the back would need to be corrected before the numbness in the leg would disappear.  Finally, any type of trauma such as a vehicle accident, serious fall, or some type of entrapment would likely cause nerve damage, leading to the feeling of numbness.

In many cases, if the doctor cannot quickly pinpoint the cause of the numb sensation, an MRI would be ordered to look closer at the nerves.  This along with the doctor taking a physical and asking numerous questions, suspicions would rise.  If the problem were a pinched or compressed nerve, surgery or traction may be required but for inflamed nerves, the doctor would prescribe anti-inflammatory medication and probably something for pain relief.  In addition, some medications such as Elavil, Tegretol, and Neurontin work quite well to lessen the irritation that comes from the situation.