Thigh pain is a very common complaint. It presents constant achy throbbing pain sometimes cramping in the thighs or it could be on and off, but the pain does not go away. It could be one thigh or both thighs. This pain could radiate down to the knees, legs and feet or up to the hips. The pain can be felt when sitting and lying down. It could cause trouble walking long distance.
The pain on the outside of your hip, upper thigh, outer buttock or outside of knee is usually caused by problems with muscles, ligaments, tendons and other soft tissues that surround your hip joint. Pain killers don’t work well with this kind of pain. Acupuncture is very effective to release the pain and help to restore daily activity.
Meralgia paresthetica (MP) or lateral femoral cutaneous neuropath is a condition that also causes thigh pain and numbness. It is caused by injury or entrapment to the nerve that innervates to the thigh called the lateral femoral cutaneous nerve. This causes numbness or pain in the outer thigh. Pain is constant burning or lightening on the outer side of the thigh which is also extending to the outer side of the knee or spreading to the buttocks. It could be accompanied with numbness or tingling in the same area.
There was a report that 10 patients with MP were treated with acupuncture. These patients were aged 30-70 years with MP. The causes of MP were not clear. One patient had diabetes and several were obese. Three patients had inflammatory joint disease. Four patients were receiving high doses of analgesics. Average period of symptoms was 3-4 years. All had tried conservative treatment, physiotherapy or injections and two patients had refused surgery. All patients had tender points especially at acupuncture point GB31 and upper lumba spine. This points were less tender after acupuncture treatment. An average 4-5 sessions of acupuncture was given to these patients. Electroacupuncture was applied from second session. The pain scores for all 10 patients improved by at least 50%, including that of a patient with a 20 year history. At 3-36 months follow-up, improvement was 100%. Most patients were able to stop their analgesics.
Alexander RE Acupunct (2013) 31:435-9