Femoral Nerve Pain
A Complete Guide to Femoral Nerve Pain
Femoral nerve pain can be irritating, painful, and even affect the overall quality of your life. So what causes femoral nerve pain and what can you do about it?
The femoral nerve is located in the leg. It is responsible for supplying the muscles that straighten out the leg, as well as provides the sensations that you feel in the lower part of your leg and in your thigh.
Nerve damage to the femoral nerve is usually responsible for causing femoral nerve pain. When nerve damage is done to one nerve group like the formal nerve it is referred to as mononeuropathy. This typically means that there is a local cause that has lead to the nerve damage. However, there can also be systemic disorders that involve other parts of the body which can also lead to isolated nerve damage.
Prolonged pressure on the nerve, direct trauma, and compression of the nerve by nearby structures such as tumors can cause femoral nerve dysfunction. When there is damage to the nerve, the impulses are unable to pass through.
The nerve itself can also be injured if you have a pelvic fracture or even if you have a catheter put in the femoral artery. Diabetes, internal bleeding into the abdomen or pelvis, and abscesses can also cause damage to the nerve. Other times, there are no known causes at all.
The pain associated with femoral nerve damage should not be confused with muscle cramps or restless leg syndrome. Some people compare the pain felt in the femoral nerve as sharp, stabbing pains. Others compare the pain to being stabbed repeatedly with a knife. The pain might be made worse when you walk on your leg or find yourself in certain positions. Sometimes, it hurts continuously regardless of what position that you are in.
The pain itself can last for days or for hours. Sometimes, the pain can subside but leave behind spasms that might not be as painful, but can still affect the quality of your life.
Treatment for femoral nerve pain is meant to increase mobility, as well as ease the pain associated with the nerve damage. Sometimes, nothing needs to be done and the damage will repair itself on its own. However, if the pain is very bad then something should be done about it so that you aren't in constant agony.
Other times, corticosteroids that are injected into the area might be able to reduce the swelling and pressure on the nerve which can help alleviate the pain. Pain medication might also be prescribed to you in order to control your symptoms. There are a variety of other medications as well that can help reduce the stabbing pains that sometimes accompany the nerve damage. If a tumor is causing the nerve damage, then it will probably be assessed to see if it can be removed.
Physical therapy is often used to help people regain their muscle strength. You might also find that splints or braces can be helpful when it comes to walking easier.
If you suddenly notice any weakness in your legs, sharp stabbing pains, or other abnormalities that either hinder your ability to walk properly or cause you severe pain, then you should definitely visit a physician. A physician will probably assess your pain and submit you to tests such as CT scans and MRIs in order to find out what is causing the pain and if there is indeed any nerve damage.
Luckily, there are treatment options available and for the most part nerve damage that occurs in the femoral nerve can oftentimes be treated successfully.