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Old 04-30-2009, 10:28 AM   #1
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MERALGIA PARESTHESIA (numbness in thigh area) due to obesity?

[COLOR="Navy"]Hi Everyone,

I've had this numbness appearing in the outer area of my thighs if I stand for a while or sit reclining. The doctor says it is called meralgia paresthesia and is due to a compression of a nerve that brings sensation to the outside of the thigh area. He has ruled out other causes such as MS.

He says it is probably due to my obesity, as it appears most frequently in obese people or pregnant women whose large belly compresses the area where the nerve runs. It causes numbness of the skin and a tingling, burning, pins-and-needles sensation. It started around the 280 -lb. mark for me.

I guess my question is if anyone else here has or is experiencing this, and if losing weight has alleviated it.

Thanks so much for your time:
Eliza[/COLOR]
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Old 05-01-2009, 12:01 AM   #2
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I think that's what I've experienced over the years. The first time was when I was at my heaviest and pregnant. I hit my highest weight then at 344. At times it got a little irritating, but mostly a numb, annoying tingly feeling..... but never painful.

It did go away when I lost weight, but I just gained some back and noticed that it's occuring again. I'm back on track to losing, so I hope it disappears again. I hope yours goes away too.

I never even knew it had a name and it's good to know I'm not the only one

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Old 05-01-2009, 07:49 AM   #3
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I think that's what I've experienced over the years. The first time was when I was at my heaviest and pregnant. I hit my highest weight then at 344. At times it got a little irritating, but mostly a numb, annoying tingly feeling..... but never painful.

It did go away when I lost weight, but I just gained some back and noticed that it's occuring again. I'm back on track to losing, so I hope it disappears again. I hope yours goes away too.

I never even knew it had a name and it's good to know I'm not the only one
Hi DeliGirl,

Thanks for taking the time to post! I was very encouraged to read in your post that the annoying feeling disappeared for you when you lost weight. I definitely connect mine to going over about 280- lbs. It has been kind of scary to have it as I am easily scared and thinking what else it could be a symptom of, but thankfully my physician reassured me it was harmless. I've been freaking out here thinking it will never leave. I read online that they even have surgery nowadays to free the trapped nerve that causes the symptoms.

Wish you a great success on your journey of weight loss and good riddance to the paresthesia! One more great reason for both of us to lose the weight

Eliza
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Old 05-01-2009, 09:54 AM   #4
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This is interesting! I have the same thing...I think.

Do you have it on both thighs or just one? Mine is just on the left leg.

I thought it was sciatic nerve problems and went to the chiropractor, that didn't help me, maybe a tiny tiny bit. He referred me to my family Dr.

I did go to the Dr. about 1 1/2 years ago, he then scheduled me to do some sort of test with electrodes or something like that. When I went back for the test, they didn't have the right equipment, so they rescheduled it. I called before the next appointment and still no go, they were to call me when they got the right stuff in and I'm still waiting 1 1/2 years later!!!! (not really, I gave up!)

Mine has gotten somewhat better, but still there. I can pinch the skin there and not feel it! It's not really a pain, just annoying. Sometimes it does wake me at night if I sleep on that leg to long.

I can still go about my everyday life without any problems! THANK GOD!

I've lost 17 lbs. since Jan. and it's still the same. I weighed 181.5 on Thursday.

Good luck to you and hope it gets better for you!
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Old 05-01-2009, 11:54 AM   #5
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More towards the outer left mid-thigh area here.

Eliza, are you a left legger, or is is both?
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Old 05-02-2009, 09:10 AM   #6
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For me it is both legs (with the left one giving me more trouble than the right), but I read somewhere that in 80% of the cases it is one leg only. The nerves that control the feeling to the outer thigh apparently run through the groin area and a larger belly, such as in overweight people and pregrnant women compress it. It could also be due to trauma to the leg area. Sometimes apparently the nerve just gets trapped (I can't remember where, some medical terminology of the location) and can be surgically released.

For me it has been annoying and scary, because in my research I came across statements that it could be nerve damage and due to Diabetes or MS. I have been checked for Diabetes and that is not it. Then doctor checked circulation to the area and said it was fine and I had paresthesia. He told me to lose weight and see if that would remove the problem. If not, we could do further testing.

I never had that before I became overweight. I used to be able to walk for hours ... Now, if I stand for about 15 min., I get the tingly, pins and needles and numbness feeling. About 15 sec. after I sit down, it disappears. I could sit upright for very long periods of time without any problems. If I sit in a recliner I have though, it starts again.

Articles I have read online have stated that while uncomfortable, it is harmless.

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Old 05-08-2009, 08:43 PM   #7
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I have it too. I always assumed it was becuase of my weight so I have never asked my doctor about it. I am glad to hear it goes away with weight loss. Now, if only the weight loss part would happen!
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Old 05-09-2009, 03:27 AM   #8
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I've got that too. It started after I had my hystero 7 years ago and gets worse if I lie on the area, apparently it is quite common after hystero because they mess with the nerves. Like burning and painful, yet numb if you pinch it? Losing weight hasn't made a jot of difference.
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Old 05-09-2009, 07:41 AM   #9
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I am glad to hear it goes away with weight loss. Now, if only the weight loss part would happen!
I'm with you on that sweetie ! That weight loss thing has been a lot tougher to crack than I thought!
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Old 05-09-2009, 07:49 AM   #10
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I've got that too. It started after I had my hystero 7 years ago and gets worse if I lie on the area, apparently it is quite common after hystero because they mess with the nerves. Like burning and painful, yet numb if you pinch it? Losing weight hasn't made a jot of difference.
Hi suzukigirl, I am sorry to hear it. My DH had many surgeries a few years ago and developed a similar numbness, but in his feet. It got better, so I am presuming whatever they did to his nerves improved. I hope the same thing happens for you .

I am not sure if weight loss will help what I have. I hope it does - I think my belly is compressing those nerves that bring feeling to the outside thigh area. One time I developed a similar temporary feeling in my entire arms and legs after a chiropractic appointment when I was put on a massage table that automatically massages one's spinal cord. It was scary and I'll never use that table again!

I truly hope that with advances in modern medicine all of us who have these neurological conditions can be helped one way or another.

Eliza
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Old 10-27-2009, 11:13 AM   #11
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Numbness

I know this thread is a bit old but I was pretty relieved to read this because of all the other stuff that is on the internet. I mean I have the same exact symptoms as you and I too am overweight and fall into the obesity catagory. I would love to loose about 65lbs as it would make me healthier again and able to do the things that I've now lost the desire to do because of my weight.

Anyway, back to the matter at hand. I have had a numb spot on the outside of my left leg just above my knee going up about 3 inches. It's not gotten any better or any worse in the 7 years that it's been there. However, I've since (like over the past year) developed a new spot on the front of my thigh about 1/2 way up between my knee and hip area. I will experience itchiness in both spots and it really doesn't hurt, but is very bothersome. I'm also on anti-depressants and anti-anxiety meds so I'm extremely anxious about it. My doctor has told me that it's due to nerve damage and I've had this test done where they stick needles in your skin and send vibrations into it to see where it may be comeing from and they've all been inconclusive. They told me it's from wearing tight pants or belts. Which I do not wear either of.

I did recently loose about 20lbs during a short term of employment at Jenny Criag and noticed that it had gotten better and that the numbness didn't bother me so much; but gained it back and noticed it got worse again. Then about 3 months ago I started having pretty bad lower back pain and I noticed I'd get a horrible shooting pain in my left leg shooting from the inside of my hip (on the inside of my leg) down to my foot in most cases. So I went to see a chiropractor. That helped quite a bit as well.

Well, the numbness has been bothering me again the past couple days and it feels like there is a wooshing in the spot that is numb. So I've decided that I'm going to stop being lazy and get off my butt and start moving around a little more to try and lose weight again.

I hope that what I'm experiencing is nothing serious as the doctor has written it off as nerve damage due to tight clothing (which I do not wear) and my weight.

Thanks you so much for your post! If you are still posting on here please contact me. I'd love to hear more...and hear about your weight loss progress.

Momness
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Old 10-27-2009, 12:39 PM   #12
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More towards the outer left mid-thigh area here.

Eliza, are you a left legger, or is is both?
yes i have had this in the exact same area for years!! and no one could help me with it!! what can be done for it??

howdy Eliza!
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Old 10-27-2009, 03:17 PM   #13
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yes i have had this in the exact same area for years!! and no one could help me with it!! what can be done for it??

howdy Eliza!
Howdy Deb

I am thinking we need to lose "the weight" to get improvement or even complete healing. I remember getting this when I went over 270ish, so I'm curious to find out if it will disappear completely if I dropped below 270. It's the fat and my belly compressing the nerve, that I know about my condition. I am pretty sure that is about the same for others, too. It is most frequent in pregnant women, and what do they have - a large belly.

I get numbness on both left and right. I discovered though that when I stopped using a recliner which apparently caused my nerves to be compressed in a funky way, my condition improved somewhat. I still get the numbness if I stand for too long. It's totally weight related in my case. So, there is hope ... Even if it is not obesity-related, I guess there is surgery that could "untrap" the nerve and improve the condition.

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Old 11-21-2009, 04:56 PM   #14
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Halloooooooo......I don't know if anyone will come back to this thread or not, but this is GREAT!!! It's great knowing this because about 7 years ago I was walking across the street to get to work and all of a sudden I felt like I couldn't walk and I was in so much pain. By the time I got in my building and to my desk I was in tears. To shorten up the story I went to urgent care, they said it was my sciatic nerve and gave me muscle relaxers. Shortly after that I noticed the numb/tingly/itchy/weird thing on the outside of my left leg. For the first couple of years it was only a 3-4 inch area above my knee, now it's crept up further. Sometimes my leg will get itchy and drive me crazy, other times I don't notice it at all. I DID notice however, that when I lay down at night.......this is going to sound really weird.. but if I smoosh my stomach over to the right, I get a flurry of tingly feelings in that same area, so I determined, (because I trust my self) that it HAD to be a nerve thing if I could make it feel and then sometimes it doesn't. I mean, if you get a rush of feeling, then you know it's just some kind of 'floodgate' thing, moreso than permanent damage. So, I'm hoping that by the time I lose 100 pounds that I'll have gotten rid of this whole thing. That's what I'm shooting for. But sometimes it's the weirdest feeling thing ever. And I never knew what it was called.

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Old 11-21-2009, 05:36 PM   #15
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Halloooooooo......I don't know if anyone will come back to this thread or not, but this is GREAT!!! It's great knowing this because about 7 years ago I was walking across the street to get to work and all of a sudden I felt like I couldn't walk and I was in so much pain. By the time I got in my building and to my desk I was in tears. To shorten up the story I went to urgent care, they said it was my sciatic nerve and gave me muscle relaxers. Shortly after that I noticed the numb/tingly/itchy/weird thing on the outside of my left leg. For the first couple of years it was only a 3-4 inch area above my knee, now it's crept up further. Sometimes my leg will get itchy and drive me crazy, other times I don't notice it at all. I DID notice however, that when I lay down at night.......this is going to sound really weird.. but if I smoosh my stomach over to the right, I get a flurry of tingly feelings in that same area, so I determined, (because I trust my self) that it HAD to be a nerve thing if I could make it feel and then sometimes it doesn't. I mean, if you get a rush of feeling, then you know it's just some kind of 'floodgate' thing, moreso than permanent damage. So, I'm hoping that by the time I lose 100 pounds that I'll have gotten rid of this whole thing. That's what I'm shooting for. But sometimes it's the weirdest feeling thing ever. And I never knew what it was called.

Lucy
Lucy,
Good luck to you! If you have an osteopath in your area, I would advise you go to him/her and relate this. They sometimes can dislodge the nerve that's causing the tingling/numbness and help you out. I love osteopaths, they are real physicians and don't try to suck you in for daily visits like some chiropractors.

Keep me in the loop if you can. I am very interested to see how this turns out.
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Old 11-22-2009, 12:38 AM   #16
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Explain to me what an osteopath is. I'm not working at the moment so I have no insurance to cover anything. I sort of figured that it would correct itself as I lost weight. What do you think?

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Old 11-22-2009, 08:16 AM   #17
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Explain to me what an osteopath is. I'm not working at the moment so I have no insurance to cover anything. I sort of figured that it would correct itself as I lost weight. What do you think?

Luce
Luce,

I am sorry about the insurance . I truly believe that every American should have insurance whether they work or not, it's a basic human right! But let me not get on my sopabox now....

In that case, I would wait to lose and it will most likely correct itself. Do you remember at what weight you were when this first happened? It is not exact science, but I am thinking going below that weight should resolve it.

However, if you absolutely can, check out again with a doctor. Osteopaths are licensed physicians who manipulate the skeleton and the muscles. My personal experience with them is excellent. I had a hip rotation which caused a great deal of pain in my body. I spent 3 full years going to a Chiropractor at least weekly, often twice a week, and somehow it didn't get better. Once I read about osteopaths and found one in my area (which was easy, we have a medical college and many professors of osteopathic medicine).

They "fixed" me on the first visit. Gave me directions what to do and not to do, and I have only been going back once every 6-8 months because they taught me how to protect my hip correction.

Because meralgia paresthetica has to do with a trapped or compressed nerves, I thought if losing weight doesn't help, they can manipulate the nerve out.

Just google osteopath and see what you can find. I would post the links here, but don't want to accidentally link to something that the administrators will consider "commercial" and get in trouble.

Please stay in touch and let me know if losing weight has resolved the situation.
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Old 05-06-2010, 10:36 AM   #18
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Numbness

I have numbess on my outer leg right about where my panty line hits (the leg portion). I noticed that when I wake up in the middle of the night it is numb. I always sleep on my side. (Alternate from side to side)

I always assumed it was the weight on it for hours at a time. It remains mostly numb the rest of the day too.

I also found a new numb spot just above my ankle joint (on the front of the leg) that I don't know how that happened.
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Old 05-06-2010, 11:05 AM   #19
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Beth it happens to me when i am walking or standing for more than like one min. even having lost 50 pounds it is still that way going to mention it to doc when i go back in Oct. see if there is anything else we can do
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Old 05-06-2010, 01:24 PM   #20
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Beth it happens to me when i am walking or standing for more than like one min. even having lost 50 pounds it is still that way going to mention it to doc when i go back in Oct. see if there is anything else we can do

I think this is great advice! Doctor should be able to shed some light. Mine told me my belly fat was compressing some nerves which run through the groin area and then on to the outer thighs. He was convinced that weight reduction would improve my particular case.
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Old 10-12-2010, 08:28 PM   #21
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Thanks so much for posting this! I've been looking on the internet for weeks trying to find out what was causing this. I assumed that it was obesity; but I couldn't find any info. regarding treatment (other than weight loss, of course ). Thanks to this thread and these helpful posts I now have a name for the numbness pain in my left leg outer thigh area AND hope that it WILL get better with weight loss. Hopefully! Again, thanks so much to all.
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Old 10-13-2010, 02:16 PM   #22
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Thanks so much for posting this! I've been looking on the internet for weeks trying to find out what was causing this. I assumed that it was obesity; but I couldn't find any info. regarding treatment (other than weight loss, of course ). Thanks to this thread and these helpful posts I now have a name for the numbness pain in my left leg outer thigh area AND hope that it WILL get better with weight loss. Hopefully! Again, thanks so much to all.
Fascinating thread! I suffered from thigh numbness after standing for several minutes, but had no idea what it was called, or its relation to obesity, before reading this thread!

If I can offer any reassurance, thindreams2reality, this has now disappeared completely (have lost around 50lbs, I think, with about another 50lbs to go I reckon).

I also started exercising regularly at the same time as starting Atkins, so I can't say for sure whether it's the weightloss, exercise, or a combination of both which has cured it.

I hope that this also works for you.
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Old 10-13-2010, 04:36 PM   #23
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I've noticed that even though I've only lost about 16 pounds in the last two months I don't notice the leg thing as much. I found a diet log from three years ago and was dumbfounded to see that I was actually 39 pounds heavier then. I'm fairly confident that the irritation will diminsh as I lose weight because it used to drive me nuts every single night and sometimes during the day......now, I got days without noticing it at all.

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Old 11-06-2010, 09:05 AM   #24
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I've had the thigh numbness for about 12 years..it started right about when I hit 180 lbs. It started with very painful "temperature" changes-a patch about 6" in diameter on my outer left thigh would feel as if I'd scalded it with hot water or gotten a BAD sunburn. Pressure from my clothes touching it was painful as well. This would happen a couple of times a week, usually in the evening after I was home from work (standing all day.) It would last about an hour. Then, the patch started being cold, like someone was holding an ice pack on it. That would hurt too...anyway, they would switch off-one day hot, a day or two later cold. My doc said it was that pinched nerve and I needed to lose weight. But I just kept gaining!

The temp thing eased off-it still happens sometimes but more like once or twice a year. Now I have a different temp thing..when I go to bed, if I don't have my blanket tucked in very tightly and a tiny little breeze gets in, it hurts like crazy..if my whole leg is cold it does not hurt, only if a little spot gets cold. And, in the last year or so, my butt sometimes feels like I am sitting on an ice cube-the only way to get relief is to sit on a heating pad.

My thigh has remained numb to the touch, but seems to be very sensitive to pressure. There are little knots just under the skin, I thought it was cellulite but if I touch them it really hurts. Even if one of my cats walks across my lap it is painful, or if brush up against something it feels like someone has hit my thigh with a sledgehammer! At work (in a warehouse) I sometimes have to carry heavy items that will swing against it and it is all I can do not to drop the part and cry!

I have lost 30+ lbs. in the last 3 months on Medifast, and am now down to 172 but the thigh is still numb and the knots seem worse, I think the fat was padding them a little! I am planning to lose 30-40 more lbs so hopefully something will change.

I've given up asking my doctor anything, no matter what I go to him about, he says I need to lose weight (like he thinks I don't have a mirror in my house or something..duh!) I have decided that if I want real answers I need to try a different doctor. I am torn between an osteopath, as has been suggested on here, or an internist. I am really not good at doc shopping!
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Old 11-06-2010, 07:53 PM   #25
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Originally Posted by kmcd View Post
I've had the thigh numbness for about 12 years..it started right about when I hit 180 lbs. It started with very painful "temperature" changes-a patch about 6" in diameter on my outer left thigh would feel as if I'd scalded it with hot water or gotten a BAD sunburn. Pressure from my clothes touching it was painful as well. This would happen a couple of times a week, usually in the evening after I was home from work (standing all day.) It would last about an hour. Then, the patch started being cold, like someone was holding an ice pack on it. That would hurt too...anyway, they would switch off-one day hot, a day or two later cold. My doc said it was that pinched nerve and I needed to lose weight. But I just kept gaining!

The temp thing eased off-it still happens sometimes but more like once or twice a year. Now I have a different temp thing..when I go to bed, if I don't have my blanket tucked in very tightly and a tiny little breeze gets in, it hurts like crazy..if my whole leg is cold it does not hurt, only if a little spot gets cold. And, in the last year or so, my butt sometimes feels like I am sitting on an ice cube-the only way to get relief is to sit on a heating pad.

My thigh has remained numb to the touch, but seems to be very sensitive to pressure. There are little knots just under the skin, I thought it was cellulite but if I touch them it really hurts. Even if one of my cats walks across my lap it is painful, or if brush up against something it feels like someone has hit my thigh with a sledgehammer! At work (in a warehouse) I sometimes have to carry heavy items that will swing against it and it is all I can do not to drop the part and cry!

I have lost 30+ lbs. in the last 3 months on Medifast, and am now down to 172 but the thigh is still numb and the knots seem worse, I think the fat was padding them a little! I am planning to lose 30-40 more lbs so hopefully something will change.

I've given up asking my doctor anything, no matter what I go to him about, he says I need to lose weight (like he thinks I don't have a mirror in my house or something..duh!) I have decided that if I want real answers I need to try a different doctor. I am torn between an osteopath, as has been suggested on here, or an internist. I am really not good at doc shopping!
that is always their go to answer LOSE WEIGHT we want this dealt with! ugh i have a lot of the same symptoms as you but mostly when i am standing i hope it eases soon
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Old 11-06-2010, 09:58 PM   #26
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I also found some relief by going to my chiropractor a few times. That whole thing sounds like pinched nerve stuff. It's a horrible kind of pain too. Very odd. I don't experience it that often any more. Either that or I've just gotten used to it and don't notice it as much.
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Old 11-18-2010, 02:33 PM   #27
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I am so glad that I read this thread.

I had the numbness on my left thigh, but also my both legs and feet were numb for about a year. It felt like I was walking on pillows. I couldn't even feel the pressure of the floor when standing. I went from 192 to 166, and the feeling has returned to my legs and feet, and I can't remember the last time my thigh was numb. I started my diet in June 2010, and I noticed the lack of numbness in September. This is the first I heard that it is caused by weight. My doctor and the specialist made no such statements, and they couldn't give me any advice.
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Old 11-18-2010, 03:15 PM   #28
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I have this on both thighs but usually only after standing or walking for a long period of time. It's annoying but really nothing life changing, at least for me. I usually start sitting down to finish up my work. It's usually when I'm cooking for a long time period and walking all over my kitchen.
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Old 11-19-2010, 08:21 AM   #29
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I have been geting that numbness in my left thigh after standing long periods too.
It sure sounds like I have this too.
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Old 03-10-2011, 12:07 PM   #30
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I hope someone still reads this and responds. I have had the numbness, tingling, feels like it's asleep thing going of for years. It's down the left side of my spine, maybe a 10" strip. Now it's starting the itchy thing. Drives me nuts. But...now I've developed the soreness on the outside of my left thigh. I can only describe it as...where women get "saddlebags". And here's the kicker........I'M NOT OVERWEIGHT. sorry everyone. I have a slightly crooked spine (since childhood) and Doc says it will only get worse with age because the bones lose calcium and naturally deteriorate. The only thing that helps me is weight lifting. Blah! I really don't like to exercise but I have to keep my back muscles strong and I am now working on my thighs so hopefully that will help with the leg thing.
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