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5 Moves to Ease Discomfort

This Article was last updated 4 months ago by Ola

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Sure, it sounds like something straight outta Harry Potter, but meralgia paresthetica is actually just a fancy term for when a nerve in your thigh called the lateral femoral cutaneous (LFC) becomes compressed — leading to major discomfort.

In rare instances, the condition resolves itself. But in most cases, some effort will need to be made to relieve pressure from the LFC nerve and ease symptoms.

There are several simple steps you can take to treat meralgia paresthetica on your own, including:

Here, we’re going to focus on the stretching exercises in particular since it’s often the best way to treat meralgia paresthetica. The right moves can help soften the tissue around the nerve and relieve tightness.

Ready to say “buh-bye” to that pesky pain? Here are five of our fave stretches and strength-building exercises to get your muscles moving and help free that pinched nerve.

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1. Clamshell

This floor-based stretch helps strengthen your hip stabilizers and open your pelvic area to relieve pressure.

How to do it:

  1. Lying on your right side, stack your feet and bend your knees 45 degrees from your hips.
  2. Place your right arm underneath your head, and use your left hand to keep yourself stabilized by placing it palm-down on the floor in front of your chest.
  3. Keeping your feet together, slowly raise your left knee.
  4. Hold for 1 to 2 seconds, before slowly lowering your knee back down.
  5. Repeat 15 times.
  6. Switch sides and repeat.

Pro tip: If you want to up the ante on this one, use a resistance band around your thighs while performing this move!

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2. Quadricep stretch

Your quadricep muscles run along your upper leg — right next to the LFC nerve. Giving your quads a good stretch can help loosen the area to boost flexibility in your upper thigh, while also building strength.

How to do it:

  1. Stand straight, with your legs hip-width apart.
  2. Bend your right foot up toward your butt and grab your right ankle with your right hand.
  3. Gently pull your heel up and back until you feel the stretch at the front of your right thigh.
  4. Hold for 20 to 30 seconds.
  5. Release, then lower your leg and repeat on the other side.

You can do this movement whenever you feel tightness in your thighs.

Pro tip: if balance isn’t your bag, use a chair or other piece of furniture to help you stay steady during this exercise.

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