Often pain in pelvis and lower abdomen is a result of genitofemoral nerve irritation. This condition is normally diagnosed by the examining doctor. Medical practitioners call it genitorfemoral neuralgia. Genitofemoral nerve pain occurs when this nerve is compressed or injured anywhere along its route. The nerve innervates upper region of inner thigh and the genitals of male and female.
Genitofemoral nerve originates from first two lumber nerve roots. It then passes through the psoas major muscle and splits into two branches. The divided branches are named genital and femoral branches. The femoral branch of genitofemoral nerve travels through the inguinal ligament and reaches the inner portion of the thigh.
The genital branch runs its course through the inguinal canal and reaches the genital area in females. It also innervates the uterus. In males the nerve passes together with spermatic cord and innervates the scrotum and cremasteric muscles. Cremaster muscles cover the testis.
The most common cause for genitofemoral nerve pain is injury to the nerve during the time of pelvic surgery. A blunt injury directly to the nerve is also one of the causes triggering genitofemoral nerve pain.
Genitofemoral Nerve Pain Symptom
As the name suggests pain is the main symptom when genitofemoral nerve is damaged.Burning pain and numbness in the lower region of abdomen radiating to inner upper thigh is common. The pain is common for both men and women. In men it is radiated to scrotum and in female the pain is felt in labia majora in pelvic area.
Genitofemoral pain is limited only to the thigh and it does not radiate to the knee. In certain position the pain is felt more, such as when the spine is extended, therefore patient usually bends forward to find relief in pain.
The person may also complain of loss of sensation in the inner thigh, and in men loss of sensation in the scrotal area. Females experience sensory loss in genital structures as well.
Treatment Of Genitofemoral Nerve Pain
- Treating genitofemoral nerve pain is difficult and disappointing with normal conservative ways. However, physicians usually begin with pain killer and anti-inflammatory drugs. Patient is also advised to avoid repetitive movements which are known to aggravate pain and other symptoms. You should not squat or sit for a long time.
- If the treatment is not responding conservatively, then physician may consider giving nerve block with local anesthesia. Nerve block is effective in most cases, but if the pain persists even after the nerve block, other types of treatment may be thought of.
- Low intensity laser therapy is another curative therapy that is relied upon in genitofemoral nerve pain. The results after the treatment are satisfactory in most cases. It is a non invasive procedure and takes very less time. It is also cost effective.
- Together with main line treatment, the patient may be advised to take psychological and anti depressive treatment. This is because usually the patient may exhibit signs of depression along with pain.
- Acupressure and acupuncture are other alternative mode of treatment that can be relied upon in case of neuralgic pain. Certain herbs such as lobelia, white sage, and valerian root are known to be effective in nerve disease. Valerian root calms the nerve and help to relieve the pain.
- There are many homeopathic drugs which are known to relieve neuralgic pain. Since homeopathy believes in individualization, the person has to consult a good homeopath for treatment.