Le cruralgia ou crural neuralgia causes a intense pain in the front of the lower limbs. The treatment is generally based on taking medication (analgesics and anti-inflammatory) or on the practice of infiltrations. Sometimes we opt for massages to relieve cruralgia. But, is it really suitable? What then are the best practices for relieving crural neuralgia with massage ? Let's talk about it in this article.
Anatomy of the lumbar spine and crural nerves
La lumbar spine ou Lumbar spine means the part of the spine which is on the lower back. This is the part that supports the entire spine and is responsible for the majority of movement of the back as well as the lower body. This is also why this area is exposed to various pains.
Having the role of absorbing shocks and pressures during movements of the lumbar spine, these intervertebral discs are the most prone to the phenomenon of premature aging and various pathologies: low back pain, osteoarthritis, cruralgia and many others.
Le crural nerve is also known as femoral nerve. It takes root from the L2, L3 and L4 spinal nerves from the lumbar spine. Subsequently, it descends from the pelvis and is distributed towards the anterior face of the lower limbs.
The crural nerve is a motor nerve which allows flexion of the hips and further extension of the knee. It is also a sensory nerve.
What is cruralgia?
Cruralgia is a lower back pain which radiates into the front of the thigh. It takes root from the lumbar spine before spreading along the lower limbs. The pain is caused by compression of the crural nerve or by other pathologies already existing in the patient.
In view of the similarity of symptoms, cruralgia is often confused with sciatica. In addition, these two pathologies are more common in people aged 50 to 60 years.
To know everything about cruralgia, see the following article.
The causes of cruralgia
The causes of cruralgia are multiple. But in general it is aging which would be the main one. Moreover, the elderly often suffer from pathologies that can aggravate the symptoms of cruralgia, such as osteoarthritis or sciatica.
In other cases, this disease is also linked to compression of the crural nerve which subsequently causes inflammation of the latter.
Various pathologies can also be incriminated.
- A herniated disc: it is the most common cause of cruralgia. Indeed, the herniated disc is characterized by the crushing of the intervertebral disc. The protrusion that forms can then come to compress the roots of the crural nerve, hence the occurrence of its inflammation.
- A tumor in the spine: it also causes compression of the crural nerve following excess pus which dislocates the vertebrate.
- Un psoas hematoma: it results from trauma such as surgery, an accident or a fall.
Cruralgia can also occur following psychological sequelae such as stress, anxiety. It can also appear during pregnancy.
Symptoms of cruralgia
The first symptom of cruralgia is severe pain at the level of the lumbar spine and which descends towards the leg up to the soles of the feet.
The pain is latent and its intensity varies depending on the person affected.
It also manifests tingling and prickling sensations in the lower limbs. This is a slight electric shock in the legs and at the level of the knees. Then the pain begins to be felt at the level skin areas.
Finally, in the event of a severe form, the patient may have partial or complete paralysis of the lower limbs. Indeed, cruralgia causes the loss of sensation in the muscles of the legs and the knee following compression of the crural nerve.
Since it is sometimes a painful mechanism, we tend to use the massage to relieve cruralgia.
Can the crural nerve be massaged?
In case of cruralgia, the massage helps relax muscles. This will allow to relieve the symptoms of the condition, especially pain.
However, as it is a sensory nerve, a massage may sore the inflamed part. It is therefore important to go gently.
If possible, this intervention must therefore be carried out by a professional and under the green light of the attending physician. In addition, there is little scientific evidence proving the effectiveness of massages to relieve cruralgia.
But in a way, the feeling of warmth provided during massages helps to reduce pain. Massages can therefore be used as a complement to treatment since it does not go to the end of the disease and relieves temporarily.
Massages to treat cruralgia: the techniques
To reduce the pain caused by cruralgia, it is possible to massage the lower part such as the thigh, the hip and even the lower back. For a better result, it is possible to use essential oils such as peppermint or wintergreen when massaging.
Two types of massages can be performed in case of cruralgia. Each of them can be done manually or with the use of special tools like rollers, balls (in case you don't have massage balls, it is possible to use tennis balls) and automatic massage guns.
- The superficial massage which is also known as Swedish massage. This technique consists of making light movements at the level of the upper layer of muscle tissue. The Swedish massage is the most used in order not to accentuate the pain.
- The deep massage is a practice of exerting more pressure on the painful part. It helps to reduce chronic pain and also injuries. The deep massage targets the deeper tissues of the muscles which can even reach the nerves.
Other alternatives to massage
Apart from massages, there are also other natural methods that can reduce pain.
First, physical activity is most often advised by doctors. Exercising makes the spine more flexible while letting oxygen flow to the tissues. But it must be practiced in moderation so as not to aggravate the symptoms.. Cycling, swimming, brisk walking: these are among others the disciplines recommended by doctors if you suffer from cruralgia.
Second, you have to stretching and strengthening exercises. It also makes the joints more flexible and the muscles stronger. At the same time, it also frees up the nerve, stabilizes the joints and thus frees it from its compression.
And third, treatment with heat or cold. Both have the effect of reducing the inflammation of the crural nerve which will bring much comfort to the patient.
In summary, we can say that the massage helps relieve cruralgia, but it is only a secondary treatment. It can accompany the doctor's prescriptions in order to heal quickly. Under no circumstances does massage replace medical treatment.
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