Cruralgia – 4 Best Positions To Sleep (And Those To Avoid).

Cruralgia, also known as crural neuralgia, is a stabbing pain located in the upper leg, exactly in the thigh area. Similar to sciatica, cruralgia occurs as a result of inflammation of the femoral nerve. Connected to the lumbar region, the femoral nerve, or crural nerve can also be compressed following a herniated disc. Here are some examples of sleeping positions to relieve your cruralgia and keep your sleep healthy.

1 – On The Back, Knee Raised – To Reduce The Tension Of The Vertebrae.

This position is also called the pillow position. Very popular with physiotherapists, this posture allows you to relieve the tension of the vertebrae and limit inflammation. It is advisable to slide a pillow under your knee so that it is raised and slightly flexed.

2 – On Your Stomach – To Rest Your Lower Back.

Sleeping on your stomach is not recommended for everyone. However, before you give up on this option, there is nothing to stop you from trying it, especially if you feel the benefits. Lift your painful leg to the side by bending it, then slide a pillow underneath. Be careful not to use a pillow that is too thick, as this will increase the pain.

3 – On Your Side In A Dog-Eared Position – To Stretch Your Vertebrae.

This position allows for relief by stretching the vertebrae. In the case of a herniated disc, this will limit the pressure on your femoral nerve. Bring your knees up to chest height and relax. Professionals don’t always recommend this, but like the prone position, it’s best to try to ease your pain.

In this position, you can also place a pillow between your legs. The relief will be almost instantaneous. The cushion limits, or even avoids, lumbar torsion. Consequently, this will have the effect of reducing the pressure felt by the femoral nerve.

4 – On The Side, Runner’s Position – To Relax The Nerve.

This position allows the femoral nerve to relax in case of inflammation, by allowing it to spread out in the thigh (give it more room). The injured leg should be placed high, in flexing position, while the other leg should be left-back, in extension. You should be in the same position as when you run, but lying down!

The 3 Positions To Avoid When You Have Cruralgia. 

1 – On Your Back – To Avoid Pressure On The Lumbar Region.

Paradoxically, the position on the back is to be avoided if you do not use a pillow to relieve your tensions in the vertebrae, as well as the femoral nerve. You will feel much more pain and it will be very difficult, if not impossible, to feel better. Also, the stiff leg is not recommended in the prone position.

2 – Prone – To Avoid Radiating The Leg.

Lying on your stomach can help you fall asleep, but without pillows to elevate your leg, it can intensify the pain. Cruralgia is a sharp pain that occurs when the leg is extended. To relieve it, it is important to place the painful leg flex, brought in front of the stomach. For an optimal effect, it is advisable to put tension on the opposite leg, towards the back, with the knee also bent (see the runner’s position).

3 – In All Positions Where The Leg Remains Flat – To Avoid Intensifying The Pain.

When suffering from cruralgia, it is important not to leave the legs flat, in contact with the mattress. Keeping your knees slightly bent is important to relieve your lower back and your back in general.

Also, our complete guide on how to choose your mattress.


How Do I Know If I Have Cruralgia?

The crural nerve is rooted in the lumbar vertebrae, located in the lower back. It is involved in flexing the hip, up to the extension of the knee.

In general, cruralgia is an intense pain that starts in the lower back, passes through the hip, and radiates to the upper thigh. This pain can also affect the groin and the inside of the knee.

It should be noted that a clinical examination by a health care professional is necessary to make a diagnosis of cruralgia.

How To Treat Cruralgia?

Cruralgia can be treated very well once it has been diagnosed, especially if the reason for the pain is known (herniated disc, inflammation, etc.).

Treatment with anti-inflammatory and painkillers can be prescribed. Infiltrations can be considered if your cruralgia persists or if it becomes chronic.

What Movements Should Be Used To Relieve Cruralgia?

To relieve cruralgia, it is advisable to stretch the back and the painful leg, such as the pigeon posture. Contrary to popular belief, you should not remain totally inactive when you have back pain.

Abdominal sleeving seems to be an excellent practice. It relieves pain and strengthens the musculature of the torso-abdominal area. Be careful not to overdo it. If the pain gets worse, consult your doctor.

What Is The Difference Between Cruralgia And Sciatica?

Cruralgia and Sciatica are cousins! While cruralgia starts in the lower back, hip, thigh, and even to the toes in more severe cases, sciatica is a sharp pain that is located behind the leg. It starts in the buttock and goes down to the bottom of the thigh. Sciatica can radiate to the calf.


Cruralgia can occur at any time. It is the result of a herniated disc, nerve compression, arthritis, or an abnormality of the back such as scoliosis for example. That is why it is important to understand the cause of the pain before starting treatment.

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