What’s causing my inner thigh pain cycling?

Learn about one possibility pudendal nerve irritation or compression

What is the Pudendal nerve?  

The pudendal nerve is a nerve commonly irritated or compressed by cyclists. It runs between the inner thigh, groin and bike saddle. It is the main nerve of the perineum (the area between the genitalia and anus).

This nerve carries:

  • Sensation from the external genitalia of both sexes and the skin around the anus and perineum

  • Motor supply to various pelvic muscles, including the male or female external urethral sphincter and the external anal sphincter (controlling urine and faeces release).

This should indicate how important it is to remove any compression or irritation as quickly as possible, to prevent any permanent malfunction. Our Chiropractor Karen is a keen cyclist and explains what the pudendal nerve is and signs / symptoms to look out for if you think you may have pudendal nerve irritation or compression. 

‘For many years on my short 20 minute commute I watched people cycling with padded shorts and thought ‘Are they really necessary?’ Since becoming a longer distance cyclist I understand why you would invest in good quality padded garments!’

Why should you consider wearing padded cycling shorts or tights to prevent Pudendal nerve related pain. 

Pudendal neuralgia is pain in the distribution of the pudendal nerve. It can be felt along the sit bones, rectum, perineum, vaginal area as well as the testicles and penial area in males. Padded cycling shorts can help cushion this area and reduce the chance of irritation.

What Symptoms to look out for is you suspect pudendal nerve irritation or compression:

  • Aching

  • Burning

  • Stabbing / knife like pain

  • Worse sitting

  • Pain with bowel movement

  • No sensory loss or deficits 

What else can cause pudendal nerve irritation or compression?

  • Vaginal child birth

  • Bladder sling operation

  • Surgery that may cause scar tissue

  • Entrapment of the pudendal nerve which can come from higher up from the lumbosacral plexus

  • Ligament injury in which the pudendal nerve courses under 

In most cases removal of irritation to the nerve can lead to the nerve healing with time. As with most nerve entrapment syndromes or compression’s in the body the quicker they are treated the better the outcome.

Today’s question was ‘What is the Pudendal nerve and what is pudendal nerve irritation and compression?’

Our Chiropractor Karen is a keen cyclist often treating other cyclists with various cycling related injuries. She not only provides hand on treatment but also advises her patients on changes they can make to reduce the chance of reoccurring injury. To book your Chiropractic treatment in near Rockbeare and Cranbrook book online, call 01392 984959 or email us info@khchiropractic.com