What is the ilioinguinal nerve?
The ilioinguinal nerve originates from the first low back (lumbar) spinal nerve. This nerve wraps above the iliac crest (upper ridge of hip bone) and travels into the groin. It provides sensation to the upper inner thigh, groin, and perineum. The perineum is between the anus and scrotum in men and between the anus and vaginal (and labia) opening in women. Damage to the ilioinguinal nerve can be caused by surgery, trauma, and infection. Pain can be severe and be felt in the groin, testes (men), labia (women), groin, and inner thigh.
First line of treatment
Medication specifically for ilioinguinal nerve pain is the first line of therapy. These medications are similar to other drugs prescribed to treat neuropathic pain. Neuropathic pain can be caused when the nerve fibers become damaged, injured, or cannot properly function.
If medications do not provide good pain relief, the ilioinguinal nerve can be blocked using an injection therapy. This treatment is both diagnostic and therapeutic.
Depending on injection results, future treatment can be considered, including nerve ablation (disables the nerve) and neuromodulation (pain control using spinal stimulation).