Foraminal narrowing of the spine occurs when the nerve passageways through the vertebrae (called the foramina) become constricted. This commonly occurs as part of the natural aging process and can be attributed to degenerative changes in the spine or to traumatic injury.
Conditions Affecting the Foramina
A number of degenerative spine conditions can cause a narrowing of the foramina, including degenerative disc disease, herniated discs, bulging discs, collapsed discs, bone spurs, and others. When these conditions lead to the compression of a spinal nerve, an individual may experience the following symptoms:
- Muscle weakness
The exact location of these symptoms will vary depending on the position of the affected foramina. A compressed nerve in the cervical spine may present with symptoms in the neck, shoulders, arms and/or hands while the thoracic spine may cause discomfort in the middle back, ribs, and/or torso. The lumbar spine can cause patients to experience symptoms in the lower back, hips, buttocks, legs, and/or feet.
Treating Foraminal Narrowing
In many cases, the discomfort caused by foraminal narrowing can be alleviated through conservative, non-surgical means. A doctor or back specialist may prescribe pain medications, physical therapy, hot/cold therapy, or behavior modification techniques. Though sometimes controversial, many patients explore alternative therapies such as chiropractics, yoga, Pilates, and acupuncture. If conservative and alternative treatments prove ineffective after weeks or months, a patient may want to consider the safe and effective procedures performed by the orthopedic specialists at Laser Spine Institute. Our procedures utilize state-of-the-art endoscopic technology and have helped tens of thousands of patients rediscover their lives without neck and back pain. Contact us to learn more.