Foraminal narrowing of the lumbar spine is a gradual, degenerative process that may eventually result in lower back pain and neuropathic symptoms, including sciatica. Foraminal narrowing, also known as foraminal stenosis, can also go completely undetected if the passages do not narrow to the point that they constrict the nerves that they normally protect. Treatment options for this condition vary depending on the source and severity of the stenosis, but a series of conservative, nonsurgical treatments often provide sufficient pain relief.
The Lower Back
In the lumbar spine, nerves exit the spinal column through canals that exist between the vertebrae. These narrow canals (or passageways) are known as the foramina. Over the years, the foramina are prone to becoming clogged with a variety of spinal material because of the wear and tear and pressure that is put on the lower back. Some of the most common sources of foraminal stenosis include:
- Herniated disc material
- Bone spurs
- Calcified ligaments
- Inflamed soft tissue
- Misaligned vertebrae
As we age, our spinal anatomy naturally and unavoidably begins to wear away and if a herniated disc or other degenerative spine condition results in nerve compression in the foramen, decompression treatment may be required.
In many cases, stenosis can be managed with a series of conservative techniques that are designed to alleviate pressure on the lower back and allow the body to heal. Treatments include pain medication and hot or cold compresses, which have proven extremely effective for managing pain.
In the event that your lower back pain does not abate, consider the benefits of a minimally invasive, outpatient spine procedure from Laser Spine Institute. Contact us today to learn about our safe and effective procedures. We?utilize revolutionary endoscopic technology to help our patients rediscover their lives without back and neck pain.