Foraminal stenosis is a degenerative spine condition in which the foramina – or the canals through which spinal nerves exit the spine – become narrowed. This condition often is a natural byproduct of the aging process, hence the classification as a degenerative condition. The narrowing of the foramina occurs gradually over time, and by itself is not problematic. In fact, many people of varying ages might have foramina that are significantly narrower than they were when they were younger.
Why is it a Problem?
The symptoms of foraminal stenosis begin to arise when this natural narrowing process causes the spinal nerves to become compressed, or “pinched.” When this happens, a variety of symptoms can spring up, including:
- The feeling of pins and needles
- Muscle weakness
- Pain that travels along a nerve
- Localized pain
- Numbness or tingling in the extremities
- And more
If your doctor has diagnosed foraminal stenosis as the cause of your symptoms, what can you do about it? You can’t turn back the clock and revert your spinal anatomy to the way it was when you were younger, but that doesn’t mean there aren’t steps you can take to treat the symptoms of this condition. In fact, many conservative treatments – like medications, hot/cold therapy, exercise, physical therapy, and others – have proven to be very effective. However, some patients turn to surgery after these nonsurgical options fail to provide relief. If you haven’t been able to reduce your back pain through conservative methods, contact Laser Spine Institute today to learn more about our safe, effective outpatient procedures that can help you rediscover your life without back and neck pain.