Foraminal stenosis, or the narrowing of the channels that allow nerve roots to pass through the vertebrae, does not always produce symptoms. However, when painful and disabling nerve compression accompanies foraminal stenosis, you might explore non-surgical a course of action to ease your symptoms – a course that may include a variety of alternative treatments. These are defined by the United States National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine as treatments that fall outside the medical mainstream, and include mind-body intervention, biologically based therapies, manipulative and body-based methods, or energy therapies.
What are Energy Therapies?
Energy therapies employ electromagnetism, electrical currents, and other forms of energy to help alleviate pain produced by conditions such as foraminal stenosis. Keep in mind that alternative treatments such as energy therapy, while enjoying a loyal (if relatively small) following, are unproven scientifically. Some forms of energy therapy include:
- Magnets – This technique uses magnetically infused patches, disks, shoe insoles, bracelets, necklaces, and mattress pads to, in theory, balance the magnetic fields that some say occur naturally within the bloodstream. Proponents posit that magnets can change the way nerve cells function, blocking pain signals to the brain. While some preliminary research suggests that magnets might be effective for some people, no hard evidence exists to support the efficacy of magnets as pain relievers.
- Ultrasound – This is a deep-heating method that ostensibly improves the ability of connective tissue, such as tendons, ligaments and cartilage, to perform. It’s often used in conjunction with a stretching regimen under the supervision of a licensed physical therapist.
- Transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation (TENS) – This is the use of an electrical current to stimulate the nerves, with the intention of producing (according to a recent study), “ … nociceptive inhibition at the presynaptic level in the dorsal horn.” That is to say, it intends to limit the ability of neural pain receptors to do their job.
When More is Needed for Foraminal Stenosis
If conservative and alternative treatments are not effective in relieving your spinal condition, contact Laser Spine Institute to learn how a minimally invasive, outpatient procedure performed using advanced, endoscopic techniques may be able to help you rediscover your life without back and neck pain. Be sure to ask us about our free MRI or CT scan review.