If you have foraminal stenosis, understanding the risk factors may be valuable information that can help you slow the progression of the condition. It is also useful for people with perfectly healthy spines to identify conditions and behaviors that can make them susceptible to foraminal stenosis in the future. “Foraminal stenosis” refers to the narrowing of the foramina, or openings on either side of each vertebra through which spinal nerves pass as they exit the spinal cord. “Foramen” also may refer to the opening in the stacked vertebrae through which the spinal cord passes; this opening can experience narrowing, too, which may cause painful compression on the spinal cord.
The details of risk factors
When the foramina in the spinal column narrow, there is a danger that the residing spinal nerves will become painfully compressed. A variety of factors increase the risk of developing foraminal stenosis and neural compression, including:
- Degenerative diseases
- Spinal conditions like bulging discs, herniated discs, arthritis, and bone spurs
Preventing foraminal stenosis
While some foraminal stenosis risk factors cannot be avoided, some lifestyle changes can support a healthy spine in addition to promoting overall well-being, including:
- Maintain a healthy weight
- Quit smoking
- Always practice good posture
Alternative treatments for stenosis
In the majority of cases, symptoms of foraminal stenosis can be managed with conservative treatments. Physical therapy, low-impact exercise, hot/cold therapy and over-the-counter analgesics have proven successful at minimizing pain, weakness and tingling that result from neural compression. If weeks or months of non-operative therapy do not prove effective, contact Laser Spine Institute. Our minimally invasive procedures have helped tens of thousands of people find relief from neck and back pain.