In order to know what causes foraminal stenosis, it is important to have a good understanding of what the condition is. “Foramen” is a word for a canal or opening, and “stenosis” is derived from a Greek word meaning “narrowing.” This “narrowing of an opening” occurs in the foraminal canal, which is a passageway formed by the facet joints above and below each vertebra. The foraminal canal can become clogged with debris or narrowed by such factors as spinal arthritis, an enlargement of a joint in the spinal canal, or a bone spur caused by a degenerating disc. A clogged or narrowed canal causes compression and pinching of the nerve root as it exits the spine on its way to one of the extremities. Some people are genetically predisposed to foraminal stenosis, but more often it occurs as a result of the natural aging process.
The symptoms of foraminal stenosis can range in severity from numbness and tingling to a throbbing pain that radiates from the neck and back to the extremities. These symptoms can hinder your ability to perform activities like walking the dog, jogging, or playing golf for extended lengths of time. If you’ve seen a physician because of these painful effects, you’ve likely considered traditional foraminal stenosis treatments like pain medication, massage, or open back surgery. But if traditional treatments haven’t worked for you, or you’ve experienced failed back surgery syndrome, it may be time to explore one of the minimally invasive spine procedures offered at Laser Spine Institute.
Laser Spine Institute’s endoscopic spinal procedures can alleviate pain so you can get your life back. Feel free to search our web pages where you’ll find answers to some of the most common questions about foraminal stenosis and a range of other neck and back conditions. And if you still have questions, please contact us for more information and we will be happy to assist you.