Foraminal Stenosis | High Heels

Foraminal Stenosis

Foraminal stenosis is a spinal nerve condition that can occur when anatomical abnormalities block or reduce space in one or more foramina. The spinal foramina are the passageways through which nerve roots branching off from the spinal cord exit the spinal column on their way to serving specific areas of the body. Foraminal blockages may be caused by any number of spinal conditions, including bulging or herniated discs, inflamed tendons or ligaments, fractured bone, bone spurs and vertebral shifting. Wearing high heels can cause and exacerbate these types of conditions, typically in the lumbar (lower back) region of the spine.

High heels can alter anatomy

Daily high heel use over a number of years can actually lead to changes in your anatomy. Teetering on stilettos puts undue stress on the back and knees as the weight of the body shifts forward. Additionally, calve muscles can shorten and tendons may thicken. Spondylolisthesis, or the slippage of one vertebra forward over another, frequently occurs as a result of wearing high heels, especially in the lumbar region of the spine where the body’s weight is concentrated. Each foramen is created by the natural space between two stacked vertebrae, and foraminal stenosis with nerve compression may ultimately develop as a direct result of vertebral slippage.

Foraminal stenosis in the lower back can cause symptoms of shooting pains, in addition to numbness, tingling, muscle weakness, spasms, cramping and pain that radiates through the buttocks and down the legs. Sciatica, caused by the compression of the sciatic nerve, is a term that is often associated with this particular set of lower-body symptoms.

Laser Spine Institute

If excessive high heel use has led to the development of foraminal stenosis and conservative treatments such as hot/cold therapy, physical therapy, pain medication and others have not provided relief, you may want to consider the minimally invasive procedures offered at Laser Spine Institute. Our advanced techniques allow our orthopedic surgeons to perform a variety of procedures to help relieve neck and back pain. For more information and to receive a review of your MRI or CT scan, contact Laser Spine Institute.