Foraminal Narrowing Can be Worsened by Participation in Certain Sports

Of all potential causes of foraminal narrowing, the condition is most closely linked with the normal aging process. As the body grows older, the spine can develop anatomical abnormalities that narrow the foramen, or the openings that allow nerve roots to pass from the spinal canal to the rest of the body. When these components shrink the available space, and impinge on the nerve root, it can lead to radiating pain, weakness, tingling and other symptoms that can affect the parts of the body innervated by the affected nerve. These symptoms aren’t always directly caused by age, however — they can also be brought on by or made worse by participating in sports that involve repeated impacts or twisting the spine.

Sports can hasten spinal conditions

Here are a few examples of sports that can be linked to the occurrence of foraminal narrowing:

  • Gymnastics
  • Hockey
  • Football
  • Golf

In these sports (and many others) repeated motions like twisting and bending can methodically wear down the cartilage lining the joints of the spine.

Why cartilage makes a difference

Without cartilage to reduce friction, the joints can grind together and eventually produce bone spurs that jut into the foramen. Traumatic impacts can lead to herniated or ruptured intervertebral discs that can also protrude into the foramen and “pinch” the nerve roots running through them. When such an impingement occurs, it can cause disruptive symptoms.

For more information

If you have foraminal narrowing and conservative treatments haven’t provided you with satisfactory relief from your symptoms, contact Laser Spine Institute today. We can review your MRI to determine if you’re a good candidate for our minimally invasive spine procedures.