What is moderate neural foraminal narrowing?

Moderate neural foraminal narrowing refers to the gradual constriction of the foramina, which are the nerve passageways in the spinal column that has caused nerve (neural) compression. As we age, these small passageways can slowly close around the nerves they are supposed to protect, resulting in neck and back pain.

Treatment for light and moderate foraminal narrowing, also known as foraminal stenosis, is normally first attempted conservatively with a series of nonsurgical treatments. Spine surgery is sometimes recommended to patients who don’t experience sufficient pain relief from other treatments. Read on to learn about the role of the neural foramina and the treatment options for this debilitating condition.

Function of the neural foramina

The foramina between spinal vertebrae are narrow canals that allow nerve roots branching off the spinal cord to exit the spinal column. These canals exist between the vertebrae and they can become clogged with disc material, bone and soft tissue as the spine naturally begins to deteriorate. Over the years, as this deteriorated material collects in the spinal column, the neural foramina and the spinal canal (where the spinal cord resides) can become clogged.

This results in the compression or irritation of the nerves in the canal. When this happens, the patient may experience a variety of symptoms depending on the specific nerve that is impacted. Localized pain, pain that seems to travel along the nerve, unexpected muscle weakness, spasms and tingling are all commonly associated with nerve compression in the spinal column.

Treatment for moderate neural foraminal narrowing

Treatment of moderate neural foraminal narrowing is focused on offering the patient noticeable pain relief. The first step in determining the most appropriate treatment plan is to identify the source of the foraminal narrowing. A herniated disc, bulging disc, bone spur, spondylolisthesis and osteoarthritis are all examples of degenerative spine conditions that may be the cause. In most cases, conservative treatment offers sufficient relief. These nonsurgical treatments can include:

  • Hot/cold compresses
  • Low-impact exercise
  • Pain medication
  • Epidural injections
  • Stretching techniques
  • Alternative medicine

If you are still looking for effective treatments after attempting conservative methods, contact Laser Spine Institute to learn about our minimally invasive procedures and how we may be able to help you find relief from moderate neural foraminal narrowing. Our surgeons use a less than 1-inch incision and muscle-sparing techniques which result in a safer and effective alternative to traditional open back surgery.^

Laser Spine Institute is the leader in minimally invasive spine surgery and has helped more than 75,000 patients find relief from chronic neck or back pain. To find out if you are a potential candidate for our minimally invasive spine surgery for moderate neural foraminal narrowing, reach out to our dedicated team today and ask for a no-cost MRI review.*