Types of foraminal narrowing treatment

Treatment for foraminal narrowing, which can develop in the neck or back, can take several forms. If you’ve been diagnosed with this condition, you are encouraged to work with a physician who can help you create an effective regimen that meets your needs. First, though, you may find it helpful to understand what’s actually going on in your spine.

What is foraminal narrowing?

Foramina are openings in the vertebrae that allow nerve roots to enter and exit the spinal canal. These narrow passageways serve an important role in facilitating the flow of information between the brain and the rest of the body via the central nervous system.

Due to age-related degeneration, the foramina can become constricted with debris, such as bone spur or herniated disc material. This can potentially irritate or compress a spinal nerve root, which can affect the nerve’s ability to function properly. As a result, foraminal narrowing treatment may be needed to address painful symptoms that develop either at the source of the constriction or somewhere along the affected nerve’s pathway.

Treatment options for foraminal narrowing

If you need help in addressing pain, weakness, numbness or tingling sensations associated with foraminal narrowing, you may not require surgical treatment. For instance, after making some simple lifestyle changes, you might find that you are able to live quite comfortably with the condition. As a starting point, your physician may suggest that you try:

  • Low-impact exercise, such as walking or swimming
  • Hot and cold compresses
  • Over-the-counter pain relievers and nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs)

Ultimately, if you find that you need to explore additional treatment options, your physician may recommend a spinal injection or prescribe a stronger medication for you. Surgery should generally be reserved as your last resort.

Surgical treatment for foraminal narrowing

In the event that your surgeon recommends surgery and you decide to proceed, you are encouraged to explore all of your options to help ensure that you make the best possible choice. At Laser Spine Institute, we treat foraminal narrowing using a minimally invasive surgical approach that is a safer and effective alternative to traditional open spine surgery.^ If you’d like more information, contact us today.