Energy therapy as alternative foraminal stenosis treatment
Foraminal stenosis, or narrowing of the openings that allow nerve roots to pass through the vertebrae, can produce painful nerve compression that leads to debilitating symptoms. To manage pain and restore mobility, most doctors will first recommend conservative treatments like rest, medication, physical therapy and hot and cold compression. Additionally, many patients choose to explore alternative treatments to find lasting relief.
Alternative treatments are generally defined as practices that fall outside the medical mainstream, including methods like acupuncture, yoga and chiropractic medicine. One category of alternative treatment is energy therapy, which uses different forms of energy to promote healing and wellness.
What are energy therapies?
Energy therapies employ electromagnetism, electrical currents and other forms of energy to help alleviate pain produced by conditions such as foraminal stenosis. Although some patients report experiencing relief from energy therapy, there is debate among the medical community about the effectiveness of these treatments. Some forms of energy therapy include:
- Magnets. This technique uses magnetically infused patches, disks, shoe insoles, bracelets, necklaces and mattress pads in attempt to balance the magnetic fields that some say occur naturally within the bloodstream. The belief is that magnets can change the way nerve cells function, blocking pain signals to the brain. While some preliminary research suggests that magnets might be effective for some people, no conclusive evidence exists to support the effectiveness of magnets as pain relievers.
- Ultrasound. This is a deep-heating method that is believed to help the ability of connective tissue, such as tendons, ligaments and cartilage, to perform. It’s often used in conjunction with a stretching routine under the supervision of a licensed physical therapist.
- Transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation (TENS). This is the use of an electrical current to stimulate the nerves, with the intention of blocking pain signals to the brain.
When exploring any type of alternative treatment, it is very important to work closely with your primary care doctor to ensure any methods you explore are compatible with your existing treatment.
When to consider surgery for foraminal stenosis
If conservative and alternative treatments are not effective at relieving your symptoms and you are being recommended for surgery, contact Laser Spine Institute to learn more about our minimally invasive spine surgery. We offer a safer and effective alternative to traditional open spine procedures, which provides our patients less risk of complication and a shorter recovery time.^
Reach out to our team of Spine Care Consultants today and ask for a no-cost review of your MRI or CT scan* to determine if you may be a candidate for one of our procedures.