Foraminal stenosis risk factors

If you have foraminal stenosis, understanding the risk factors and contributors can be valuable information that may help you slow the progression of the condition. It can also be useful for people not currently dealing with a spine condition to learn about ways to promote the long-term health of the spine and possibly prevent degenerative spine conditions from developing.

Foraminal stenosis refers to the narrowing of the foramina, or openings on either side of the vertebra through which spinal nerve roots pass as they exit the spinal cord. Although some degree of spinal narrowing happens to everyone over time and isn’t necessarily painful, it can become debilitating if severe nerve compression occurs.

Specific risk factors and prevention tips

Foraminal stenosis, like other degenerative spine conditions, is most closely linked to the natural aging process. As we get older, the parts of our spine begin to dry out and lose elasticity. This can lead to conditions, such as a herniated disc or bone spurs, that can narrow the already tight nerve passageways in the spine, including the foramina.

While no one can prevent getting older, there are many other factors that can increase the risk of developing foraminal stenosis and nerve compression, including:

  • Poor posture
  • Being overweight or obese
  • Using tobacco products
  • Injury, including trauma and sports injuries
  • Working in a job that requires repetitive movements or sitting all day
  • An overly sedentary lifestyle
  • Genetic factors, or a family history of spine conditions

While some foraminal stenosis risk factors cannot be avoided, especially age and genetics, there are a number of steps anyone can take to promote long-term spine health, such as:

  • Maintain a healthy weight
  • Avoid smoking and other tobacco products
  • Always practice good posture
  • Eat a nutritious diet
  • Stay physically active and maintain a strong core

Finding relief from foraminal stenosis

In a large number of cases, symptoms of foraminal stenosis can be managed with conservative treatments. Physical therapy, low-impact exercise, hot therapy, cold therapy and over-the-counter medication have proven successful at minimizing pain, weakness and tingling that result from nerve compression. However, if weeks or months of conservative options do not effectively reduce symptoms, contact Laser Spine Institute. Our minimally invasive spine surgery has helped thousands of patients find relief at our state-of-the-art outpatient centers across the United States.

If you’d like to find out if you are a potential candidate for one of our procedures, reach out to our caring and dedicated team today for a free MRI review.*