Three signs physical therapy is not working to treat your foraminal stenosis

Foraminal stenosis is a spinal condition in which the openings between the vertebrae narrow. These spaces are where nerve roots extend out from the spinal cord to the rest of the body, and the narrowing of these passageways can cause compression of a nerve root. If you’ve been diagnosed with foraminal stenosis, a commonly recommended conservative treatment option is physical therapy. However, this option is not effective for everyone. Here are three signs that it’s not working for you.

How to tell when physical therapy is not helping with your foraminal stenosis

When physical therapy is working, it can be easy to tell. You may feel less pain, experience improved range of motion or be able to minimize your use of other foraminal stenosis treatments. However, it may be harder to determine if physical therapy is not working. Here are three signs for you to consider:

  1. Pain levels are not changing. It may take some time for you to start feeling the effects of physical therapy, so going to just one or two appointments is not enough to determine its effectiveness. However, if you aren’t experiencing a change in your pain levels after repeated sessions, you may not be benefitting from physical therapy.
  2. Your condition feels the same after taking a break. Even if your pain levels seem to be staying the same, physical therapy may be helping to prevent your foraminal stenosis symptoms from worsening. Physical therapy typically involves regular office visits as well as exercises to do in between visits. If you take a break from your exercises and still feel the same, physical therapy may not be making a difference either way.
  3. Switching to a different physical therapist makes no difference. Sometimes, finding the right physical therapist or finding one who uses more modern techniques can make all the difference. As with any health care professional, finding a physical therapist that you can work with is important. However, if you’ve tried different techniques or worked with different physical therapists and still have not felt a difference, physical therapy may not be working for you.

What to do if physical therapy is not helping with your foraminal stenosis

If physical therapy and other conservative treatments are not effective in alleviating your foraminal stenosis symptoms, you may need to consider surgery. If you’d like to try a safer and effective alternative to traditional open neck or back surgery,^ it’s time to find out if you’re a candidate for minimally invasive spine surgery at Laser Spine Institute.

Contact us today to learn if one of our outpatient procedures is the right foraminal stenosis treatment for you.