Foraminal stenosis is a condition that occurs in the spine when the openings that allow nerve roots to exit the spinal cord, called foramina, experience narrowing. This narrowing can occur due to a number of related spine conditions including bulging discs, herniated discs, and bone spurs. Foraminal stenosis is common and not necessarily painful. However, it can cause symptoms if there is enough constriction to compress a nerve root and interfere with its functioning.
Some of the most common symptoms of foraminal stenosis include local pain, pain that shoots along the nerve, and tingling, numbness, or muscle weakness in the extremities. Patients diagnosed with foraminal stenosis may experience other symptoms. These include headaches or dizziness. This can lead patient to wonder if their symptoms are a result of this condition. It is important to speak to your doctor for a proper diagnosis of any symptoms. It can also be beneficial to educate yourself as a patient. By learning more about how foraminal stenosis could be related to feelings of dizziness and vertigo, you can work more closely with your doctor to get the care and treatment you deserve.
Foraminal Stenosis and Vertigo
Foraminal stenosis can occur at any level of the spine. It is most common in the cervical (upper) and lumbar (lower) regions. This is due to their relative flexibility and the weight load they support.
The cervical spine runs from the base of the skull to the top of the ribcage, and due to its proximity to the head, is the most likely region to be associated with dizziness. This could potentially be due to the following causes:
- Compression of a nerve affecting your body’s ability to orient itself
- Compression of a vertebral artery that disrupts blood flow to the head
- An issue in the upper cervical spine near the brainstem
Your Treatment Options
Foraminal stenosis symptoms can often be relieved without the need for surgery by following a doctor’s recommendation for conservative treatment. You may be recommended physical therapy, therapeutic massage, hot/cold compression therapy, medications, or spinal injections. If weeks or months go by and this mode of treatment has not improved symptoms enough for a good quality of life, you may be asked to consider spine surgery to remove the spinal anatomy that is causing foraminal stenosis.
If you are researching the possibility of a surgical procedure, contact BEST Health System. Our procedures are a safer and more effective alternative to traditional open neck or back surgery, offering our patients a shorter recovery time with less risk of complication.
To learn more and to determine if you may be a candidate for one of our outpatient procedures, reach out to us today.