Foraminal Narrowing Overview
The foramen is described as an opening created between two vertebral segments in the spine where the nerves come through on its way to a destination in the body. When this pathway narrows or constricts, foraminal narrowing occurs in the lumbar spine (lower back), often due to age or the gradual deterioration of the spine. If you have been diagnosed with foraminal narrowing, also called foraminal stenosis, you are most likely looking for a natural way to relieve your pain without undergoing spine surgery.
Exercises for foraminal narrowing can help many patients experience pain relief by removing the pressure on the pinched nerve in the lumbar spine. Since the lumbar spine is responsible for supporting the greatest amount of body weight and is one of the more flexible regions of the spine, it is the most common area to develop foraminal narrowing. You should always consult your physician before beginning a treatment regimen for back pain. Certain exercises can make the condition worse, as can performing exercises incorrectly. Read on to learn about the various methods of treatment for foraminal narrowing in the lumbar spine that can help you get back to the activities you love.
Exercises for Foraminal Narrowing in the Lumbar Spine
Under the supervision of a doctor or physical therapist, a number of exercise methods can provide relief for lumbar foraminal stenosis. By elongating the spine and stretching the ligaments and muscles in the lumbar, the pressure on a compressed spinal nerve can be reduced.
Some of the more popular range-of-motion exercises for this spinal condition include yoga and Pilates. These techniques are often effective because they serve to increase strength and flexibility, which can enable the muscles in the back to provide extra support, thereby relieving some of the pressure on the vertebrae, discs, and foramina.
While yoga and Pilates have proven effective in treating foraminal narrowing, some patients may find little to no relief. If this is your situation, you should discuss other nonsurgical forms of treatment with your doctor, including:
- Heat massage
- Pain medication
- Muscle relaxants
- Chiropractic visits
Foraminal Narrowing Surgery with the BEST Health System
If nonsurgical treatments prove ineffective after several weeks or months, contact BEST to learn about how minimally invasive spine surgery can help you on your journey to wellness. We offer several types of outpatient procedures to help treat the most common degenerative spine conditions, including surgical decompression for foraminal narrowing in the lumbar spine.
BEST Health System is proud to offer comprehensive spine and orthopaedic care to patients suffering from chronic pain. We understand how debilitating a condition like foraminal narrowing can be, and it is our goal to help you find relief. Contact BEST today to learn more about our services.