Extended Periods Of Sitting Can Cause Foraminal Stenosis

What is Foraminal Stenosis

Foraminal stenosis is a fairly common spinal condition. It is characterized by the narrowing of the foramina or passageways between the vertebrae through which spinal nerve roots must pass. The causes of foraminal stenosis can include a variety of degenerative spinal conditions. These include osteoarthritis, bulging or ruptured discs, bone spurs, and spondylolisthesis. However, the overarching cause of this condition is almost always the deterioration the spine undergoes because of years of wear and tear. Other factors such as obesity, frequent heavy lifting, and participation in high-impact sports, can also speed the progression of this degenerative spinal condition. 

Can Sitting For Too Long Cause Foraminal Stenosis

The list of potential foraminal stenosis causes also includes sitting for extended periods of time. Here are some of the ways that spending hours each day seated at a desk and staring at a computer can contribute to the development of degenerative spinal conditions, including foraminal stenosis: 

  • Disc Compression Can Occur. Your spinal discs endure long periods of compression when you are seated. This can reduce their elasticity and speed the development of conditions such as bulging or herniated discs
  • Inactivity Leads To Deterioration. The elements of the spine receive less blood flow and absorb fewer nutrients when you are sedentary. This can contribute to the degeneration
  • Poor Posture Can Be A Factor. If you lean your neck and head forward while sitting at work, you will increase the strain on the spine

There are several steps that can help you avoid spinal degeneration while seated for long periods. Start by making sure your office chair provides proper lower back support. Make sure to keep your feet flat on the floor as much as possible. You should also take several stretching breaks per day. This will loosen the muscles supporting the spine and avoid leaning your head and shoulders toward your computer screen. 

Your Treatment Options

If you are experiencing painful symptoms because of foraminal stenosis, you will likely be able to find relief by attempting nonsurgical treatments. Physical therapy, chiropractic care, over-the-counter medications, and lifestyle modifications are typically enough to provide relief. However, if nonsurgical treatments don’t provide the symptom relief you are looking for you might want to consider minimally invasive surgery at BEST Health System. Our outpatient procedures are often the clinically appropriate first choice and provide many advantages versus open neck or back surgery. To help you find if you are a candidate for surgery, contact BEST Health System today.