Foraminal Narrowing Risks

About the Condition

Foraminal narrowing, also called foraminal stenosis, describes the gradual narrowing of the foramina — the space between the vertebrae that allows the nerve roots to travel through the spinal cord. As the space between the vertebrae narrows, the nerve roots traveling in the spinal canal have a higher risk of becoming impacted or compressed by a vertebra or disc in the spine. This nerve compression can cause severe, chronic pain and limited mobility if left untreated. 

Since this is a degenerative condition, meaning it develops with the natural aging process, there are certain precautions you can take to help with foraminal narrowing prevention. Please keep in mind that some conditions are unavoidable and your foraminal narrowing prevention techniques may only serve to slow the process of developing this condition. You should consult your physician before making any drastic lifestyle or treatment changes.

Foraminal Narrowing Prevention

This is a degenerative spine condition. Degenerative conditions often develop in the cervical (neck) or lumbar (lower back) region of the spine. These two areas are responsible for moving and stabilizing significant areas of the body. Due to the repetitive motion in these two areas, the vertebrae of the spine can become worn down and may begin to compress the disc in between each set of vertebrae. As the disc gradually deteriorates, the space between the vertebrae — the foramina — begins to narrow, causing foraminal narrowing or foraminal stenosis. 

While there is no way to change what has already developed, you can modify your behavior to keep the components of the spine as healthy as possible, reducing your risk of developing this spine condition. Below are a few tips to maintain a healthy spine:

  • Do not smoke and keep consumption of alcohol to a minimum 
  • Eat foods low in saturated fat and high in calcium and omega-3 fatty acid
  • Stay hydrated 
  • Exercise, but avoid high-impact activities that hurt your neck or back
  • Practice regular, gentle stretching, like restorative yoga 
  • Avoid lifting or pulling heavy objects

Foraminal Narrowing Treatment

Even with foraminal narrowing prevention methods, some people may still develop degenerative conditions. If you have been diagnosed with this condition, consult your physician about foraminal narrowing treatment options available to you. For many mild cases, conservative foraminal narrowing treatments, such as lifestyle changes and physical therapy, can offer effective pain relief. However, some conditions are more severe and may require surgical foraminal narrowing treatment to reduce the pain and symptoms.

For less severe cases, epidural injections can be a great conservative treatment option. However, if the

BEST Health System

 At BEST Health System, we offer minimally invasive surgery to help treat a variety of spine conditions. Our minimally invasive surgery is a safer and effective alternative to traditional open back surgery. For more information about the treatment options for spine conditions that are available to you, please contact our team today.