Foraminal Narrowing – Treatment Steps

What is Foraminal Narrowing?

Foraminal narrowing is a condition that affects the foraminal canals within the spine. Each foraminal canal is located on either side of a vertebra and acts as a pathway for nerve roots to leave the spinal cord and travel out to the body. When foraminal narrowing occurs, a nerve root can become pinched and painful symptoms can develop.

Understanding what to do when these symptoms develop will help you find treatment before your pain becomes debilitating. Often, this condition is treated conservatively, especially if it is caught early in development. However, some patients may require surgery to treat the condition. Read the following article to learn what method will help you find lasting relief for your foraminal narrowing symptoms.

Step One: Identify Your Foraminal Narrowing Symptoms

The first thing to do when you think you might have this condition is to identify your symptoms. This will let you know if you should schedule an appointment with your doctor. While symptoms of foraminal narrowing vary from patient to patient, the most common symptoms include the following:

  • Muscle weakness
  • Sharp pain during a specific movement
  • Tingling or numbness in the extremities
  • Burning sensations

If you begin to feel the symptoms of foraminal narrowing, schedule an appointment with your doctor to discuss treatment options.

Step Two: Identify the Cause of Your Foraminal Narrowing

Before you and your doctor can discuss treatments, you must identify the cause of your condition. For example, if it is caused by a herniated disc protruding into the foraminal canal, the treatment should be focused on the herniated disc. Your doctor will perform physical and imaging tests to determine the cause of your condition. Some of the common causes include:

  • Herniated disc
  • Bulging disc
  • Bone spur
  • Spinal arthritis
  • Spine degeneration
  • Spondylolisthesis

Once your doctor diagnoses the cause of your foraminal narrowing, you can begin a treatment plan for pain relief.

Step Three: Begin Treatment

Treatment often begins conservatively with one or more of the following nonsurgical methods:

  • Pain medication
  • Physical therapy
  • Weight management
  • Exercise
  • Stretching
  • Hot and cold compresses
  • Corticosteroid injections

Surgery with BEST Health System

Surgery may be recommended to treat foraminal narrowing if these treatments are ineffective after several weeks or months. If this is the case for you, contact BEST Health System. We offer minimally invasive spine surgery as a safer and more effective alternative to traditional open neck and back surgery.

Are you interested in learning more about surgery with BEST Health System? Contact us today.