Foraminal Stenosis – Four Common Treatments

What is Foraminal Stenosis

Also known as foraminal narrowing, foraminal stenosis occurs when degenerating and shifting soft tissues and bones cause the passageways between the spinal to narrow. In some cases, this narrowing pinches and irritates the spinal nerve roots that run through the passageways, which may trigger uncomfortable symptoms like muscle spasms, weakness, shooting, or radiating pain, numbness, or tingling sensations. 

Like most spinal conditions, treatment for foraminal stenosis varies considerably from patient to patient. There are multiple treatment approaches that may be suggested based on the patient’s age, overall health, medical preferences, and specific symptoms. 

Your Treatment Options

Each patient’s ideal course of treatment will depend on a number of factors such as his/her overall health and the severity of the narrowing and symptoms. However, many physicians recommend a combination of: 

  1. Medication. Over-the-counter painkillers and anti-inflammatories can provide relief for many patients with mild to moderate symptoms.
  2. Physical Therapy. Inactivity will worsen degenerative spine conditions like foraminal stenosis. 
  3. Heat and Ice Therapy. Applying cold packs to pained areas can numb discomfort and relieve inflammation. In addition, using heat wraps is also recommended. Heat improves blood flow which helps deliver much-needed oxygen to the injury site. A combination of both therapies provides maximum pain relief. 
  4. Alternative Therapy. Every physician has their own treatment philosophy. Some may recommend less traditional therapies as support or to serve as a main form of treatment. This form of treatment includes acupuncture, massage, and herbal supplements. 

In the event that conservative foraminal stenosis treatment failed to relieve symptoms, you may need to consider surgery. However, BEST Health System specializes in minimally invasive outpatient procedures for foraminal stenosis. These procedures involve less risk than traditional open spine surgeries.

To find out if you are a candidate for minimally invasive surgery at BEST Health System, contact us today!