Treatment for foraminal narrowing, which can develop in the neck or back, can take several forms. If you’ve been diagnosed with this condition, you are encouraged to work with a physician who can help you create an effective regimen that meets your needs. First, you may find it helpful to understand what is actually occurring in your spine. If you or a loved one has been diagnosed with foraminal narrowing, or if you are interested in learning about preventative measures, continue reading.
What is Foraminal Narrowing?
Foramina are openings in the vertebrae that allow nerve roots to enter and exit the spinal canal. These narrow passageways serve an important role in facilitating the flow of information between the brain and the rest of the body via the central nervous system.
Due to age-related degeneration, the foramina can become constricted with debris such as bone spur or herniated disc material. This can potentially irritate or compress a spinal nerve root, which can affect the nerve’s ability to function properly. As a result, foraminal narrowing treatment may be needed to address painful symptoms that develop either as a source of the constriction or somewhere along the affected nerve’s pathways.
Treatment Options for Foraminal Narrowing
If you need help addressing pain, weakness, numbness, or tingling sensations associated with foraminal narrowing, you might not require surgical treatment. For instance, after making simple lifestyle changes, you might find that you are able to live quite comfortably with the condition. As a starting point, your physician may suggest that you try:
- Low-impact exercise, such as walking or swimming
- Hot and cold compresses
- Over-the-counter pain relievers and nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs
Not all of these approaches work for every patient, and it can often take weeks or months of trial and error to come up with a plan that meets a particular patient’s needs. If you have yet to try these approaches or give them some time to work, you may be advised to wait before thinking about surgery. But, if you have given these methods a try only to find your symptoms worsening or remaining the same, surgery may be an option.
Ultimately, if you find that you need to explore additional treatment options, your physician may recommend a spinal injection or prescribe a stronger medication for you. Surgery should generally be reserved as your last resort.
Surgical Treatment for Foraminal Narrowing
In the event that your surgeon recommends surgery and you decide to proceed, you are encouraged to explore all of your options to help ensure that you make the best choice. At BEST Health System, we treat foraminal narrowing using a minimally invasive surgical approach that is a safer and effective alternative to traditional open spine surgery.
BEST Health System
If you are considering foraminal narrowing treatment, such as therapies or surgeries, contact our office today. Our knowledgeable staff dedicates their time to ensuring the best possible treatment option for patients depending on their health, previous surgeries, and other important lifestyle factors. Get started on your path to recovery today by taking the first step. The BEST is yet to come.