Your spine has 33 vertebral bones. In the middle and on the sides of these bones are openings that allow nerves to enter and exit. These nerves travel out to your legs, arms, and other parts of your body. The spaces where the nerves enter and exit are called foramina (singular foramen). Each foramen is formed by the facet joint (the space between two discs). Sometimes, the foramen can become too narrow and start to compress the nerves entering and exiting. This can cause symptoms such as numbness, pain, or weakness. This is called foraminal stenosis.
Depending on where foraminal stenosis occurs in your back, it can affect other parts of your body as well. For instance, if a foramen in your neck starts to compress a nerve, you might feel painful symptoms in your upper extremities such as your arms, shoulders, and hands. If the foramen is compressing a nerve in your lower back, though, you’ll feel symptoms in your lower extremities, such as your legs, buttocks, and feet.
What Is Foraminal Stenosis?
Foraminal stenosis is a condition in which the foramina get narrow. The foramina are the passages on each side of the vertebrae through which the spinal nerve roots pass.
When the spine is healthy, there’s sufficient space for the nerve roots to pass and then move out to various body parts. But foraminal stenosis reduces this space, making it very narrow and placing pressure on the nerves. Some of the conditions we look out for during foraminal stenosis diagnosis in NJ include:
- Severe back pain
- Weakness in the arms and legs
- Numbness and tingling
What Are the Causes of Foraminal Stenosis?
Different factors can lead to foraminal stenosis, including degenerative disc disease, osteoarthritis and herniated discs. When changes take place due to aging and wear, the symptoms of foraminal stenosis can occur. Bone spurs can also enter the spinal canal, narrowing the space at the nerve roots.
Other causes of this condition include:
- Bulging discs
- Thickened spinal ligaments
- Facet disease
- Paget’s disease
What Are Options Available for Foraminal Stenosis Treatment in NJ?
Both nonsurgical and surgical treatment options are available.
Nonsurgical treatments are usually recommended first for foraminal stenosis pain relief in NJ, and they include the following:
- Pain relievers: Over-the-counter pain medication, such as anti-inflammatory drugs and analgesics, can help relieve pain. For severe pain, you may need to receive a prescription for stronger pain medications, like opioids and narcotics.
- Physical therapy: Doing stretching exercises and strength training can boost flexibility, strengthen core and back muscles and increase range of motion.
- Back bracing: Wearing a brace can provide additional spinal support if abdominal muscles are weak or when degeneration has taken place at different parts of the spine.
If nonsurgical treatment doesn’t provide the desired relief, surgical procedures may be recommended. Most of these treatments are minimally invasive procedures, including:
Surgical procedures performed at Spine Institute of North America will take pressure off the nerve and relieve the severe symptoms of foraminal stenosis. After that, we provide effective foraminal stenosis pain management for our clients in NJ until they experience a full recovery.Contact us today for more information.
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