Treatment for foraminal narrowing, or foraminal stenosis, varies from patient to patient. That’s because the symptoms of this condition also vary according to the specific location and severity of the narrowing. Some patients can effectively manage their symptoms at home with conservative treatments like over-the-counter medication and heat/ice therapy. Others require more extensive care, including physical therapy and steroid injections. Minimally invasive procedures, such as those performed at USA Spine Care, may be recommended for patients with severe foraminal narrowing symptoms.
What is foraminal narrowing?
Foraminal narrowing, or the narrowing of the channels that allow spinal nerve roots to pass through, is a condition characterized by the pain and dysfunction often caused by nerve root compression. Spinal nerves can become pinched and irritated as a result of degenerating and shifting spinal vertebrae and discs. Most cases of foraminal narrowing are a byproduct of other degenerative spinal conditions, including bulging or herniated discs, bone spurs and spondylolisthesis.
Tips to remember before starting a foraminal narrowing treatment plan
It’s a smart idea to seek treatment for persistent foraminal narrowing symptoms, as most cases only worsen if left unaddressed. Here are a five good tips to consider prior to scheduling your appointment:
- Get acquainted with your spine. Becoming familiar with the anatomy of the spine and learning about foraminal narrowing will help take some of the mystery out of your condition.
- Find a physician you can trust. Foraminal narrowing treatment isn’t like treatment for a cold; it may require multiple office visits and an extended period of follow-up care. Because of this, it’s important to be comfortable with your physician.
- Have realistic expectations about treatment. Symptoms won’t vanish overnight; it may take some time for your physician to determine an optimal treatment plan that effectively addresses your specific symptoms and for noticeable results to develop.
- Keep a journal where you can note if and how treatments are progressing and what your symptoms are day to day. This information can help your physician refine your treatment plan.
- Be honest with your physician. If you have a question about your diagnosis, concerns about treatment or symptoms that won’t seem to go away, let your voice be heard. Open communication between patient and doctor is key to achieving the best possible outcome.
If you are in need of foraminal narrowing treatment and would like to learn if you are a candidate for minimally invasive, outpatient spine surgery, contact USA Spine Care today.
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