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Daily stretches to help with L4-L5 foraminal narrowing

The condition L4-L5 foraminal narrowing can cause a lot of pain and disrupt your quality of life, but what is it exactly? The foramina are openings created by two vertebral segments in the spine. Nerve roots use these openings as a pathway from the spinal cord to other destinations in the body. When a foraminal opening begins to shrink, the condition is called foraminal narrowing or foraminal stenosis. The condition doesn’t always cause symptoms on its own, but if there is nerve compression or irritation, it can lead to radiating pain along the length of the nerve, as well as numbness, tingling or weakness within the muscle group being supplied by the affected nerve.

The L4-L5 foraminal openings are located at the bottom of the lumbar spine. The lumbar spine is made up of five vertebrae, and L4-L5 are the last two vertebrae before the sacrum. If the nerve roots between the L4-L5 vertebrae are compressed, there are some daily stretches that you can try (after consulting with your doctor) to help alleviate the symptoms of this lumbar foraminal narrowing. These stretches are largely aimed at lengthening the spine and increasing its range of motion and include:

  1. Knees-to-chest stretch. Lie flat on your back. Bring both knees to your chest and hug them while relaxing the back. Hold this position for 10 seconds and then slowly lower the legs.
  2. Knee rotation. Lie on your back with knees bent and feet flat on the floor. Slowly rotate the knees to the left side as far as you can without aggravating your symptoms. Then slowly rotate the knees to the right side.
  3. Bridge. Lie on your back with your knees bent, arms against the body and palms against the floor. As you squeeze your buttocks, raise your hips off the ground to bring the torso into a straight diagonal line. Hold this position for five seconds and then slowly lower your buttocks back to the ground.

If you are living with L4-L5 foraminal narrowing and have been unable to find relief through stretching and other nonsurgical treatments, such as pain medication, acupuncture and chiropractic care, contact USA Spine Care today. Our minimally invasive spine surgeries are a safer and effective alternative to traditional open back procedures.^ We would be happy to set up a free MRI review* to determine whether you are a candidate for our minimally invasive procedures.

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