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Home » Spine Conditions » Foraminal Narrowing » What causes neural foraminal narrowing?

What causes neural foraminal narrowing?

The neural foramina are small openings between the vertebrae along the length of the spinal column that allow nerve roots to branch off the spinal cord and travel out to the body. Due to stress on the spinal column and the development of degenerative spine conditions, these openings can very easily become constricted. This condition, called foraminal narrowing or foraminal stenosis, can cause symptoms that interfere with everything from your relationships and hobbies, to work and sleep.

If this condition is affecting you and you’re seeking treatment, educating yourself as a patient is a critical step in this process. By learning more about the underlying contributors and specific conditions that cause neural foraminal stenosis, you can take a more active role in developing an effective treatment plan.

Foraminal narrowing causes

The primary factor that leads to foraminal narrowing is the wearing down of spinal anatomy caused by the natural aging process. Over time, the moving parts of the spine become less able to withstand the stress of moving and supporting the upper body and can become displaced or damaged. Specific conditions that can obstruct the foramina and cause narrowing include:

  • Herniated discs
  • Bulging discs
  • Bone spurs
  • Facet disease
  • Degenerative disc disease

While no one can reverse the natural aging process, it is still important to do everything possible to protect the spine and make sure it stays healthy. This means taking measures to reduce the pressure being placed on the spine while also maximizing the flow of blood and healing nutrients to this area. A healthier spine can be encouraged by eating a nutritious diet, performing stretching and strengthening exercises, maintaining a healthy weight, practicing good posture and avoiding activities that put undue strain on the spinal column such as high-impact sports.

Foraminal narrowing treatment

Nonsurgical conservative treatments are very often effective for the treatment of foraminal narrowing. Work with your doctor to find a combination of treatments that works for you and your specific condition if symptoms are affecting you. Options include medication, physical therapy, spinal injections, nutritional counseling, therapeutic massage, restorative yoga and chiropractic care.

Spine surgery can become a consideration if you and your doctor decide that conservative treatments have been fully exhausted without bringing the relief necessary for a good quality of life and the performance of regular activities.

For patients considering their surgical options, USA Spine Care provides minimally invasive spine surgery that can be performed on an outpatient basis. By using muscle-sparing techniques, our surgeons perform procedures that offer no lengthy recovery and less risk of complication compared to traditional open neck or back surgery.^ To learn more, contact us today.

We can offer a free MRI review* to determine if you are a potential candidate for one of our procedures.

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