Foraminal stenosis, or narrowing, is a fairly common degenerative spinal condition that usually occurs in the cervical spine (neck area) or lumbar spine (lower back area) because of the amount of movement these areas are subjected to on a daily basis. Usually the result of the body’s natural aging process, foraminal narrowing can result when part of the spinal anatomy moves out of its normal position and encroaches on the foramina — small openings through which nerves pass as they extend to other areas of the body. Common causes of cervical foraminal stenosis can include a bulging or herniated disc, a bone spur or facet disease.
Symptoms and treatment
On its own, cervical foraminal stenosis is often asymptomatic. However, if the encroaching bone or tissue presses on a nerve root, symptoms such as pain, numbness, tingling and muscle weakness can appear in the neck, shoulders, arms or hands. Many individuals are able to find relief from their symptoms by following a treatment regimen that includes conservative and alternative therapies, including:
- Chiropractic care
- Pain medications
- Physical therapy
- Hot/cold therapy
- Massage therapy
- Yoga and Pilates
Another option is to modify your lifestyle to help promote better overall spine health and reduce the strain on the affected area. Choices may include losing excess weight, utilizing better posture, avoiding high-impact activities and eliminating alcohol and tobacco use.
Treating cervical foraminal stenosis at USA Spine Care
If your symptoms haven’t responded to treatment and are preventing you from leading a normal, active lifestyle, it may be time to consider surgery. While traditional open spine surgery is an option, USA Spine Care offers minimally invasive neck surgery to treat foraminal stenosis that is often clinically appropriate and provides many advantages versus open spine surgery.^ Additionally, we will provide a free MRI review* to determine if you are a candidate for our outpatient procedures.
To learn more about our minimally invasive approach to treating neck pain, contact USA Spine Care today.
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