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Foraminal stenosis myths: Get the facts

If you’ve recently been diagnosed with foraminal stenosis, you probably have several questions about what this condition is and what could have caused it. Like many people, you are also probably wondering if spine surgery is your only treatment option, or if you have nonsurgical options available. All of these questions about foraminal stenosis are important to have answered so you can confidently move forward with your treatment.

While it is good to research foraminal stenosis and the treatments for this condition, you should always consult your doctor for personalized treatment. Some of the conservative therapies available for foraminal stenosis may not be a good option for you based on the cause of your condition and your medical history. Research some information around foraminal stenosis and then talk to your doctor about the best approach for your specific needs.

Fact #1 about foraminal stenosis — it could indicate another spine condition

While foraminal stenosis can occur due to the natural aging of the spine over time, it commonly develops as the result of another spine condition that has developed near the foraminal canal. The foraminal canal is a narrow passageway found on either side of a vertebra that allows the nerve roots to exit from the spinal cord into the spinal canal. If another spine condition, such as a bulging or herniated disc, presses into the foraminal canal, the available space within the canal could narrow. Thus, foraminal stenosis is diagnosed.

Fact #2 about foraminal stenosis — it may not show symptoms

Foraminal stenosis is not always accompanied by symptoms. In fact, many people who develop mild foraminal stenosis are unaware because the spine shows no symptoms or pain. Symptoms of foraminal stenosis develop when one of the traveling nerve roots becomes pinched or compressed within the canal due to the narrowing space. When symptoms of pain and discomfort develop, you should consult your doctor for a proper diagnosis and treatment.

Fact #3 about foraminal stenosis — you don’t necessarily need spine surgery

Spine surgery is only recommended for foraminal stenosis if all conservative treatments have been ineffective. For many people, nonsurgical treatments like pain medication, physical therapy and other conservative methods are effective at treating foraminal stenosis.

If you are recommended for spine surgery, contact USA Spine Care. We offer minimally invasive spine surgery as an alternative to traditional open neck and back surgery, and to date we’ve helped more than 75,000 patients find relief from chronic neck and back pain. Contact us today for a no-cost MRI review* to find out if you are a candidate for one of our minimally invasive procedures.

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