Foraminal stenosis has many underlying causes, including participation in certain sports. This condition is most briefly defined as a shrinking of the space through which nerve roots exit the spinal column and pass to affect the rest of the body. As this space constricts, it can place pressure on the nerve roots, causing a range of symptoms in areas down the length of the nerve.
For example, a stenosis patient with pinched nerves in their neck may feel tingling in their fingertips, pain in their shoulder or weakness in their arms. To learn about the impact of sports and bulging discs on foraminal stenosis as well as the treatments available to ease your pain and discomfort, read the following article.
Sports and the deterioration of the spinal cartilage
Although most cases of foraminal stenosis are caused by congenital conditions or the gradual deterioration of the spine over time, damage sustained while playing sports can also affect the spacing of the spinal foramina. One such example is the loss of cartilage. The wearing away of cartilage between the joints of the spine is commonly seen in older people, but it can be worsened by playing sports or participating in activities that involve repetitive twisting of the spine, including golf and gymnastics. When the cartilage wears away, the exposed joint surfaces rub against each other, often causing the body to grow bone spurs in response. These spurs can protrude into the foraminal space and cause stenosis.
Bulging discs can also lead to stenosis
Another example of how sports can contribute to the narrowing of foramina in the spine are the bulging and ruptured discs often sustained when participants hit the ground or other participants with intense force. These injuries can affect hockey and football players, as well as wrestlers. An injured disc can stick out beyond its usual place, narrowing the foraminal space and disrupting the nerve roots.
Consider your foraminal stenosis treatment options
If you are experiencing the symptoms of foraminal stenosis, no matter what the cause might have been, you may want to think about your surgical treatment options. Contact USA Spine Care today to learn about our minimally invasive approaches and to request a free review of your MRI.* USA Spine Care is the leader in minimally invasive spine surgery and has helped more than 75,000 patients find relief from chronic neck or back pain.
At USA Spine Care, we offer a safer and effective alternative to traditional open spine surgery, with a lower risk of complication and a shorter recovery period.^ Our highly skilled surgeons are able to use a small incision that is muscle sparing in order to relieve the pressure on the nerve roots through a minimally invasive foraminotomy or removing the spinal disc through a minimally invasive spinal fusion. To find out if you are a potential candidate for our outpatient surgery, reach out to our team today.
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