Foraminal stenosis discomfort can often be managed effectively without surgery. This condition, which may sound a bit intimidating, is actually quite common. The term “stenosis” describes a narrowing effect that occurs in the spine. As age-related degenerative changes take place in the neck or back, the openings in the vertebrae may become narrower due to the presence of displaced tissue, such as a herniated disc, bone spur or inflamed ligament.
Which treatment is right for you?
By default, foraminal stenosis does not require treatment. In fact, some people who have the condition are completely symptom-free and unaware of it. But, if a partially blocked foramen presses on a nerve root that runs through the opening, the nerve can become irritated and signal varying degrees of pain, numbness and muscle weakness. If you received a foraminal stenosis diagnosis, it was probably because symptoms like these led you to see a physician.
Perhaps you need help with managing your discomfort. After talking with your physician, you’ll probably be relieved to find out that surgery is not the only answer. In fact, surgery is generally considered a last resort treatment for foraminal stenosis. That’s because nonsurgical treatments can be very effective.
Your physician can help you find the best treatment approach for your foraminal stenosis symptoms. Some possible options include:
- Low-impact exercises, such as walking and swimming
- Gentle stretches or yoga
- Lifestyle changes, such as postural improvement, weight loss and smoking cessation, if applicable
- Pain relievers and anti-inflammatories taken as needed
- Corticosteroid injections (for severe pain)
If further relief is needed
Foraminal stenosis can also be treated surgically if the discomfort is severe and conservative treatment brings little to no lasting relief. For instance, if you’re unable to walk for a certain length of time without sitting to relieve your pain, you may want to explore your surgical options by talking with the experts at USA Spine Care. Our minimally invasive spine surgery is often the clinically appropriate first choice and provides many advantages over open neck or back surgery.
To learn more, contact USA Spine Care today.