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Foraminal stenosis is a serious condition that can cause back pain, but Laser Spine Institute can offer treatments through our St. Louis center

Foraminal stenosis is the narrowing of the foramina, which are small openings between the vertebrae. These slim passageways allow the nerves to freely exit the spinal column. However, when a person is suffering from foraminal stenosis, these nerves can become impinged, causing debilitating pain and symptoms.

Causes of foraminal stenosis

Foraminal stenosis is typically a spinal condition that can be the result of several other spinal issues. Some of the disorders that lead to foraminal stenosis include bone spurs, a herniated disc or spinal arthritis, among others. Generally speaking, however, foraminal stenosis is the result of spinal degeneration that occurs due to the natural aging process. As we grow older, our spinal vertebrae and discs deteriorate, causing the space within the foramina to narrow.

Foraminal stenosis diagnosis

In order to determine the root cause of your foraminal stenosis, your physician will need to review your medical history and perform a comprehensive physical examination of your spine. In most cases, your doctor will also order an imaging test such as a CT scan or an MRI to provide a clearer image of your spine and properly diagnose the contributing factors to your foraminal stenosis.

Foraminal stenosis symptoms

Living with the pain and symptoms associated with foraminal stenosis or narrowing can be devastating. Some of the common symptoms include:

  • Radiating tingling
  • Trouble walking long distances
  • Burning sensations
  • Pain in an isolated area
  • Weakness
  • Inability to sit or stand for long periods of time
  • Radiating pain
  • Radiating numbness

Experiencing these or similar symptoms can change the way you look at life. At Laser Spine Institute we understand that your top priority is finding relief, which is why we are dedicated to helping you make the best decision for you and your lifestyle.

Conservative and alternative treatments

Before suggesting surgery, we generally suggest individuals suffering from foraminal narrowing, or stenosis, try conservative, nonsurgical treatment options. These can include swimming, massage, low-impact exercise, medication, injections or physical therapy. Your doctor may recommend you try combinations of these methods over the course of a few weeks or months to determine which options work best for your condition. If these methods do not prove effective, alternative treatments such as yoga, herbal supplementations and acupuncture have all helped some patients temporarily relieve pain or numbness. Most of these treatments, however, are not recognized as mainstream by many within the medical community.

Foraminal stenosis surgery

In some cases, nonsurgical options fail to bring relief, leaving surgery as the best viable solution. Laser Spine Institute specializes in minimally invasive surgery at our St. Louis center. If you are suffering from foraminal stenosis or other conditions, do not wait to find the relief that you deserve.

Contact Laser Spine Institute today for more information and a no-cost MRI review* to determine if you may be a candidate for one of our procedures.