Stenosis is a term used to describe when an area becomes compressed and narrow. In the case of the foraminal, this indicates that the area where the spinal columns’ nerve roots exit has narrowed. The spinal column is a very intricate part of human anatomy. It is essentially one of the main nerve centers of the body. The bones of the vertebral column, referred to as the back bone, are aligned in order to give the body support. Within the spinal canal, are several nerves that tell the brain what to do. These nerves are a major component that affects your sense of touch and your ability to move.
Spinal stenosis is related to foraminal stenosis in that this represents a narrowing of the spinal column. The primary reason for this occurrence is really the aging process. With age comes the degeneration of the tissue and cartilage found in the joints that connect the vertebrae of the backbone. This can stem from a herniated disc or the development of bone spurs. When the spinal canal narrows this poses a threat to the spinal cord and to the nerves that branch out from the spinal cord.
Nerve roots exit the spinal canal via the foramen regularly. But if there is disc degeneration this can be a problem. When a disc or joint begins to wear or become deformed, like when you have a bulging or herniated disc, this can prompt your bones to develop outgrowths called bone spurs. Bone spurs are spiny little bone appendages that the body thinks it needs to counteract the imbalance caused by a degenerative disc. If the nerve roots that leave the foramen come in contact with a bone spur, this will definitely cause irritation and pain.
Foraminal stenosis is very similar to spinal stenosis because they share the same symptoms. Both of these types of stenosis will cause you to feel weakness and numbness in the muscles of your back and legs. Another uncomfortable symptom of both of these types of stenosis is the burning and tingling feeling that you may feel in your legs. Foraminal and spinal stenosis are also linked because of their location. The most frequent area of occurrence is in the lower back or lumbar area. The pain from the irritated nerves can radiate to your legs and pelvic area.
In order to treat the symptoms of stenosis of the foraminal, you can employ a few techniques. Physical therapy should be the first choice because it is a very natural remedy for this problem. By performing certain exercises, you can limit the amount of pain you feel. You could also take Non steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs like naproxen, aspirin and ibuprofen, all of which are easily available. If you want to have a non surgical medical procedure, getting corticosteroid injects are an option for you. When pain is very severe and unbearable, you should consult with your doctor about having surgery. Your doctor can help you to decide on the best option for your specific case.
Written By: Updated: July 11,2011