• May 9, 2022

What Is Foraminal Stenosis, and Why Does It Cause Back Pain?

Foraminal stenosis is a type of spinal stenosis that causes the openings (aka foramens) between the spinal bones to tighten. When these openings narrow, a person typically experiences back pain and discomfort. He or she may also have trouble standing or walking, experience weakness in the limbs, and feel a burning sensation in the affected area.

Let’s take a closer look at the medical condition.

Why Does Foraminal Stenosis Cause Back Pain?

During the narrowing of the foramen, pressure is exerted on the nerves passing through the spinal cord. This results in their being compressed or pinched. In some cases, the spinal cord may also be compressed. Consequently, individuals with foraminal stenosis experience excruciating back pain due to pinched nerves.

Foraminal stenosis is specific to the lumbar region, i.e., the lower back. Therefore, it requires back pain management treatments and strategies.

What Causes Foraminal Stenosis?

So, what causes the foramen to narrow in the first place? Foraminal stenosis can be attributed to various reasons. It’s more common among older individuals with arthritis. The condition also affects individuals who perform repetitive motions that cause the structures in the lumbar region to wear and tear. Additionally, a spinal injury can also cause foraminal stenosis.

Treating Foraminal Stenosis

A combination of treatments may be applied to treat foraminal stenosis, depending on the severity of the condition. For instance, physical therapy is often used to restore spine stability and improve range of motion.

Similarly, your physician may advise you to wear a spine brace to allow the spine muscles to rest and heal. Paired with medication, this can help ease pain and discomfort.

If these conservative treatments are ineffective in alleviating the symptoms, you may require an orthopedic spine surgery. The type of surgery you get depends on your specific condition and its cause. For instance, a foraminotomy procedure may be recommended if there’s a need to enlarge the area within the spinal column and remove obstructions.

A healthy man looking at mountains.

At TOPS Surgical Specialty Hospital, our leading orthopedic spine specialists provide orthopedic spine surgeries to treat foraminal stenosis as well as a range of other conditions that affect the spine. Our specialty surgery center in Houston is one of the leading surgical units in the area, and has even received Healthgrades Outstanding Patient Experience award. Visit our website to find the right orthopedic spine specialist today and make your appointment directly with their office.

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