Foraminal narrowing in the cervical spine causes neck pain, arm pain, numbness, tingling and radiculopathy due to pressure on the nerve roots. Lumbar foraminal narrowing will result in pinched nerves in the lower back causing back pain, sciatica or leg pain, numbness and tingling in the toes.
In foraminal narrowing, nerve roots exit the spine through small holes on both sides of the spine called neuro foramen. These small holes are surrounded by two moving spinal joints: the facet joint and spinal disc. Injury to these spinal joints may result in progressive degeneration or joint arthritis.
Foraminal narrowing is one of the three forms of spinal stenosis. Nerve roots exit the spine through small holes on both sides of the spine called neuro foramen. Neuro foramen are surrounded by two moving spinal joints: the facet joint and spinal disc.
Injury to the spinal joints will result in progressive degeneration or arthritis of the joints. Arthritis of the facet joints and degenerative disc disease cause foraminal narrowing in affected areas of the spine by bone spur or osteophyte formation, loss of disc height, facet hypertrophy, facet capsule hypertrophy and disc bulging.
Foraminal narrowing diagnosis
Once a pinched nerve becomes known, numbness, tingling, soreness and pain may radiate through the arms or legs, depending on the nerve affected. In many cases, patients will undergo an MRI to determine whether there are any visible obstacles blocking the foramina, including a herniated disc or effects of spondylolisthesis.
Foraminal narrowing treatment
Foraminal narrowing requires treatment when it causes pain or radiculopathy. Asymptomatic foraminal narrowing does not need treatment. Effective treatments for foraminal narrowing include physical therapy, interventional pain management and surgery. Deuk Laser Disc Repair is an effective surgical treatment for symptomatic foraminal narrowing and uses a laser to “open” up clogged foramen. This relieves pressure on the nerve root being compressed and allows healing.
Learn more about foraminal narrowing by watching the video below:
Are you or a loved one experiencing back pain or other symptoms? Deuk Spine Institute is always accepting new patient inquiries. To learn more, contact us or give us a call at 1-800-FIX-MY-BACK.