Have you ever heard of Foraminal Stenosis? One of the most common causes of acute and chronic pain is lower back pain. Eighty percent of adults will suffer some form of back pain in their lifetime.  Some back-pain conditions can also cause pain in other areas of the body.  There are quite a few reasons this happens, one of them is Foraminal Stenosis.

What is Foraminal Stenosis?

In your spine there are thirty-three vertebrae; these are small bones.  Each vertebra has a foramen or small space where nerves thread through the spine. When the spine is healthy, the foramen leaves plenty of room for nerves to thread through.  In some cases, the foramen become compressed which puts pressure on the nerves passing through. Foraminal Stenosis is not the same as Spinal Stenosis.  Spinal Stenosis is when the spinal column narrows.  Foraminal Stenosis is when the foramen rather than the spinal column narrows. This is possible from your lower neck down to your lower back, anywhere in the spine.

Getting More Specific

This condition can become quite specific depending on the location of the nerve affected, such as Cervical Foraminal Stenosis, the neck, Thoracic Foraminal Stenosis, the upper back, and Lumbar Foraminal Stenosis, the lower back which is the most common. These conditions can happen on one side or bilaterally. The most common causes of Foraminal Stenosis are Arthritis, Injury, Trauma, Spinal Conditions, and illness and other rare conditions such as Cancer.

The Most Common Symptoms

Common symptoms arepain, burning pain, pins and needles, tingling, muscle weakness, and numbness. Lumbar Stenosis can lead to Cauda Equina Syndrome which is very serious.  The symptoms are extreme pain, numbness and weakness in lower extremities, sexual dysfunction, and loss of bowel and bladder control. Get immediate help if you experience these symptoms.  Your pain management doctor will ask you questions and run certain tests to determine if you have Foraminal Stenosis and recommend treatment.

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