Foraminal Stenosis Causes & Symptoms

Foraminal Stenosis Overview Foraminal Stenosis Causes & Symptoms Foraminal Stenosis Diagnosis & Treatments

What Causes Foraminal Stenosis?

Normally nerve roots have enough room to exit the spinal canal through the foramen. However, with age, degenerative disc disease, and trauma, the foramen can narrow and compress the spinal cord and/or exiting nerves. Some other conditions such as bulging or herniated discs, calcified ligaments, bone spurs, and spinal arthritis may further affect the foramen. This condition can develop anywhere in the spine, from the cervical to thoracic regions, and is most common in the lumbar region. The average age of patients suffering from spinal and foraminal stenosis is 55. The disease may affect women and men of varying ages and physical activity levels. The patients at highest risk for stenosis are:

  • Obese
  • Smokers
  • Sedentary lifestyle
  • Lacking proper nutrition

What are the Symptoms of Foraminal Stenosis?

Compression on the spinal and exiting nerve leads to inflammation which can  produce many different types of symptoms, depending on the severity of the compression and the area of the spine affected or compressed.  In the cervical (neck) region, symptoms may be experienced in the neck, shoulders, and arms down to the fingers.  In the lumbar (back) region, symptoms can be felt in the back, buttocks, thighs, knee, calves, feet, and toes.  The most common symptoms include:

  • Dull, sharp, or radiating pain
  • Weakness or numbness in the extremities
  • Sensation of burning or pins and needles
  • Difficulty walking or standing straight

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