Lumbar Foraminal Stenosis Treatment, Surgery, Physical Therapy

Read about Lumbar Foraminal Stenosis Treatment, Surgery, Physical Therapy.

Lumbar Foraminal Stenosis is a condition that influences the lower back. The spinal segment is a progression of 33 stacked vertebrae, and every vertebra encompasses gaps of open space, called foramina, through which the spinal nerves must pass as they are sent from the spinal column to different parts of the body. As we become more aged and our spinal column starts to decay, conditions, for example, bone spurs, herniated discs or disc bulges can bring about intervertebral foramina to contract.

At the point when the path for nerve roots narrows, the nerves are at danger of being constricted and trapped this is known as Foraminal Stenosis and when all this happens in the lumbar region affecting lumbar nerve roots it is known as Lumbar Foraminal Stenosis.

Lumbar ForaminalStenosis is the most widely recognized kind of stenosis. Commonly, it will produce symptomatic manifestations that influence one side of the body – as every vertebra has two foramina (one foramen on either side), and most commonly, only one of the either openings get constricted. But in some cases two-sided Foraminal Stenosis gets developed, which implies both vertebral foramina are narrowed and both sides of the body experience its symptoms.

Since lumbar foraminal stenosis shows in the lower back, side effects will show up in that region, for example, radiating pain that goes from the lumbar area to the hips, buttocks and the posterior of one leg. Issues relating to numbness, tingling, and weakness or cramping additionally can happen. In instances of extreme lumbar foraminal stenosis, patients might encounter bladder or bowel dysfunctions, which could leads to a medical emergency known as cauda equina syndrome.

Lumbar stenosis is brought on by degenerative processes in the spine because of aging. Lumbar foraminal stenosis can be created by various distinctive spinal issues, including:

  • Degenerative diseases of disc
  • Bone spurs or osteophytes formation
  • Herniated disc
  • Disc bulge
  • Osteoarthritis

Lumbar Foraminal Stenosis Treatment, Surgery, Physical Therapy


Lumbar Foraminal Stenosis Treatment, Surgery, Physical Therapy

Let’s review Lumbar Foraminal Stenosis Treatment, Surgery, Physical Therapy.

Lumbar Foraminal Stenosis Treatment

The objectives of treatment for lumbar foraminal stenosis are to ease pain, numbness and weakness in the legs, to make it less demanding for patient to move around, and to enhance quality of life.There’s an extensive variety of non-operative treatment options for lumbar foraminal stenosis. The more common alternatives include:


The goal of physical therapy is to return to full activity as soon as possible. Physical therapists can instruct on proper posture, lifting, and walking techniques, and along with that they’ll work to strengthen back, leg, and stomach muscles. It also includesstretching and increasing the flexibility of spine and legs. Exercise and strengthening exercises are key elements of the treatment and become part of life long fitness program. Following are the aspects of physical therapy treatment:

Postural Guidance

Patients of lumbar foraminal stenosis are typically more comfortable while flexed forward. For example, recommended activity modification might include

  • Walking while bent over and leaning on a walker or shopping cart instead of walking upright
  • Stationary biking (leaning forward on the handlebars) instead of walking for exercise
  • Sitting in a recliner instead of on a straight-back chair
  • Lying with the knees drawn up to the chest also can offer some relief

These positions enlarge the space available to the nerves and may make it easier for people with stenosis to walk longer distances.


Prescribed exercises and/or physical therapy to maintain motion of the spine, strengthen abdominal and back muscles, and build endurance, all of which help stabilize the spine. Some patients may be encouraged to try slowly progressive aerobic activity such as swimming or using exercise bicycles.It’s common for people who have foraminal stenosis to become less active, in an effort to reduce pain. However, that can lead to muscle weakness, which can result in more pain. A physical therapist can instruct exercises that may assist in:

  • Building up strength and endurance
  • Maintaining the flexibility and stability of spine
  • Improving balance and coordination

Spinal Manipulation

This treatment is based on the philosophy that restricted movement in the spine reduces proper function and may cause pain. Spinal manipulation is the procedure toadjust the spine for the restoration of normal spinal movements. This may also employ traction, a pulling force, to help increase space between the vertebrae and reduce pressure on affected nerve roots and nerves.

Heat and Cold Therapy

Applying heat or ice or alternating between the two at the site of discomfort can help control pain. Heat can relieve pain away, while ice can be used to reduce inflammation.


In most cases, a combination of non-surgical treatment options will result in sufficient relief from foraminal stenosis symptoms. However, in the rare case that patient experience little to no improvement after weeks or months of these treatments, surgical procedure should be adopted.The presence of different ailments and the physical state of the patient are additionally critical variables to consider while settling on choices about surgery.

The purpose of surgery is to relieve pressure on the spinal cord or nerves, restore and maintain alignment and strength of the spine. This can be done by removing, trimming, or adjusting diseased parts that are causing the pressure or loss of alignment. The two main surgical procedures include:


The narrowing of a foramen can impinge on the nerve roots that run through these canals, causing pain and other symptoms. One of the procedures commonly utilized to address this issue is the foraminotomy. It is a procedure that involves clearing the spinal foramen of extraneous tissue and debris. By widening the foramen and relieving the pressure placed on nerve roots, this procedure can eliminate the pain, weakness or numbness that such an impingement can cause.

Spinal fusion

Intended for patients with more advanced stenosis, this procedure includes removal of an intervertebral disc and subsequent fusion of the adjacent vertebrae. This approach relieves symptoms when a herniated disc is obstructing the foramen and interfering with the nerve roots running through it.

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