Cervical foraminal stenosis
In the neck, the foramen are the holes on either side of the vertebrae where the nerves exit the spinal cord and go out into the body. Obviously these holes need to be large enough so the nerves can pass through and not become pinched or compressed. Cervical (neck) foraminal stenosis implies that the holes have become smaller and now the nerves are getting pinched as they pass through. There are many causes of cervical foraminal stenosis such as disc herniation or bulge, arthritis and bone spurs and space-occupying growths.
A common feature of cervical foraminal stenosis is neck pain. Neck pain may develop over many years. Neck pain associated with cervical foraminal stenosis is typically movement or position related. That is, it is worse with positions that naturally close the foramina such as looking up. Patients may struggle to lay on their back and may need quite a few pillows to open up the neck. Shooting pain, numbness, and weakness in muscles are all possible symptoms.
The treatment of cervical foraminal stenosis depends on how advanced it is. In some cases, conservative treatments from chiropractors and physiotherapists are useful. In other cases, more advanced treatment is needed by medical practitioners.