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What is severe neural foraminal narrowing?

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Severe neural foraminal narrowing is a disease of the spine where space between the vertebrae is lost -often from wear-and-tear brought about from aging- resulting in pinched nerves and pain, states Laser Spine Institute. In severe cases, doctors may recommend surgery to create added space for the spinal cord or nerves.

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The narrowing, also known as 'spinal stenosis,' can occur in any area of the spine, from the neck to the lower back, states WebMD. The condition is most often diagnosed in adults over the age of 50.

In patients diagnosed with early-stage neural foraminal narrowing, treatments include physical therapy and stretching, anti-inflammatory medication and modification of activities, reports Atlantic Spine Center. Epidural steroid injections are another treatment option for reducing inflammation, but can only be used a few times per year due to the risk of weakening bones, according to Mayo Clinic.

Other medications used to treat spinal stenosis include muscle relaxants, such as Flexeril, and anti-seizure medications, such as gabapentin and Lyrica, which have been shown to help relieve nerve pain, according to Mayo Clinic.

Symptoms that sometimes accompany spinal stenosis include muscle weakness, pain, numbness in the legs and bowel and bladder incontinence, states Mayo Clinic. While not all patients exhibit such symptoms, medical attention is a must when they are present.

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