The symptoms of moderate neural foraminal narrowing include slowly developing, intermittent pain and pain that comes during an activity such as exercising or holding the neck in a certain position, according to Spine-health. Other symptoms include tingling and numbness, says Laser Spine Institute.
The location of the foramen in the spinal column dictates symptoms, says Laser Spine Institute. A narrowed foramen in the cervical spine, or neck, can cause symptoms in the shoulders, arms or hands. If the foramen is in the lumbar spine, it can lead to symptoms in the small of the back, the buttocks, down the thighs, and into the legs and the feet. These particular symptoms are called sciatica, because the sciatic nerve is being compressed.
Narrowed foramen in the thoracic spine lead to pain in the chest that resembles shingles, according to MedicineNet.
Treatment for the milder phase of foraminal stenosis includes rest, physical therapy and nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory medications, says Laser Spine Institute and Cedars-Sinai. If the symptoms don't respond to this, or in severe cases that may lead to incontinence, spinal cord damage or lack of balance, doctors sometimes recommend a type of surgery called a foraminotomy, according to UW Orthopaedics & Sports Medicine.