Treatment options for foraminal stenosis include non-steroidal pain relievers, physical therapy, corticosteroid injections and modified activity, according to Cedars-Sinai. If conservative treatments are unsuccessful, patients may also undergo a surgical procedure known as a foraminotomy.
Doctors normally recommend conservative home treatments as the first course of action for treating foraminal stenosis symptoms, as stated by the Laser Spine Institute. Patients may need to practice certain stretches that target the affected spine area and take medications to control swelling. A physical therapist can evaluate the patient's specific case to recommend stretches and exercises that strengthen back muscles and aid flexibility. Heat or cold packs applied to the site of pain may be helpful in reducing swelling and discomfort.
Although a combination of non-surgical treatment options is normally sufficient to reduce symptoms, patients may consider surgery if symptoms persist after several weeks or months of treatment, according to the Laser Spine Institute. A foraminotomy involves clearing debris and excess tissue from the spinal foramen to relieve pressure on the nerve roots. This widening of the foramen may eliminate weakness, pain or numbness. A minimally invasive spinal fusion may also be useful for more advanced cases of foraminal stenosis. Speak to a doctor to discuss treatment options and whether surgery is the correct choice.