Chronic pain can negatively affect your well-being and make everyday activities difficult to perform. Lower back, leg, and foot pain are often associated with pinched or compressed nerve endings in the intervertebral foramen, which can cause severe pain in the lower body. Foraminal blocks are a form of transforaminal injections that help relieve pain in the lower body and can help alleviate inflammation around the nerve roots that are compressed by weak or damaged vertebrae. To learn whether a foraminal block can work for you, you should speak with a doctor who can guide you through the process and inform you of what to expect. Call Ceda Orthopedic Group today to schedule a consultation.
What Are Foraminal Blocks Used To Treat?
When you are suffering from lower limb pain and pain in your lumbar region, it can reduce your ability to move. This is caused by specific nerve roots that may be pinched or compressed between the openings of the spinal cord vertebrae. The pinched nerves can send radiating pain to your lower back, buttocks, legs, and even your feet, and can drastically reduce your mobility. Some of these symptoms can be alleviated by foraminal blocks:
A bulging spinal disc in your vertebral column can narrow the nerve canal, and cause tingling down your legs. This is an unexpected sensation that is distracting and uncomfortable.
You may experience stinging and stabbing sensations because of compressed nerves that trigger pain. This can also increase inflammation and swelling in your legs and feet.
Sometimes, pinched nerves are unable to send signals and you may experience a reduced ability to feel sensation in the affected areas.
This is a common disorder that occurs when a pinched sciatic nerve sends radiating pain throughout your hip, leg, and feet. You might only feel it on one side of your body, rather than both.
Herniated discs are a frequent source of nerve compression. This is when a spinal disc slips out of position, causing the vertebrae to close in and put pressure on the nerves.
How Can Foraminal Blocks Benefit Me?
Foraminal blocks are a great way to manage pain and can prevent pinched nerves from sending signals to the brain. They are a temporary approach that can last several months and may be a solution for a chronic health disorder. It can help improve your mobility while you work on recovering from the underlying issue.
The foraminal block procedure is an injection that is performed with the help of x-ray guidance. This way, your doctor can find the nerve root that is causing irritation by viewing the x-ray imagery. The foraminal block injection will be placed in the correct area, targeting only the compressed nerves. There are three main types of injections; transforaminal, interlaminar, and caudal. Foraminal block injection applies the use of a steroid, which works as an anti-inflammatory that brings relief to the affected region. The pain is expected to get better over a few days and can help block the discomfort for several months. This is a useful approach compared to surgery, which is more expensive and invasive. Additionally, surgery can have a longer recovery time.
Would I Be A Good Candidate For Foraminal Blocks?
Not everyone is a good fit for this procedure, and you may benefit from other approaches before attempting to use this one. For example, physical therapy is a great approach to helping overcome lower body pain by increasing muscle strength and circulation. Pain medication can help bring relief if the pain is mild. Chiropractic medicine is another approach, and your spine can be realigned to help relieve the pressure on your nerves.
If you have deteriorated discs or are suffering from arthritis, the damage in your spine may not be short-lived and you may not be able to recover from it unless you undergo surgery. This is why foraminal blocks may not be the best approach, as it only has a short-term benefit for a few months before the effect wears off. These are some of the conditions you should also consider that may impact your eligibility for foraminal blocks.
You Have High Blood Pressure
High blood pressure is another condition that may prevent you from receiving a foraminal block. If you suffer from high blood pressure, this may not be a good approach because of the risk of a vasovagal attack.
You Use Blood Thinners
If you are using blood thinners, you may not be able to receive a foraminal block because they can cause bleeding complications.
You are Diabetic
If you are diabetic, this may complicate the procedure. There might be a short-term elevation of blood sugar after the foraminal block has been injected.
You Have Edema
If you suffer from edema you may experience an increased amount of fluid retention for one to two weeks after the procedure. This might not make you ineligible, but you should speak with your doctor to find out if this is an issue for your health.
How Long Will It Take Me To Recover From The Procedure?
It may take between three to four weeks for you to return to your normal activities. A foraminal block is a minimally invasive surgery, and won’t require 12 months to recover like open spine surgery. You may also notice pain relief within a few days to a week. However, after the procedure, you may feel tenderness in the area of the injection site for a few days.
What Should I Do About My Lower Body Pain?
Not everyone suffers from back pain for the same reason. This is why you should speak to a doctor to diagnose what type of pain you are struggling with and whether it is related to your spine and nerve roots. Speak to a doctor who can explain how foraminal blocks can help improve your health. Call Ceda Orthopedic Group today to find out more information.