What is bilateral minimal facet osteoarthritis without significant neural foraminal narrowing or central canal stenosis?

Bilateral neural foraminal narrowing may seem like a complicated medical term, but this condition has a fairly simple definition. In essence, the term means that nerve passageways in the spine — on both the right and left sides — have less space than they used to, possibly leading to the compression or pinching of nerves.

If we break the term down into its individual parts, we learn that “bilateral” means both the left and right side are affected, while “neural” refers to nerves. The term “foraminal” tells us that the condition affects the foramina, which are open passageways on either side of each vertebra. These passageways provide a space through which spinal nerve roots exit the spinal column and join the complex network of nerves that serves the entire body. And “narrowing” means that the nerve passageways have become smaller. The term “stenosis” also refers to the narrowing of the foraminal canal.

If you are experiencing pain, tingling, numbness or weakness in your extremities on both sides of your body and your physician has diagnosed you with bilateral neural foraminal narrowing, many treatment options are available. Your physician may suggest a variety of nonoperative, conservative methods, such as:

Intermittent periods of rest
Alternating hot and cold compresses
Low-impact exercise
Prescription or over-the-counter pain medication
Gentle stretching or restorative yoga
These conservative treatments can often be accompanied by other forms of at-home remedies to help expedite your pain relief.