Foraminal Stenosis Back Pain Caused By Accident – MN Lawyers


Our accident injury lawyers handle many cases involving back pain every year.  Oftentimes, our clients are diagnosed with “stenosis” or “foraminal stenosis.”  Here is what that means: Nerves run from all parts of the body to the spinal canal. The nerve roots pass through gaps in the vertebrae, called foramen and continue up the spinal cord to the brain. The nervous system responds to information from the senses and triggers reactions.

For example, when a person feels pain, the nerves send information that makes the muscles move away from the source of pain, while at the same time informing the brain that there is pain. Each nerve or neuron has a cell body and several extensions, called dendrites and an axon. The dendrites receive signals, which travel along the axon, which can be up to a meter long. All the signals reach the brain via the network of spinal neurons.

Neural foraminal stenosis occurs when the foramen of the neck (cervical stenosis), the upper part of the back (thoracic stenosis), or the lower back (lumbar stenosis), compress or narrow, trapping the nerve root.

Spine Injury Accident Lawyer MN
Spine Injury Accident Lawyer MN


Not everyone with neural foraminal stenosis will develop symptoms. If a nerve gets trapped, however, the symptoms tend only to affect one side of the body and can include:

  • pain in the back or neck
  • muscle weakness
  • tingling
  • numbness or weakness in the arm, hand, or leg
  • burning sensations
  • problems walking
  • issues with balance

If the nerve root becomes compressed on both sides, both sides of the body will likely be affected. This is called bilateral foraminal stenosis.

What causes foraminal stenosis back pain?

The most common cause of neural foraminal stenosis is a degenerative spine. This expands into the foraminal canal, narrowing the spaces and openings where nerves leave between the vertebrae. Similarly, a degenerative disk is where a vertebral disc degenerates and slips out of place putting pressure on the exiting nerve. It is most common in the lumbar spine, but can also happen in the thoracic or the cervical spine.

Other causes of foraminal stenosis back pain include a herniated disk, spondylolisthesis, arthritis, or a bone spur (Osteophyte).

Our accident injury lawyers get involved when the back pain or foraminal stenosis is caused by trauma from a Minnesota car accident or other accident injury.


A doctor will make the diagnosis based on a physical assessment and the results of an MRI scan. In some cases, a CT scan will be used to confirm the problem.

How is it treated?

Treatment varies depending on the severity of the condition.

Exercise for back pain

One medical association recently suggested that cycling is often less painful than walking for people with spinal stenosis and suggest riding a static bike, starting with 2 to 3 minutes twice a day and building up from there. It also suggests a person walks until they reach their pain threshold, resting, then walking a little further.

Injections for spine pain or injury

If exercise does not improve the symptoms, a doctor may recommend an epidural, which is an injection into the spinal canal. Epidurals tend to be more successful in easing leg pain than back, pain. Studies show that about 60 percent of people respond well to injections for back pain stenosis.

Back Surgery because of accident injury – MN lawyers

If a person still experiences unbearable pain, a doctor may consider surgery. The doctor will have to take certain factors into account: These factors include:

  • the person’s general state of health, and whether they have any other conditions or health problems
  • their general fitness
  • whether the problem is in one or multiple areas of the spine

The surgical options include:

  • Interspinous distraction device: This procedure involves implanting a device in the space between the vertebrae to widen the gap and relieve pressure on the nerves.
  • Foraminotomy: A surgeon removes the bone that is causing the compression to give the nerves more room.


If you are injured in an accident in MN and are experiencing serious back pain, please call us and speak with an attorney for a free consultation.  Pam Rochlin and David Rochlin are lawyers with over 25 years’ experience successfully representing hundreds of people with back injury and other injuries from a car accident, motorcycle accident, truck accident, and many other situations.

The primary focus of our spine injury attorneys is to get you fair and complete compensation from the insurance company after your accident.  We never charge anything unless you receive compensation for your injuries. We have office where you can meet an injury lawyer in Edina, Minneapolis, Woodbury, and St. Louis Park.  An accident injury lawyer will also meet you at your home in St. Paul, Roseville, Anoka, Albert Lea, and other cities throughout Minnesota.