Hi Sally first off the neural foraminal
opening is the hole that the spinal nerve roots pass through, that come off your spinal cord and innervates the area that they go to. When that area starts closing up, ( the foraminal
opening getting smaller) that can put pressure on the nerve roots that pass through it, same with a bulging disk if it presses on the nerve root, this pressure or nerve impingement, can cause pain, but usually the pain is not necessarily felt at the point of impingement but further down the nerve path way. An example of this is if the nerve is impinged at the L5 area the pain is usually felt in the buttocks and down the back of the leg, often know as sciatica pain. When I had the severely herniated disk in my neck at C6 all my pain was from my elbow down into my fingers, (felt like I hit my crazy bone really hard, but the pain and feeling didn't go away!) then damage was in the disk pressing into the nerve root. Allot of times with the nerve root is being pressed on or impinged there is inflammation, the epidural spinal injections are usually steroid injections that are used to combat the inflammation and thus relieve the pain.
I have had both facet and epidural injections, and neither one gave me any lasting relief. three weeks at the most! and I was usually pretty sore for a few days after the injections, before I got any relief at all, if I did. The epidural injections can be a good diagnostic tool and allot of surgeons ask if you have had them before wanting to do surgery.
I sure hope these injections help you and you can get some pain relief!
Good Luck to you!
Moderator Chronic Pain
I retired from the USAF, in Sept, 1991. I went back to school and became a licensed RN in 1994, I worked on Oncology and Med Surg , I became disabled in late 1999 and was approved SSD in early 2002! Diagnosed with: DDD, herniated Disk at T12, L3/4; C3/4 Posterior Articular Joint fusion Nov 2010; C5/6 ACDF Sep 2009; C6/7 ACDF Mar 1985; Ulcerative colitis; Chronic Pain; Complex Sleep Apnea; and host of other things! I am White Beard with a White Beard!