Neuroforaminal narrowing refers to a reduction of the size of the opening in the spinal column through which the spinal nerve exits. As this opening narrows, the nerve becomes compressed, which in turn can lead to pain that radiates along the path of the nerve.
For a lumbar nerve, the neuroforaminal narrowing can affect the nerve roots that make up the sciatic nerve, resulting in sciatica. This narrowing often occurs as part of lumbar spinal stenosis.
For a cervical nerve, the neuroforaminal narrowing can affect the nerve roots that run down the arm and into the hand. The narrowing can also affect the spinal cord, leading to neurological symptoms. This condition may be part of cervical spinal stenosis, or if the spinal cord is affected, cervical myelopathy.