Bone spurs, also know as (osteophytes) are smooth, bony growths that form over a long period of time. They are the growth of normal bone that tends to occur with aging. The actual bone spurs themselves are not painful, but the effect on nearby structures such as nerves and the spinal cord can be. Bone spurs can often be located in the spinal cord and can irritate nerve roots between each vertebrae. Often osteoarthritis can be found in conjunction with bone spurs and in many cases you might not feel any effects of them depending on where they occur. Decisions about treatment depend on where spurs are situated and how they affect your health.
Bone Spur Symptoms
- Back and neck pain is the most common sign of bone spurs. Joints become inflamed and the back muscles become tender
- Burning or tingling(pins and needles in the hands and feet)
- Dull pain in the neck or lower back when standing or walking
- Loss of coordination in parts of the body
- Spasms, cramps, weakness or numbness of the muscles
- Radiating pain in the glutes and thighs (if affected bone is in the back or lower back)
- Radiating pain into the shoulders or head (if the affected bone is in the neck)
Causes and Risk Factors
- Aging. As our discs wear down, ligaments get looser, which unstabalize the joint, resulting in ligament thickening. The thickened ligaments and new bone around the spinal cord and the nerve roots cause pressure.
- Disc and joint degeneration
- Heredity and structural problems a person is born with
- Injuries, including sports-related and motor vehicle accidents are very common
- Years of unchecked poor posture
- In addition, certain conditions can make it more likely that bone spurs develop, including: Arthritis, osteoarthritis, spinal stenosis, in persons 60 and older, bone spurs are common. Only a little more than 40% of the population will develop symptoms that require medical treatment as a result of bone spurs.
Complications of Bone Spurs
- Bone spurs can become painful or inhibit normal movement and function when left untreated.
- If left untreated for too long, options become more scarce and often surgery is the only option.
- Other complications and added pain could result from surgery
- To avoid more complications and invasive surgeries, non-invasive treatments and physical therapy is the often the best option.
Prevention of Bone Spurs
- Proper posture is vital to preventing bone spurs
- Ensuring a diet rich in vitamins and minerals to ensure proper bone health.
- Paying attention to pain in your body and seeking treatment early to prevent further complications.
- Seeking proper medical care after traumas or injuries.
At home Treatment of Bone Spurs
- Medication, such as anti-inflammatory medications and muscle relaxant pain medications. Although this approach will only help the symptoms and not the cause.
- Activity may flare up inflammation in the joints, thus a short period of rest is initially appropriate.
- Cold and hot packs might help with pain relief
- Another long term solution might be weight loss to decrease pressure on the affected joints.
Treatment of Bone Spurs
We use the following approaches to treat Bone Spurs
- ASTR® Tools: Our doctors use a variety of ASTR® tools to release scar tissue and myofascial restriction, which can decrease mobility and flexibility.
- Special exercise program to decrease pain, strengthen the muscles, stabilize and help the patient to return to normal function and activities.
- Special instructions on how to speed up the recovery time.
- Cold Laser Therapy: Tissue inflammation is common with bone spurs. Cold laser is used in order to decrease inflammation that causes pressure on the affected area.