Bone spurs are naturally occurring outgrowths of bone that develop on the skeleton, often as a response to joint inflammation or traumatic injury. These growths are not always painful, but they can cause symptoms if they compress or irritate nerves in the spinal column. Bone spurs are very common in the spinal column and can develop along with conditions like arthritis of the spine and degenerative disc disease, which are strongly related to the natural aging process.
Spinal bone spurs are nonreversible and there is no cure for this condition, although they can be surgically removed. However, spine surgery is almost always seen as a treatment of last resort for bone spurs. Symptoms, if they occur, can very often be successfully managed with a doctor-approved nonsurgical treatment plan.
Nonsurgical bone spur treatments
Growth of bone spurs in the spinal column can constrict the already tight nerve pathways for the spinal cord and nerve roots. If a bone spur puts pressure on a nerve, it can cause both local and traveling symptoms in the upper or lower extremities. The goal of treatment is to find the right combination of therapies to help manage pain and improve spinal flexibility. Commonly recommended treatments include:
- Over-the-counter medication
- Gentle stretching and light exercise
- Hot and cold therapy, such as a heating pad or an ice pack
- Physical therapy
- Spinal injections
- Posture improvement
- Therapeutic massage
If you are diagnosed with spinal bone spurs, your doctor may also recommend taking steps like quitting smoking or beginning a weight management plan that can help improve overall health, including the health of the spine.
If bone spur surgery becomes an option
Surgical procedures for spinal bone spurs involve accessing the spine to remove the excess boney material that is causing narrowing and nerve compression. While this is not a cure for the underlying cause of bone spurs, you may be recommended to consult with a surgeon if you are experiencing severe chronic symptoms that are no longer responding to conservative treatments.
At USA Spine Care, we can treat spinal bone spurs with an outpatient procedure that only requires a less than 1-inch incision. Our minimally invasive spine surgery offers a lower risk of complication and a shorter recovery time compared to traditional open neck or back procedures.^ To learn more, contact us today.
You can ask a member of our caring team for a free MRI review* to determine if you are a potential candidate for one of our procedures.