A bone spur is a smooth growth of calcium that develops on a bone, often as a protective response against friction that the bone is experiencing. A bone spur in the cervical spine, or neck area, can develop when the constant movement of the facet joints in the neck, which connect the vertebrae, has led to the deterioration of the cartilage in the joint, causing the bones to grind against one another.
Bone spurs often go undiagnosed because they don’t produce symptoms. However, a cervical bone spur that comes in contact with a nerve root or the spinal cord can lead to localized pain and inflammation as well as pain, numbness, tingling and muscle weakness that radiate to the shoulders, upper back, arms or hands.
Treating cervical bone spurs
The only way to actually remove a bone spur in the neck is through surgery. However, many individuals dealing with this condition are able to find adequate symptom relief through a combination of conservative and alternative treatments. Some options include:
- Corticosteroid injections
- Hot and/or cold therapy
- Physical therapy
- Targeted periods of rest
- Over-the-counter pain relievers and anti-inflammatory medications
Lifestyle modifications can also be a helpful tool in the treatment of spinal bone spurs. Losing excess weight, avoiding high-impact activities and using better posture can all help reduce the pressure on the spine.
Additional treatment options
Surgery to treat a bone spur in the neck may become an option for individuals who have tried conservative treatment for several months but haven’t experienced their desired level of symptom relief. USA Spine Care performs minimally invasive surgical procedures, such as a foraminotomy or a laminotomy, which can relieve the compression being caused by a bone spur. Our outpatient surgeries utilize a less than 1-inch incision and muscle-sparing techniques and have helped thousands of individuals.
Contact USA Spine Care if you would like to learn more about our minimally invasive spinal bone spur treatments. We can provide a free MRI review* to help determine if you are a candidate for our procedures.