Bone spurs — also called osteophytes — are small calcium deposits that often develop in response to two bones rubbing against one another. Although the word “spur” suggests a sharp or jagged projection, these deposits are actually quite smooth and are the body’s way of protecting bones from erosion due to friction. Spinal osteophytes can be the result of a damaged disc allowing two vertebrae to rub together, facets joints abrading due to the loss of cartilage or the gradual tightening of the tendons and ligaments, which can pull bones out of their proper alignment and into contact with their neighbors.
In the past, conservative bone spur treatment options have focused on ways to manage the pain associated with this condition, including physical therapy, stretching, exercises and pain medication. Recently, however, essential oils have become a very popular method of treating bone spurs. These substances are concentrates of various plant oils and have been shown to have a number of beneficial properties when applied to the site of a spur, including the reduction of both pain and inflammation, as well as the stimulation of increased blood flow. Their aromas have also been shown to reduce stress, which can help to further diminish pain.
When used as a treatment for spinal bone spurs, it’s important to keep in mind that essential oils can only help patients manage their symptoms. They won’t dissolve the spur itself. Some widely recommended oils for this condition include:
- Peppermint and eucalyptus oils — to reduce swelling and pain
- Myrrh oil — to stimulate blood flow and reduce swelling
- Frankincense oil — to increase blood flow, reduce swelling and lower stress
- Citrus oil — to reduce swelling, stress and anxiety
- Linseed oil — to reduce pain
- Wintergreen oil — to reduce pain and increase circulation
- Lavender oil — to reduce stress and anxiety
Many people with a spinal bone spur can reduce or eliminate their symptoms using a combination of conservative strategies, such as those mentioned above. If pain still persists after several months, however, then surgery may be worth considering. At USA Spine Care, our respected and highly skilled surgeons have performed more than 75,000 minimally invasive outpatient procedures that have helped patients find relief from a variety of spinal conditions, including bone spurs. If you think you might be a candidate for one of our surgeries, then the first step is to obtain a free MRI review.* Contact USA Spine Care today and talk to one of our team members to learn how to get started.