For a large number of people who need bone spur treatment, nonsurgical approaches are sufficient. Bone spurs, which are also known as osteophytes, are bony deposits that are produced naturally by the body. Sometimes, osteophytes form on the spinal vertebrae. Their purpose is to strengthen bones that have become weakened due to injury or osteoarthritis.
Bone spur treatment is not always necessary. Usually, discomfort occurs only if the presence of bony buildup in the spinal canal irritates or pressures the spinal cord or a nearby nerve root. This can create symptoms like localized and radiating pain, tingling, numbness and muscle weakness.
How to enhance the effectiveness of bone spur treatment
If you need treatment for bone spurs, you’ll want to make sure that you not only choose the most appropriate option for you, but also that you do whatever you can to make your treatment as effective as possible. Here are five tips on how to maximize the effectiveness of your bone spur treatment:
- Don’t take it easy for too long. If needed, a short break is generally fine. However, a period of inactivity that lasts longer than a day or two can sometimes do more harm than good. That’s because the muscles that support your spine will naturally weaken through inactivity. If this happens, your spine will be forced to take on some of the excess weight load.
- Stand and sit up straight. It’s important to pull your shoulders back, tuck your stomach in and focus on using your abdominal muscles to support your spine. Practicing good posture will help keep your spine in proper alignment, which can prevent episodes of neck or back pain from occurring down the road.
- Stretch and strengthen your gluteal muscles. While strong abdominal muscles are essential for providing proper support for your spine, your hip muscles also play a key role. A low-impact exercise routine that includes targeted stretches and strengthening exercises can help keep your gluteus muscles strong and flexible.
- Lose weight if necessary. Carrying even just a few extra pounds of body weight can create significant stress on your spine. Additionally, weight gain is sometimes all that it takes to cause an asymptomatic bone spur to become painful and require treatment.
- Try to relax. Dealing with neck or back pain can be stressful, and this can lead to a vicious circle. That’s because chronic stress can cause the muscles that support your spine to tighten, which in turn can worsen your pain. One way to break this stress cycle is to engage in an enjoyable activity, such as reading, practicing yoga, meditating, taking a walk or listening to music.
If conservative treatment is not enough
If nonsurgical bone spur treatment does not provide adequate relief, you might consider a surgical procedure. The surgeons at USA Spine Care perform minimally invasive spine surgery that can pinpoint the location of a painful bone spur and then carefully remove it. Unlike traditional open spine surgery, which typically involves a hospital stay, our minimally invasive procedures are performed in an outpatient setting with no lengthy recovery.^
To learn more about the minimally invasive spinal bone spur treatment options available at USA Spine Care, contact us today. We offer a no cost review of your MRI or CT scan* to determine if you may be a candidate for one of our procedures.