Bone spur symptoms do not typically occur unless the one of these growths comes into contact with a spinal nerve or the spinal cord. The body creates spinal bone spurs, also called osteophytes, in response to friction and pressure being placed on the vertebrae and joints in the neck and back. A number of spinal conditions can lead to the development of bone spurs, especially degenerative disc disease and spinal arthritis.
Bone spurs and radiating pain
Bone spur symptoms can include pain, muscle weakness, numbness and tingling. Because the spine is densely packed with nerves and is responsible for controlling feeling and movement throughout the body, compression of a spinal nerve can lead to discomfort in other areas. The location of a patient’s symptoms depends on which area of the spine is affected:
- Cervical spine. Nerve compression in the cervical (upper) spine can cause bone spur symptoms to appear in the neck, upper back, shoulders and arms.
- Thoracic spine. A compressed nerve in the thoracic (middle) spine can lead to discomfort in the middle back, ribs, torso and internal organs.
- Lumbar spine. A bone spur in the lumbar (lower) spine can result in symptoms in the lower back, hips, buttocks and legs.
The cervical and lumbar regions of the spine bear more bodyweight and are much more flexible than the relatively stable thoracic region. As a result, bone spurs are more likely to develop in these areas.
Treating bone spur symptoms
Many patients are able to find relief from bone spurs with the use of conservative treatments, which include nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), hot and/or cold therapy and physical therapy, among others. If these treatments prove ineffective after several weeks or months, a doctor or spine specialist may recommend surgery. USA Spine Care has helped tens of thousands of people find relief from neck or back pain with our minimally invasive spine surgery. Contact us today to learn about our safer and effective alternative^ to traditional open spine surgery.
We’re happy to help you find out if you are a potential candidate for one of our procedures by providing a free MRI review.*