Bone spurs are tiny smooth projections of calcium that can grow from bones in any area of the body, including the spine, knee, hip and shoulder. Known medically as osteophytes, bone spurs usually develop as a result of friction in the joints where two bones meet. As a result, these discs become completely worn out, causing large bone protrusions in the spine. To learn about the signs of this debilitating condition as well as the treatments available for relief, read the following article.
Signs of a bone spur in the spine
Many people with spinal bone spurs never experience noticeable symptoms. Others may have bone spurs that irritate the spinal column and nearby nerves, sparking pain and immobility that can disrupt everyday life. While the severity of symptoms depends on the size of the bone spur and where it is situated in the neck or back, there are a few basic indicators that a bone spur may be present. Here are three of the most common:
- Radiating pain in the shoulders, arms and hands, in the case of a cervical spine bone spur and radiating pain in the buttocks and thighs, if the lumbar spine (lower back) is affected
- Headaches and dull pain in the neck or lower back that worsens when standing or walking
- Numbness, weakness and a tingling sensation in the arms and hands
If you have noticed any of these signs, be sure to promptly consult with a doctor regarding your treatment options. If left untreated, bone spurs may grow larger and cause symptoms to worsen.
Conservative and alternative treatments for spinal bone spurs
Once a doctor has confirmed the presence of a bone spur in the spine, a number of treatment approaches may be suggested based on the patient’s symptoms, active lifestyle and several other factors. Many patients can find significant relief from bone spur symptoms through conservative techniques, including:
- Prescription or over-the-counter pain medications
- Routine stretching and gentle exercise
- Physical therapy
- Muscle spasm medications
- Corticosteroid injections
Some patients also explore alternative therapies to help manage bone spur symptoms. While not recommended as a primary form of treatment, chiropractic care, acupuncture and yoga may increase comfort and mobility in certain cases.
Minimally invasive bone spur surgery
Patients who cannot find relief from symptoms through conservative or alternative treatment methods may be candidates for surgery, such as the outpatient procedures performed at USA Spine Care. While traditional open spine surgeries are associated with large incisions and lengthy recovery periods, USA Spine Care offers muscle-sparing procedures that require less than a 1-inch incision and reduce scarring as well as surgical blood loss.
USA Spine Care is the leader in minimally invasive spine surgery and has helped more than 75,000 patients find relief from chronic neck or back pain. Our procedures are able to remove the offending bone spur that is pinching the nerves or spinal cord, thereby eliminating the painful symptoms associated with this condition. To discover if our outpatient surgery would be effective for you, contact our dedicated team today for a no-cost MRI review.