Bone spurs can have a variety of causes, especially when they develop in the spine — a complex structure that includes numerous bones, joints, nerves and muscles. Because the spine bends and twists so frequently, it’s possible for some of these components to wear down. In some instances, bone spurs can develop as a result.
The most common causes of bone spurs
Most bone spurs develop as a result of bone-on-bone friction. This predominately occurs when the cartilage that separates the joints gradually wears away (spinal osteoarthritis). However, other potential bone spur causes include:
- Degeneration of the discs in the spine. When the discs in between the vertebrae wear down over time, the surfaces of the vertebrae can rub against each other, leading to the production of bone spurs.
- Ligament damage. Ligaments are soft tissues that connect bones to other bones. If these become looser or less elastic, the bones can shift and press up against each other, allowing bone spurs to form at the site of contact.
- A traumatic injury. Although less common than other bone spurs causes, car accidents and other sudden impacts can cause immediate damage to one or more of the discs and vertebrae in the spine and a bone spur may form as a result.
What to do if you think you have a bone spur
If you are experiencing pain, stiffness, numbness or muscle weakness in your neck or back, there may be several potential causes. An experienced physician can help you determine if bone spurs might be causing your pain.
If you’ve been diagnosed with spinal bone spurs and have found minimal relief from conservative treatments, contact USA Spine Care to learn more about your treatment options. We’d be happy to provide you with a no-cost MRI review* to help you find out if you are a candidate for our minimally invasive surgical procedures.