A bone spur (osteophyte) might require treatment if it presses against a nearby nerve or nerve root. Depending on where in the body the bone spur develops, this compression can cause a number of symptoms, such as localized pain and pins-and-needles sensations that travel along the path of an affected nerve. In most cases, bone spur treatment focuses on alleviating these symptoms to allow for a return to work, hobbies and other day-to-day activities.
Conservative bone spur therapies
When treating a bone spur in the neck, physicians may recommend many different approaches, but the initial approach typically focuses on conservative therapies. This is because many individuals are able to achieve an adequate level of symptom control through nonsurgical options, such as:
- Over-the-counter anti-inflammatory medications
- Prescription pain relievers
- Prescription muscle relaxants
- Topical analgesic medications
- Physical therapy programs
- Lifestyle changes, such as weight loss and smoking cessation, if applicable
- Hot/cold therapy
- Activity modifications
A bit of trial and error may be necessary during this phase of bone spur treatment in the sense that some people may need to try a variety of medications, exercises and lifestyle changes to find a combination that works for their particular needs. Consulting with an experienced physician throughout this process can make it easier to determine which options are most effective.
Surgical bone spur treatments
Although many people benefit from conservative therapies, some eventually consider surgery to address persistent symptoms. While nonsurgical therapies are intended to relieve symptoms, surgical bone spur treatments can address the source of the symptoms. For instance, surgery can be used to remove a bone spur from the neck or create additional space in the spinal canal to relieve pressure on a pinched nerve.
At USA Spine Care, we perform minimally invasive spine surgery and welcome individuals who have not obtained the desired results from conservative bone spur treatment. To learn more about our outpatient procedures, contact us today.