The Causes of Bone Spurs and Your Options for Treatment

Bone Spurs Causes and Treatments - New Jersey

May 21, 2015 @ 09:50 AM — by Aron D Rovner, MD 
Tagged with: Bone Spurs | Osteoarthritis

The entire team here at New York Spine and Sports Surgery is committed to helping patients relieve pain and improve mobility and range of motion. To achieve this, we offer strong medical advice when it comes to non-invasive therapies as well as minimally invasive surgery for the spine to relieve neck and back pain.

Bone spurs tend to be a common health issue experienced by people of advanced age. Let's look at bone spurs in greater detail right now.

What is a bone spur?

A bone spur (osteophyte) refers to a type of growth or projection from a bone. They are not spiky or jagged as the name would suggest, but rather smooth formations of bone. Bone spurs can form around any kind of joint, though they can be particularly problematic along the spine, resulting in discomfort in the back or the neck.

What are the common causes of bone spurs?

The most common cause of bone spur formation is related to osteoarthritis, which is the gradual wearing down of the cartilage cushions around your bones at the joints over time. (Injuries and other forms of stress to the joints can similar result in osteoarthritis.) As a response to this, your body will attempt to repair the loss of cartilage by creating bone spurs in the area of the joint.

Bone spurs are not necessarily bad—in fact, you may have developed bone spurs without even realizing it—though they can have an impact on your mobility and general wellness.

What signs/symptoms of bone spurs should I be aware of?

The most common signs and symptoms of bone spurs in the spine are mobility issues, discomfort, and pain.

In some cases, the bone spurs may pinch the nerves of the spine, resulting in soreness in the area in which the nerve is pinched as well as residual numbness, tingling, and weakness in the extremities; if the bone spurs are in the lower back, the lower extremities can be affected; if the bone spurs are in the upper back or neck, the arms and shoulders can be affected.

Non-Invasive Treatments for Spinal Bone Spurs

If the bone spurs only cause patients discomfort and soreness, doctors may recommend the use of simple pain relievers that are available over-the-counter at your local store. Physical therapy, back exercises, and chiropractic treatment are all also viable treatment options.

Advanced Treatments for Spinal Bone Spurs

When a person suffers from bone spurs that pinch nerves or have a significant impact on mobility, surgical treatments may be considered to address these matters. These procedures will help reduce the pressure on pinched nerves and typically yield excellent results.

What type of treatment is most ideal for me?

Ideally, doctors will want to start with non-invasive therapies to see if pain management works best. Only when these non-invasive treatments prove ineffective or not ideal will surgical options be considered. During your consultation at the practice, we will be more than happy to go over these matters in greater detail.

Learn More About Treating Bone Spurs

For more information about bone spurs and how they can be properly treated and addressed, it's important that you contact our spine and athletic surgery center today. The team here at New York Spine and Sports Surgery looks forward to your visit and helping you achieve greater wellness and mobility.