Bone spurs, or osteophytes, are bony growths at the edges of bones most commonly caused by degenerative changes. Many people with bone spurs have no symptoms at all but when bone spurs put pressure onto spinal nerves the result can be localized pain or radiating symptoms into the arms or legs.
If you are worried you may have bone spurs, x-rays are the standard imaging technique employed to diagnose this condition.
Most people think of something sharp when they think of a "spur," but a bone spur is just an extra bone. It’s usually smooth, but it can cause wear and tear or pain if it presses or rubs on other bones or soft tissues such as ligaments, tendons, or nerves in the body. The inflammation of the ligament that surrounds a degenerating disc between the vertebrae is a very common cause of bone spurs of the spine. Common places for bone spurs include the spine, shoulders, hands, hips, knees, and feet.
Osteophytes may become barriers between bones and hinder the joint movements. Generally, pain, decreased range of motion and inflammatory responses are commonly encountered. If osteophytes irritate nearby nerve roots, blood vessels or other soft tissues, pain, numbness and muscle atrophy would be resulted.
Some bone spurs form as part of the aging process. Older age is a prime time for bone spurs to develop because the slippery tissue called cartilage that covers the ends of the bones within joints breaks down and eventually wears away. Bone spurs also form in the feet in response to tight ligaments due to the wrong working postures or activities such as dancing and running that put stress on the feet, and to pressure from being overweight or from poorly fitting shoes.
Some bone spurs do not cause symptoms and they depend on the location of osteophytes development, the signs and symptoms may differ. Bone spurs are treated only if they are causing symptoms. There are no cures for bone spurs and their associated medical conditions, but Spine and Physiotherapy care can dramatically assist patients in pain relief while slowing the degenerative process in the bones.
Spine and Physiotherapy care can help eliminate the pain by reducing the inflammation the irritation in nerves associated with the joints and by improving mobility. Continuous Spine and Physiotherapy adjustments help restore flexibility and strength in the joint. In addition, these spinal adjustments may decrease the pressure on the nerves, causing immediate and lasting pain relief. It can also help slow the degenerative process and improve the quality of life and mobility that patients have.