A bone spur is an outgrowth of bone which can occur near the edges of an existing normal bone. A bone spur is also called osteophyte. While bone spurs can grow in any bone, it is most typically found in joints. They also grow in areas where there are muscles, tendons, or ligaments attach to the bone.
Some of the most common areas where bone spurs grow are the neck, lower back, shoulder, knee, hip, and the heel.
Causes of Bone Spur
Bone spurs typically happen due to prolong rubbing or stress of a bone for a long time. Some of the common reasons include osteoarthritis and inflammation like tendinitis. Other medical conditions that are associated with bone spurs include plantar fasciitis, ankylosing spondylitis, and Diffuse idiopathic skeletal hyperostosis (DISH).
A lot of patients have bone spurs without any symptoms. Select patients with this condition might not experience symptoms until the damage has already been done. Sometimes a bone spur will press on tissues or other bones for long periods of time, or causing tendons or muscles to rub together, it can break the tissue over time. This causes inflammation, swelling, and pain. In addition, bone spurs in the foot can cause corns and calluses when the tissue builds up to provide padding.
- Medications – Anti-inflammatory medications and muscle relaxers are the first pain medications that most doctors will prescribe patients to help relieve the pain. Doctors also recommend using nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) such as ibuprofen.
- Rest for A Short period – Most inflammation happens when the joints are working too hard. Take time to rest the painful area, and use ice to help it reduce the inflammation.
- Rehabilitation Therapy – Physical therapy, exercise, stretching, and even chiropractic adjustment can help improve painful joints.
- Injections – Cortisone epidural steroid injections are usually effective and they can help provide potential therapeutic pain relief. With the help of injections, you will be able to help reduce the swelling and improving the pain that you are experiencing. Most doctors use this technique to help determine the source of your pain. The effectiveness varies from patient to patient but the injections are worth trying in order to prevent surgery.
- Surgery for Bone Spurs– Spine surgery for bone spurs is designed to help patients who are experiencing pain and neurological symptoms. The surgeon will remove any bones that are problematic and thickened ligaments that are causing pain. The majority of patients who undergo bone spur surgery often has good results so that patients can gain relief and improved life quality.
- Lifestyle Change – Education is important in preventing more bone spurs from occurring, especially if you are already suffering from osteoarthritis or other types of arthritis. If the bone spur is on your foot, changing your footwear, adding some padding, or using shoe inserts may help. Sometimes with a complete lifestyle change, such as by staying away from food that can trigger arthritis will help keep inflammation at bay. Some patients may experience mild to moderate nerve irritation or compression due to the bone spurs. They find that they can manage their symptoms with simple pain medications or alternative treatments.
Bone spurs can cause pain to the affected area. With the right kind of treatment and therapy, you will be able to overcome these pain. Many people who find themselves with this problem can change their lives drastically by adapting to a better lifestyle.