What Are Bone Spurs?

Bone spurs causes and treatments

Bone spurs are bony outgrowths that typically occur along a bone’s edge.

Bone spurs are most frequently associated with osteoarthritis and the joint damage that this form of arthritis wreaks. Oftentimes individuals with bone spurs will not even be aware of it- as symptoms may not appear for years, if ever.

That said, deciding on whether to treat bone spurs primarily depends on where they are located and how they are impacting your health.

As we previously mentioned, bone spurs generally do not cause any symptoms. It may not be until you receive an x-ray for unrelated reason that bone spurs will be detected. In rare cases, however, bone spurs can trigger pain and loss of joint mobility.

Bone Spurs Explained in 2 Minutes

Bone spurs can occur in the following areas

  • Hip: when bone spurs are present in the hip it can make it painful for you to move your hip.
  • Fingers: when the bone spurs occur in your fingers they will manifest as rigid bumps beneath your skin which can make your fingers appear knobby.
  • Spine: when bone spurs appear on your spine it can narrow the vertebral space of your spinal cord. This can result in pinching of the spinal cord and potentially impinge on nerves which can trigger nerve pain.
  • Shoulder: when bone spurs occur in your shoulder they can impact your rotator cuff which can impact your ability to move your shoulder smoothly. They can also trigger swelling and rotator cuff tears.

Make sure that you consult a physician if you were experiencing swelling or pain in your joints and you were having difficulty moving them.

Causes of bone spurs

Most commonly it is osteoarthritis that triggers the formation of bone spurs. When osteoarthritis destroys cartilage, your body tries to replace the loss of cushioning by forming bone spurs.

Bone spur treatments

When your bone spurs begin to become painful, your physician will likely advise that you try some over-the-counter pain relievers like Tylenol, Motrin, or Naproxen. If the pain from a bone spur is severely painful or limiting your range of motion, surgery may be required to remove it.

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