A bone spur in the back can cause a number of symptoms including pain, muscle weakness, numbness, and tingling. If you are experiencing any of these symptoms in the back, ribs, torso, hips, buttocks, and/or legs, any number of spinal conditions could be causing your discomfort. Make an appointment with your primary care physician or a spine specialist to discuss your symptoms and to find out if a bone spur is the cause of your back pain.
What is a Bone Spur?
A bone spur, also called an osteophyte, is a smooth enlargement of the body’s natural bone structure. The body creates a bone spur in the back as a response to pressure that is being placed on the spine, bone-on-bone contact, or a loss of bone density, either because of the natural aging process or any number of spinal conditions, including degenerative disc disease and facet disease, among others. The mere presence of a bone spur will not cause you to experience any discomfort; it is only when the bone spur comes into contact with the spinal cord or a spinal nerve that symptoms appear.
Diagnosing the Condition
During a visit with your primary care physician or spine specialist, the doctor will perform a number of steps as a means of diagnosing your spinal condition. This may include:
- Asking a series of questions pertaining to your symptoms, family history, and overall level of health
- Palpate your spine to determine which region is affected
- Order diagnostic testing, such as an MRI, CT scan, or X-ray to detect the presence of a bone spur in your back
Treating the Condition
If your doctor diagnoses you with a spinal bone spur, he or she will work with you to develop a conservative, noninvasive treatment plan that may include over-the-counter medication and physical therapy. If these treatments fail to provide relief, contact Laser Spine Institute to learn about our safe and effective alternatives to open spine surgery.