Osteophyte is the technical term for a condition most commonly referred to as bone spurs. Osteophytes are smooth growths that can occur on just about any bone in the body and form in response to excess pressure on the normal bone structure. By themselves, these enlargements are harmless. However, when they grow to a point that they impinge on a nerve – especially the spinal cord or nerve root – or other surrounding tissue, they can be painful and debilitating. However, there are some osteophyte prevention steps you can take in an effort to avoid these negative consequences.
Osteophyte prevention focuses largely on trying to minimize the excess pressure that causes bone spurs to develop. Whether it’s in your joints or along the spine, bone spurs can potentially be avoided by following these osteophyte prevention steps:
- Bone spurs often form as a result of intense physical activity and overuse of joints while playing sports or exercising. Take care of your body and limit impact sports to help minimize the risk of bone spurs.
- Exercise regularly, but keep the above note in mind when designing your workout plan.
- Stick to a healthy diet and maintain a proper body weight to reduce the strain and pressure on your joints and spine.
- Get plenty of vitamins and calcium to keep your bones strong and healthy.
Osteophyte Treatment Options
If osteophyte prevention has failed and you are suffering from the pain and discomfort of bone spurs in your joints or spine, there are a variety of treatment options your doctor might recommend. Many are non-surgical, including anti-inflammatory and/or pain medication, physical therapy and exercise, cortisone injections, and more. However, surgery is sometimes necessary depending on the severity of the situation. For more information on osteophyte, prevention tips, and treatment options, contact Laser Spine Institute today.