Bone Spur Symptoms

Bone spur symptoms do not typically manifest unless the smooth bony growth comes into contact with a spinal nerve or the spinal cord itself. The body creates bone spurs, also called osteophytes, in response to constant pressure being placed on the bone structures (vertebrae) in the neck and back. A number of spinal conditions can lead to the development of bone spurs, including degenerative disc disease, osteoarthritis and facet disease, among others.

Bone spurs and radiating pain

Bone spur symptoms can include pain, muscle weakness, numbness and tingling. Because the spine is a highly innervated area and is responsible for controlling feeling and movement throughout the body, compression of a spinal nerve can lead to discomfort in other areas of the body. The location of a patient’s symptoms depends on which area of the spine is affected:

  • Cervical spine – Nerve compression in the cervical spine (neck) can cause bone spur symptoms to appear in the neck, upper back, shoulders, and/or arms.
  • Thoracic spine – A compressed nerve in the thoracic spine (middle back) can lead to discomfort in the middle back, ribs, torso, and/or internal organs.
  • Lumbar spine – A bone spur in the lumbar spine (lower back) can result in symptoms that are felt in the lower back, hips, buttocks, and/or legs.

The cervical and lumbar regions of the spine bear more bodyweight and are much more flexible than the relatively stable thoracic region. As a result, bone spurs are more likely to develop in these areas.

Treating bone spurs

Many patients are able to find relief from bone spurs with the use of conservative, non-invasive treatments, which include non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), hot/cold therapy and physical therapy, among others. If these treatments prove ineffective after several weeks or months, a physician or spine specialist may recommend surgery. Laser Spine Institute has helped tens of thousands of people find relief from neck or back pain. Contact us to schedule your initial consultation and to learn about our effective alternatives to traditional open spine surgery.