Treatment and prevention of spinal bone spurs

Bone spur treatment methods can vary depending on the location of and the severity of symptoms. Bone spurs don’t necessarily cause symptoms and treatment isn’t always necessary. However, when bone spurs form in the spine, they may place pressure on nearby nerve roots or the spinal cord. The pressure can result in local pain, as well as shooting pain, muscle weakness, numbness and tingling that travel along the affected nerve.

These symptoms can be mild to moderate or they can be extremely disruptive to your daily life, making it hard to get through a day of work or spend quality time with loved ones. While bone spurs aren’t completely preventable, they are treatable. Whether you are trying to find relief or prevent this condition from developing or worsening, there are practical steps you can take.

Preventing bone spur development

Bone spurs often result from the wearing away of cartilage on joints, which is a largely unavoidable part of the natural aging process. However, certain actions can help reduce the rate at which cartilage deteriorates. For example, losing excess weight can lessen the strain placed on the body’s joints — including those in the spine — slowing the wearing away of joint cartilage. Also, people who are concerned about developing bone spurs may want to avoid or lessen their participation in high-impact sports or avoid repetitive motions that can tax the spinal joints as these activities can contribute to a faster breakdown of cartilage.

Common spinal bone spur treatment methods

When a bone spur is diagnosed as a source of painful symptoms, treatment usually begins with a course of conservative treatment options. These methods are typically aimed at managing pain and discomfort in addition to lifestyle changes, which together can help improve spine health and overall mobility. Lifestyle changes often include the following methods:

  • Resting for short periods of time
  • Exercising and stretching regularly
  • Completing physical therapy
  • Taking over-the-counter or prescription medications to address inflammation or pain
  • Receiving corticosteroid injections around the location of the bone spur

For many, some combination of these and other treatments can help manage the symptoms, although it may take a few weeks or months to determine if treatment is effective. In other cases, these approaches don’t produce sufficient results and surgery can become an option.

Laser Spine Institute provides minimally invasive spine surgery that is a safer and effective alternative to traditional open neck or back procedures.^ By using muscle-sparing techniques and a less than 1-inch incision, our procedures can be performed on an outpatient basis, offering our patients a reduced complication rate and other advantages.

To learn more and find out if you are a potential candidate for one of our procedures, reach out to our caring and dedicated team today for your no-cost MRI review.*