Spinal bone spurs treatment options available

Bone spur treatment for the neck and back can vary among patients, but relief can often be achieved without the need for surgery. Bone spurs are the body’s natural response to joint damage and friction, often caused by osteoarthritis, and are relatively smooth growths that form at the ends of the bones in a joint. Because osteoarthritis can cause the cushioning cartilage in a joint to break down and wear away, the bone surfaces within an affected joint can begin to rub together, creating friction that leads to pain and inflammation.

Even though bone spurs are the body’s way of strengthening and protecting the bones in a damaged joint, a bone spur can sometimes cause pain and require treatment. A bone spur can narrow the already tight spinal canal, causing compression of spinal nerves. Nerve compression, also called a pinched nerve, interferes with the sensory and motor signals that flow between the brain and the body, resulting in symptoms like pain, tingling, numbness and muscle weakness.

Treatment options for bone spurs

If your symptoms are traced to a spinal bone spur, you may have several treatment options to choose from, including both nonsurgical and surgical approaches. A physician can recommend the best plan for you after evaluating the location of your bone spur, its underlying cause and the type and severity of your pain.

Your doctor will most likely suggest that you first try one or more nonsurgical techniques to manage your discomfort. Some commonly recommended bone spur treatment options include:

  • Over-the-counter pain relievers and nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs)
  • Physical therapy
  • A low-impact exercise routine, such as walking or swimming
  • Epidural steroid injections
  • Lifestyle changes, such as eating a healthier diet, quitting smoking and posture improvement
  • Complementary therapies, such as yoga, massage and nutritional supplements

Finding the bone spur treatment combination that works best for you can take some time. But if your symptoms persist or worsen after several weeks or months of conservative treatment, your physician may discuss the possibility of spinal surgery to physically address the source of your pain. For instance, a surgeon may recommend a procedure to remove the bone spur and ease compression of an affected nerve.

Minimally invasive spine surgery

The surgical treatment of a bone spur does not necessarily mean a highly-invasive traditional open spine operation. As a safer and effective alternative,^ Laser Spine Institute offers minimally invasive outpatient spine surgery to treat bone spurs and other degenerative spine conditions. Our procedures use a less than 1-inch incision and other muscle-sparing techniques, leading to a streamlined outpatient experience.

If you’d like to find out if you’re a candidate for minimally invasive spine surgery, contact Laser Spine Institute for a no-cost review* of your MRI report.