Methods for treating bone spurs
Bone spurs, also called osteophytes, are extra growths of bone that form at the site of cartilage deterioration and can create large protrusions, typically on the body’s joints. In the spine, bone spurs appear most often on the vertebral plates and inside the facet joints. Bone spurs will not go away with alternative treatments, but it is possible that certain treatments can help to manage any pain associated with bone spurs compressing on spinal nerves.
While spine conditions, such as herniated discs and bulging discs, do have the ability to heal themselves through the process of resorption, bone spurs are permanent deposits. However, just because bone spurs will not go away on their own, there is no reason to rush into the decision of undergoing surgery. It is important to work with your doctor to stay informed and design a treatment that will work best to manage the discomfort of spinal bone spurs. Read on to learn about the alternative treatment options for bone spurs and the surgical approaches available to help get you back to the activities you love.
Alternative treatment options for bone spurs
Alternative treatments, ranging from ancient holistic remedies to state-of-the-art ultrasound therapy, may provide you with temporary pain relief. Some examples of these conservative therapies include:
- Exercise. Low-impact exercise, like swimming or walking, has proven beneficial for many people with bone spurs. Exercise therapy is not for everyone, however, so make sure to consult with your doctor to make sure that your exercise plan won’t worsen your condition. A main benefit of exercise is that it is believed to increase endorphins, which are your body’s natural painkillers. Exercise also builds the strength of muscles surrounding the spine so that less pressure is exerted on the joints or vertebrae affected by bone spurs.
- Diet. If your doctor has told you that you are overweight, you may be able to take pressure off your spine through weight management, which may relieve neural compression caused by spinal bone spurs. Staying hydrated, along with consuming fish and nuts, can also help with joint lubrication, as both foods are high in omega-3 fatty acids.
- Injections. This method is generally only used if exercise, stretching and behavior modification have proven ineffective. Injections of corticosteroids administered by a pain-management physician into the epidural space near the affected joint can provide temporary pain relief.
Other possible therapies may include anti-inflammatories, muscle spasm medication, chiropractic treatments, physical therapy and acupuncture. However, it is crucial to consult your doctor prior to starting any new form of treatment.
Minimally invasive alternatives for bone spurs
If these therapies have proven unsuccessful after several weeks or months, your doctor may recommend that you undergo surgery to remove your bone spurs and release neural compression.
Before consenting to a highly invasive operation, contact Laser Spine Institute to learn about the benefits of minimally invasive spine procedures that offer a safer and effective alternative to traditional open neck or back procedures.^
At Laser Spine Institute, our dedicated team is able to perform a less than 1-inch incision near the neck or back through muscle-sparing techniques. Our procedures result in no muscle damage or scar tissue, along with less bleeding and no lengthy recovery.^ The dedicated surgeons at our facilities are able to access the spinal canal in order to remove the offending bone spurs that are compressing the nerves, alleviating the symptoms the patient is experiencing as a result of this condition.
To learn if you are a potential candidate for our advanced minimally invasive procedures, reach out to Laser Spine Institute today and ask for your no-cost MRI review.*