Nonsurgical treatment options for spinal bone spurs
There are many nonsurgical treatment options available for people who have been diagnosed with spinal bone spurs. The goal of these treatments is to manage pain and other symptoms, improve range of motion and make any necessary lifestyle changes to promote spine health. In most cases, a course of conservative techniques can be highly successful. However, in some instances when the bone spurs cause chronic pain and other discomfort that does not respond to nonsurgical techniques, surgery to physically remove the spinal bone spurs may become a viable option.
Specific conservative treatments for bone spurs
One of the most common places for bone spurs to develop is in the spinal column. Specifically, these smooth growths of bone have a tendency to develop in the facet joints, which connect adjacent vertebral bodies in the neck and back. Over the years, the cartilage that allows the ends of the facet joints to glide against one another slowly wears away, eventually leading to direct bone-on-bone contact. When this occurs, bone spurs naturally develop as the body’s response to the loss of bone density and stability.
Once bone spurs are identified, usually with the assistance of an X-ray, MRI or other digital imaging technology, the next step is to determine the best course of treatment. Typically, some combination of nonsurgical treatment options is recommended first. Popular examples of conservative treatment include the use of:
- Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs
- Hot/cold compresses
- Low-impact exercise
- Stretching techniques
- Physical therapy
- Limited rest
- Spinal injections
When to consider surgery for a bone spur
While nonsurgical treatment options are often effective for managing the symptoms of bone spurs, some people eventually consider surgery to permanently remove the bone spurs themselves if symptoms persist. At Laser Spine Institute, we offer a variety of minimally invasive outpatient spine procedures for people who have been diagnosed with spinal arthritis and bone spurs.