Non-surgical Treatment Options for Spinal Bone Spurs
There are a variety of non-surgical treatment options available for individuals who have been diagnosed with spinal bone spurs. The goal of these treatments is to manage the symptoms that the bone spurs cause and, in most cases, a regimen 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 non-surgical techniques, surgery may be warranted to physically remove the spinal bone spurs.
Bone spurs in the spine
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 are the structures that 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 perceived loss of bone density and stability. Additionally, bone spurs often develop in the aftermath of a traumatic injury, such as a spinal fracture.
Once bone spurs are identified, usually with the assistance of an X-ray or other digital imaging technology, the next step is to determine the best course of treatment. Typically, some combination of non-surgical treatment options is recommended first. Popular examples of conservative treatment include the use of:
- Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs
- Hot/cold compresses
- Low impact exercise
- Stretching techniques
- Healthy dieting
- Limited rest
The next steps
While non-surgical treatment options are often effective for managing the symptoms of bone spurs, some individuals 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 individuals who have been diagnosed with spinal arthritis and bone spurs. To determine if you might be a candidate for one of our state-of-the-art techniques, contact us today to receive a review of your most recent MRI.