Spinal bone spurs — ways to alleviate the symptoms

Pain and limited mobility are symptoms of spinal bone spurs that can have a serious impact on your life. Even simple things like working in the yard, walking your dog or cooking a meal can become difficult if you are dealing with symptoms like shooting pain, muscle weakness, tingling and numbness. Treatment to alleviate the symptoms and return you to a more comfortable, active life is possible, however. Many people able to achieve this through a course of doctor-recommended conservative treatment options.

Bone spurs in the spine often occur as result of degeneration or damage to cartilage on the joints between the vertebrae, which can cause bone to rub against bone. The body then prompts the exposed bone to grow spurs, which are actually smooth protrusions, to stabilize the area as a result of the increased friction. These growths are not painful by themselves, but cause symptoms if they put pressure on a nerve in the spine.

Conservative bone spur treatment options

After diagnosing nerve compression caused by a spinal bone spur, physicians generally recommend that patients who experience symptoms from spinal bone spurs look to conservative measures before considering surgery. Many people find lasting relief from their bone spur issues by following a course that could consist of:

  • Physical therapy
  • Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs
  • Diet and exercise
  • Hot and cold compression therapy
  • Pain medication

More involved treatments like epidural steroid injections can help patients dealing with more severe pain get enough relief to complete a course of physical therapy.

When to consider surgery

Surgery becomes an option when weeks or months of conservative treatment do not bring relief needed to return to normal activity. Traditional open spine surgery is usually seen as a last-resort treatment option because of the highly invasive nature of most procedures. To access the spine and decompress nerves, surgeons must use a large incision that cuts and tears supporting muscles. This requires hospitalization and a long recovery period.

Laser Spine Institute offers an alternative to traditional open spine surgery that avoids much of the risk and difficulty associated with these procedures. By using a small, muscle-sparing incision, our procedures offer patients a reduced risk of complications and a shorter recovery time^ compared to traditional open back surgery.

For a no-cost MRI review* to see if you may be a potential candidate for one of our procedures, reach out to Laser Spine Institute today.