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Bone Spurs – Causes, Symptoms and Treatment

Bone spur is a term used to describe a condition that characterizes the growth of an extra bone on the normal bone. In medical terms, it is known as osteophytes. Bone spur usually takes place on the joints of the spine, feet, shoulders, hips, hands and knees. It is not painful but sometimes causes pain when it rubs against other bones around it. It is more common among people above 60 years of age. It is associated with spine degeneration.


Causes of Bone Spurs


As osteoarthritis breaks down the cartilage in your joint, your body attempts to repair the loss. Often this means creating new areas of bone along the edges of your existing bones. Your body may also create bone spurs to add stability to aging joints. Bone spurs are the hallmark of other diseases and conditions, including:


Spondylosis. In this condition, osteoarthritis and bone spurs cause degeneration of the bones in your neck (cervical spondylosis) or your lower back (lumbar spondylosis).


Spinal stenosis. Bone spurs can contribute to a narrowing of the bones that make up your spine (spinal stenosis), putting pressure on your spinal cord.

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Diffuse idiopathic skeletal hyperostosis (DISH). This condition causes bony growths to form on the ligaments of your spine.


Plantar fasciitis. A bone spur, sometimes called a heel spur, can form where the connective tissue (fascia) connects to your heel bone (calcaneus). The spur results from chronic irritation or inflammation of the connective tissue, but the spur itself doesn’t cause the pain associated with plantar fasciitis.


Signs and symptoms


On your spine, bone spurs can push against your nerves, or even your spinal cord, causing pain and numbness elsewhere in your body.


On your neck, cervical bone spurs can protrude inward, occasionally making it difficult to swallow or painful to breathe. Bone spurs can also push against veins, restricting blood flow to your brain.


In your shoulder, bone spurs can restrict the range of motion of your arm. Bone spurs can rub on your rotator cuff, a group of tendons that help control your shoulder movements. This can cause swelling (tendinitis) and tears in your rotator cuff.


On your neck, cervical bone spurs can protrude inward, occasionally making it difficult to swallow or painful to breathe. Bone spurs can also push against veins, restricting blood flow to your brain.


Treatment of Bone Spurs


Treatment of the symptoms may include rest, ice, stretching, and no steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (Naiads) such as ibuprofen. If the bone spur is in the foot as in plantar fascistic, then esthetics, new footwear and extra padding in the show may help. If severe symptoms persist a physician may also suggest a corticosteroid injection reduce pain and inflammation of the soft tissues next to the bone spur.


Take an ice pack and apply it on the inflamed bone spur area 4-5 times in a day. If the problem doesn’t get cured, then apply heating pads.


Stand with the balls of your feet on the edge of a stair or curb and your heels over the edge. Relax your calf muscles and let your heels drop down slightly, until you feel the stretch along the Achilles tendons on the back of your heels.

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