All About Spine Bone Spurs

If you are experiencing a dull pain in your neck or back, spine bone spurs may be to blame. Known medically as osteophytes, the term “bone spur” is actually rather misleading since bone spurs are in fact smooth in nature. A spine bone spur is an enlargement of the normal bony structure in the spine and quite common in adults over the age of 60, thanks to spinal degeneration.

Symptoms of Spine Bone Spurs

Since spine bone spurs are usually a result of aging, at times a person may have no symptoms at all. In other cases, one or more of the symptoms below may be present:

  • Back pain or neck pain, specifically when walking or standing
  • Pain that radiates into the shoulders
  • Pain that radiates into the buttocks and thighs
  • Pain that worsens with activity and often improves with rest
  • Symptoms improve while bending forward and flexing at the waist, such as while pushing a walker

It is important to note that the symptoms above could be an indication of many different medical, spine, or back conditions. Therefore, it is recommended to schedule an appointment with a knowledgeable spine expert for a proper diagnosis.

Risk Factors for Bone Spurs

In most instances, since a spine bone spur is a natural part of aging, there is little that can be done to prevent them from occurring. However, the following risk factors may increase an individual’s chance for developing a bone spur:

  • Genetics
  • Nutrition and lifestyle
  • Injury, such as a sports or automobile accident

Maintaining good posture and staying active may help to reduce your chances for developing a spine bone spur later in life.

Treatment Options for Spine Bone Spurs

Bone Spurs can typically be treated without the need for surgical intervention. Non-surgical treatments for bone spurs include:

  • Anti-inflammatory medications
  • Muscle relaxers
  • Cortisone epidural steroid injections
  • Rest
  • Physical therapy
  • Exercise
  • Chiropractic adjustments

If surgery is warranted, a procedure such as a laminectomy may be performed to relieve the pain and neurological symptoms caused by the spur. Although surgery is rarely the first line of treatment, in many cases patients who undergo surgery for spine bone spurs experience wonderful results and relief for many years following.

Learn More About Bone Spur Treatment at Pacific Spine Specialists

At Pacific Spine Specialists, our spine expert, Dr. Timothy Keenen, is a master at diagnosing and treating bone spurs. Therefore, if you are experiencing spine pain and fear a bone spur is to blame, we invite you to schedule an appointment with our office today. Call to take advantage of our free MRI review. Your spine will thank you.