Osteophytes, more commonly known as bone spurs are small projections of bone that form along the edges of bones and near the joints. Although these are not painful, they can easily rub against nerve endings which cause pain and discomfort in the area. Bone spurs can form on the fingers, heels, spine, legs and shoulders. The most common area that are known to cause pain are the spine which results in back pain and the heel which makes it painful to walk. Depending on their location and size there are a few different treatments that can be used to deal with bone spurs nowadays.
- Unless they are causing you discomfort or pain then there is no urgent need to treat bone spurs. If there is only mild or occasional pain from the nerves then people can generally treat their symptoms using non surgical means.N SAIDs (Non-Steroidal Anti Inflammatory Drugs) – Anti inflammatory medicines and muscle relaxants can help to reduce the pain caused by bone spurs. These can be taken over a course of 4 to 6 weeks at a tie and need to be prescribed by a doctor before taking. The main three types of N SAID are Ibruprofen, naproxen and COX-2 inhibitors.
Rest – Try to avoid strenuous activities and any actions which may cause the bones to rub more on the nerves. If you feel more pain then you should rest the area until it is relieved. If the pain persists then consulting your doctor or seeing a physical therapist may be the answer.
- Physical Therapy – If you have bone spurs on certain areas such as the spin or neck it can reduce your movements quite severely. By undergoing physical therapy you can help to improve your movement and lower the pain by strengthening the weak areas.
- Epidural Injection – Cortisone and epidural injections can help to reduce pain and inflammation which has been caused by bone spurs. This is a non surgical procedure that can be performed in a local clinic or hospital, you will need to talk to your doctor about whether this is a viable option for your type of bone spur.
Surgical Treatment for Bone Spurs
These procedures vary depending on the nature of the bone spurs. You will need to consult your doctor and see the surgeon beforehand to decide on which type of surgery is the best option for you personally. This type of surgery generally results in very positive feedback and people can gain years of relief from pain and discomfort by having their bone spurs removed through surgical means. There are a few factors that will affect whether surgery is the correct treatment for you as well as which type of surgery may be the best answer. Blood pressure, heart disease and diabetes all affect the risks and recovery from this type of surgery and will need to be taken into consideration. By spending some time with your doctor you will be able to go over all the options available to you in the treatment of bone spurs and you can decide together on the best course of action to take which will make you more comfortable and pain free to live a happy life.