What Are Spinal Bone Spurs?
Spinal bone spurs do not necessarily cause neck or back pain, but they often do. These smooth bony deposits can form on the spinal joints as a result of age-related degeneration. Over time, the cartilage in the facet joints slowly breaks down and wears away, leaving the bone surfaces exposed and allowing them to grind together. The production of bone spurs, or osteophytes, is the body’s natural, protective response. While spinal bone spurs do not always require treatment, pain can develop if bony tissue irritates or pinches a nearby spinal nerve.
What are the symptoms of a spinal bone spur that causes nerve compression?
A compressed spinal nerve can produce a number of symptoms, which can vary based on the location of the affected nerve and the amount of pressure it is under. For instance, spinal bone spurs can cause nerve compression that leads to:
- Neck or back pain
- Pain, tingling sensations or muscle weakness in the arms or legs
- Reduced range of motion in the spine
- Bladder or bowel incontinence (in very severe cases)
Because these symptoms can be very similar to those produced by arthritis, muscle strains and other conditions, it is important to see a physician for a proper diagnosis prior to beginning treatment.
How are painful spinal bone spurs treated?
When spinal bone spurs require treatment, a nonsurgical approach is usually sufficient. Physical therapy can be helpful for increasing the strength of the muscles that support the spine, which can help shift painful pressure away from a compressed nerve. When the pain flares, an ice pack or heating pad can be applied as needed. Additionally, a physician may prescribe a pain reliever, nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drug (NSAID), muscle relaxant or epidural steroid injection. While the relief achieved with conservative therapy will be temporary, these treatments can be repeated as part of a long-term pain management plan.
If spinal bone spurs cause persistent neck or back pain that interferes with daily activities, a surgical procedure may be considered, such as a laminectomy, to remove the problematic bone spurs and permanently relieve the resulting nerve compression.
If you’d like to explore your options for treating painful spinal bone spurs, Advanced Orthopaedics and Sports Medicine in Houston, Texas, to set up a personal consultation with a spine specialist.
To request an appointment, please enter the information on the form on the right and press the “Continue” button to start the appointment request process.
1Professional Building II At North Cypress Medical Center
AOSM Physical Therapy
2North Cypress Professional Building At Lakewood Crossing
AOSM Physical Therapy
3North Cypress Professional Building At Towne Lake
4Advanced Orthopaedics Memorial
What Our Patients Are Saying
Dr. Mills is exceptional. I would recommend him to anyone
Great experience with Dr. Tanous and staff. Telling our entire family and friends about my husband Mel ‘s injury and the kind and expert care we received . Our thanks and appreciation .
I was treated by Dr. Brooks, about a month ago, for a terrible pain on my right knee. He treated me and within 2 days I was like new. Now the pain started on my left knee. This time I went immediately to Dr. Brooks.
I highly recommend Advanced Orthopaedic & Sports Medicine to anyone who needs anything dealing with bone replacement.
Dr. Cubbage & Staff replaced a disc that had been destroyed between my 4th and 5th vertebra. This is my 4th month since the surgery in January of 2018. I was very impressed with their dedication
I’ve been with this orthopedic group since 2014. I’ve never had a bad experience with the doctors or the staff. Dr. Drew Fehsenfeld did my shoulder surgery in 2016 and he did great!
Dr. Patel is one of the best Doctors I have ever had. She is pretty good at her job. She makes it plain and simple. She is also very thoughtful. I was very glad to have met her.
I was at your office yesterday saw Dr Mack & Dr Brooks I had a great visit with them. My right knee feels GREAT! today.
This office did everything they could to get me in timely after a very bad sprain on my ankle. I saw nurse practitioner Stuart who is very thorough and x-rays and explaining everything to me.
I would highly recommend Dr. Cubbage if you are having any type of spinal issues. I have seen Dr. Cubbage several times over the last 3 years for lumbar pain and numbness in my left leg.