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.
1Doctor’s Pavilion 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. Patel was amazing. When I first went to her office I couldn’t even sit down because my back was hurting so bad. After my injections and physical therapy, I feel much better! I was starting to think I will never be back to normal and go back to my career as a welder, but you can and I did…
Dr. Mack and his staff has been a blessing to me and my family. His patience and listening ear has greatly enhanced my quality of care and confidence in his abilities as a surgeon. I undoubtedly recommend him to anyone who is in pain and considering surgery as an option. I am sure your questions will be answered and your…
Dr. Mohr is absolutely what I’ve needed to finally fix my spinal condition. I had a wonderful experience throughout my surgery and post-op. Top notch, professionalism educating my wife and I about my diagnosis and repair with superb bedside manners. The entire staff are all simply awesome! Dr. Mohr and his staff are a Godsend.
Dr. Tanous is the ultimate professional. He was well read, personable, and has provided excellent treatment. He was highly recommended to me and I highly recommend him for orthopedic care and treatment.
Dr. Fehsenfeld is one of the best. He talks to me on a regular level, & he performed ACL surgery on my oldest son. My boy recovered back to 100% within no time. I went to see about my shoulder, & I was in/out within an hour. That includes X-ray, diagnosis, talking, and the remedy. Dr. Drew is the most…
Dr. Brooks is an amazing doctor who shows genuine concern for the welfare of his patients. He is professional, courteous, friendly, and knowledgeable. He is responsive to patients who are in need of help when they request an office visit. I would highly recommend him to my family and friends.
Dr. Patel is the most fantastic doctor my mother has seen in years. She has helped us in ways that we never expected. You have no idea what it is like to have your 87-year-old mother go from lots of pain to very little. I don’t know what we would’ve done without her.
“This guy is a genius.” Those were the words of my wife after she first saw the scar from my cervical fusion surgery. It’s now 3 weeks after I left the hospital, and everything is looking good. I was impressed with Dr. Cubbage’s straightforwardness about the surgery itself. He explained the surgery to me in easy-to-understand terms, and his staff…
I flew in for my appointment in the middle of Covid. He was recommended as a top ortho by my employer’s medical concierge team. He is incredible… surgery a breeze on my knee… zero pain the next day. His team and office staff are top notch – on par with Mayo Clinic. We are fortunate to have doctors like him…
Dr. Mills was very pleasant, he spoke plainly to me, let me know my treatment options and what he recommended for me but he ultimately left the choice up to me without pushing any of them onto me, nor did he rush my decision. I am very impressed with the response time of everyone who helped me during my visit,…