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What Causes Bone Spurs? by Michelle Hofmeister

By at October 25, 2011 | 6:07 pm | Print

Bone spurs, also known as osteophytes, is extra bone that can grow on any bone, but normally forms where bones meet or where ligaments and tendons connect with bones. Areas in the body where bone spurs can commonly be found are spine, shoulders, knees, hips, hands, and feet. Spurs themselves are not painful, and normally they are smooth surfaced. But, because bone spurs are extra bone that is not suppose to be there, they tend to rub against other bones, ligaments, soft tissue, and nerves; which cause severe pain. In many cases, bone spurs go undetected for years, with no need for treatment. But, when noticed bone spurs can cause pain and loss of motion in your joints.


Bone spurs can be caused by multiple things. The main cause is called osteoarthritis, which is when breakdown occurs in the cartilage of a joint, and then the body tries to repair the loss. Normally, this makes new bone along already existing bone. Bone spurs can also just be the result of aging, mainly when found in the spine and feet. Bone spurs can also be the beginners of other diseases. Some examples include, Diffuse idiopathic skeletal hyperostosis (DISH), which is bony growths formed on ligaments on the spine. Plantar fasciitis is a bone spur that forms where the connective tissue connects to the heel bone, resulting in chronic inflammation. Spondylosis is where bone spurs cause degeneration of the bones in your neck or lower back.  Lastly, Spinal stenosis is where the bones of your spine can become narrowed resulting in pressure on the spinal cord.

There are many different types of treatments for bone spurs depending on the intensity of them. First, the treatments start off with physical therapy or a deep tissue massage. Also, a nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drug (NSAIDs) should be taken with rest, sleep, and stretching. If pain persists the next step would be a corticosteroid injection in the area to decrease pain and inflammation. Lastly, would be surgery to surgically remove or repair the area.

SOURCES

Bone Spurs WebMD     http://www.webmd.com/a-to-z-guides/bone-spur-topic-overview

Bone Spurs Mayoclinic    http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/bone-spurs/DS00627

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