What Are Bone Spurs
Bone spurs, also called osteophytes, develop in the spine as a natural stabilizing response to bone-on-bone friction, often caused by age-related conditions like spinal arthritis or degenerative disc disease.
While you can’t control the aging of your spine, there are still some things you can do to prevent unnecessary wear and tear that can contribute to the development of spinal conditions. Understanding what causes these growths to form around the facet joints of the spine can help you make lifestyle changes to decrease your risk of developing bone spurs and other degenerative spine conditions.
Bone Spur Prevention
As you age, the moving parts of the spine gradually wear down due to natural loss of water content combined with the stress of weight and everyday movements. These factors can cause the cartilage on the facet joints to slowly disappear as the vertebrae constantly twist and turn. This causes the cartilage to wear down. Once the cartilage wears down, the vertebrae no longer have a cushion and the bone-on-bone contact could form bone spurs. The same is true when a disc in the spine begins to lose height. This can potentially cause increased contact between the vertebrae.
There are certain prevention methods you can take to help you avoid or postpone the development of bone spurs. Bone spur prevention steps include:
- Ensuring your diet is rich in essential vitamins and minerals such as calcium to ensure strong, healthy bones.
- Exercising regularly to strengthen your core muscles so they can help support the body’s weight.
- Maintaining a healthy body weight through diet and exercise
- Avoid repetitive movement, use proper lifting techniques, and be careful when playing impact sports.
Bone Spur Treatments
Bone spur prevention is not always guaranteed. There are so many factors outside of your control, such as the aging process and genetics. However, if this condition does develop and causes painful bone spur symptoms, there are several bone spur treatment options available to help you find relief.
Doctors typically recommend a course of nonsurgical treatment, such as physical therapy and pain medication, to help treat symptoms. It is also important to continue following the lifestyle recommendations listed above to promote the ongoing health of the spine and the bone spur treatment. Spine surgery may become an option if the bone spur symptoms are still debilitating and taking you away from your everyday activities after a period of weeks or months.
If you are considering spine surgery, contact the team at BEST Health System today to learn more about the benefits of minimally invasive spine surgery. Our outpatient procedures are a safer and more effective alternative to traditional open neck or back surgery. We offer patients a reduced risk of complications and no lengthy recovery.
How BEST Health System Can Help
BEST Health System specializes in minimally invasive spine surgery. It is a safer and more effective alternative to traditional open back procedures. It offers many benefits, including less risk of infection and no lengthy recovery. If you are interested in learning more about your symptoms and treatment, BEST can help. For more information on how BEST can help you find relief from chronic neck and back pain, contact us today.