In many cases, spinal bone spur treatment can be accomplished without surgery. Bone spurs, or osteophytes, are smooth bony deposits produced naturally by the body to strengthen bones that have become weakened due to damage from an injury or osteoarthritis. Osteophytes can be effective for this purpose but they can sometimes cause problems in the form of localized or radiating pain, tingling, numbness, and muscle weakness. That’s because the presence of excess bony buildup in the spinal canal can potentially irritate or put pressure on the spinal cord or a nerve root.
Getting the Most Out of Your Treatment
If you require treatment for osteophytes, you’ll want to work with a physician who can make sure that you choose the most appropriate and effective options for your condition. Additionally, you’ll want to do everything you can to maximize the benefits of your bone spur treatment. Here are some ways to do so.
- Be as active as possible. If needed, a short break is generally fine. However, remaining sedentary for any longer than a few days will likely do more harm than good. That’s because your body’s core muscles will naturally weaken with inactivity, which in turn will force your spine to take on an additional burden that it was not designed to support.
- Achieve and maintain a healthy body weight. Carrying even just a few extra pounds can take a significant toll on your spine. In fact, this is sometimes enough to cause a previously asymptomatic bone spur to “cross the pain threshold” and require treatment.
- Practice good posture. While sitting, standing, and walking, it’s always important to focus on pulling your shoulders back, tucking your stomach in, and using your abdominal muscles to support your spine. This can help keep your spinal column in proper alignment and prevent future episodes of neck or back pain.
- Perform stretches and strengthening exercises. A low-impact workout routine that incorporates both targeted stretches and strengthening exercises can enhance the flexibility and strength of the muscles that support your spine.
- Manage stress. The stress of living with persistent neck or back pain can lead to a vicious cycle. That’s because chronic stress can cause the muscles that support your spine to tighten, which in turn can worsen your pain. To break the stress cycle, regularly engage in relaxing activities that you enjoy. These can include reading, taking a walk, or listening to music.
If Nonsurgical Treatment is Insufficient
If conservative bone spur treatment does not provide adequate relief, surgery may become an option. The surgeons at BEST Health System perform minimally invasive spine surgery that can pinpoint the location of a painful bone spur and then carefully remove it. Minimally invasive spine surgery is a safer and more effective alternative to traditional open spine surgery, and the less than 1-inch incision it requires means that many patients have no lengthy recovery.
To learn more about the minimally invasive spinal bone spur treatment options available at BEST, contact us today!