Spinal osteoarthritis is a very common condition of aging and is especially prevalent in those over 60 years of age. As joint cartilage begins to break down, the spinal vertebrae may begin to rub against each other. As a result, abnormal bony growths may begin to develop. These bony growths are also known as osteophytes or bone spurs. Bone spurs develop as the body tries to protect itself against this breakdown and friction.
As bones spurs grow, they can extend into the surrounding tissues. This can lead to neck and back pain, stiffness, numbness, burning, and other symptoms. In addition, these spurs can compress nerve roots or the spinal cord.
These symptoms often vary depending on where the spur develops.
Symptoms often vary depending on where the spur develops. Some spurs may cause no discomfort at all. Although, many experience the following:
- Severe localized pain
- Restrict movement
- Radiating pain in the arms or legs
- Pain or weakness
Smoking and excess body weight may not be the cause of bone spurs. However, they can speed up spinal degeneration. Not to mention, increase the risk of conditions such as bone spurs. Additional risk factors may be derived from spinal traumas, such as compression fractures or whiplash. And genetics, poor posture, or diet also contribute.
Stretching, exercise or physical therapy can help. Anti-inflammatory and pain prescriptions provide relief for most. However, at times, symptoms will continue until the bone spur is removed. The pressure on the nerve needs to be relieved.
If you are experiencing symptoms that may be related to osteoarthritis, spinal bone spurs, or any other neck or back pain, please call or visit Spine & Orthopedic Center today. Our specialist doctors can help you determine the cause of your pain, and advise you on an appropriate treatment plan to help you achieve your wellness goals.