Bone spurs are also called as osteophytes. Osteophytes are bone projections that develop along the border of the bones. Bone spurs develop in joints and also in spine. It occurs after age of sixty years in fifty percent of people. Bone spurs occur due to osteoatrthritic changes that occur in body due to wear and tear of bones over the age of sixty years.
Most of the time bone spurs are harmless and go unnoticed. Hence no treatment is required for bone spur. Occasionally bone spur may cause symptoms. Depending on the severity of the symptoms and the location of bone spur, mode of treatment is decided.
Causes And Symptoms Of Bone Spurs In The Neck
When the ligaments and tendons around vertebral bodies are damaged or if they are inflamed, they have impact on surrounding bone growth. Hence new bone cells are deposited in the places where normally bone growth would not occur.
This inflammation in ligaments occurs due to osteoarthritis in joints of cervical spine which includes disc spaces and facet joints. Osteophytes are also caused by injury, other types of arthritis and poor posture.
Symptoms occur when bone spur puts pressure on spinal nerve or disc or blood vessel in cervical region. Various symptoms can be experienced such as:
- Neck pain
- Pain may extend to arms
- Numbness and tingling may be felt in hands and fingers
- Neck stiffness
- Progressive weakness in arms and hands
- Rarely patient may find difficulty in swallowing
Diagnosis: Diagnosis is done on the basis of X-ray or other imaging test.
Natural Remedies For Bone Spurs In Neck
- If pain is due to bone spur then doctor will give pain-killer drugs. Anti-inflammatory medication is given to reduce local inflammation.
- Posture correction is advised. Sitting erect and holding neck with retracted chin is advised.
- For progressively worsening neurological symptoms surgical treatment such as nerve decompression is necessary.
- Physical therapy is given to strengthen neck muscles. Resistance exercise helps to strengthen neck muscles. Hold your palm on your forehead try to push the head forward. Resist this head movement with your palm on forehead. Then hold your hand at back of head and try to push head backwards with resistance offered by your hand. Similarly it is done on both sides by trying to tilt your head on left or right side and giving resistance with your respective hand.
- Stretching exercise may help to relieve neck stiffness. Bend your head forward, on both sides and backward for ten times in each direction. Hold the stretch for five seconds. Avoid hyper-extension of neck if you are suffering from vertigo. Always consult physical therapist before starting any exercise.
- Muscle relaxants are given for severe stiffness
- Hot fomentation will help to reduce pain and stiffness. Apply local pain relieving ointment after hot fomentation.
- If certain posture induces numbness or pain in arms, avoid that posture or do not remain in that posture for long time.
- Avoid repetitive movements