Often patients are informed they have bone spurs, or osteophytes in their neck or back. Most bone spurs cause no pain or symptoms and it wasn’t until getting an X-ray for another condition that people realised they have them.
However in some cases osteophytes can cause pain and decreased joint mobility.
The presence of bone spurs indicates there are increased and uneven forces on the joints of the spine, which causes joint damage. Osteoarthritis is the most common cause for osteophyte formation. As breakdown of the cartilage occurs, the body tries to repair the region of bone by creating bone spurs.
Symptoms of spinal bone spurs may be nerve compression causing weakness, numbness, pins and needles into arms and legs.
The presence of bone spurs can be considered a normal process of ageing.
The diagnosis of bone spurs can be easily made by imaging such as X-rays, MRI and CT scans.
Most patients with mild nerve compression as a result of bony spurs can manage their pain effectively with chiropractic and manual therapy. Chiropractic may also alleviate other structures surrounding the bony spur, which are overloaded due to compensations.
Fun fact: Paleopathologists have found evidence for bone spurs in the fossil record. A number of dinosaur species have had the presence of bony spurs. T rex was one of those dinosaurs.
For further information please contact us at Cairns Chiropractor. Ph: 07 4031 0480