The more you understand your body and how it functions, the better equipped you'll be at taking care of yourself to achieve optimal health. We've included the Patient Education section on our website to provide you with valuable, practical wellness information which you can incorporate into your lifestyle to improve the quality of your life. We hope you will turn to these pages whenever you have a question about health related issues and urge you to contact our practice at any time to make an appointment with one of our doctors.
Bone spurs are additional bone material, or overgrowths, and have been attributed to a wide variety of ailments. Also called osteophytes, bone spurs are manufactured by your body in response to a breakdown in existing bony structures. Sometimes, bone spurs can exert pressure on nerves, and this leads to pain.
In people with arthritis, for example, bone spurs develop in the joint or disc spaces, where cartilage has begun to break down or deteriorate. Bone spurs sometimes block the spaces where nerve roots leave the spinal canal.
Bone spurs in the spine can be particularly painful. One area where bone spurs seem to be prevalent is in the disc spaces between vertebrae. As the discs and their attached ligaments begin to wear down, the body begins to thicken the ligaments. Over time, the ligaments can calcify and shed small fragments. The presence of this additional material in the spine can cause compression and pain.
Most of us suffer from subtle degeneration in our bone structures over a lifetime. It is an unpleasant, yet unavoidable result of the aging process. Likewise, many of us can develop bone spurs in one part of our body or another, and not even know they exist. Some of us, however, are not so fortunate. Osteophytes can cause pain in the neck and back, as well as radiating type pains through the extremities such as the arms and legs.