Neck Bone Spurs

Causes of Bone Spurs include age, posture and trauma...but how and where do Cervical Bone Spurs form?

What is a Bone Spur and what causes Bone Spurs?

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  What is a Bone Spur

Bone spurs, a.k.a. osteophytes, are small projections of additional bone that normally appear along joints in the human body. They are particularly conspicuous in older people. A bone spur is not a sharp protrusion but is ordinarily smooth in texture. Nonetheless, bone spurs may cause pain by coming in to contact with other bones or soft tissue. Spinal bone spurs may be problematical because of the proximity of nerve roots exiting the spine via neural foramen.

The majority of neck bone spurs are a normal and natural consequence of the aging process and are a product of the associated degeneration of the cervical spine. In fact, in people in their sixties, cervical bone spurs are actually quite common. Bone spurs may also be formed by the body in response to a neck trauma or injury. What is important to understand is that bone spurs, in themselves, are not always responsible for neck pain even when they are present on a neck xray of cervical MRI scan.

What causes Bone Spurs

It is thought that the formation process of a neck bone spur, whether through age, posture, trauma or a combination of these factors, can be described as follows:

When a cervical disc is damaged or begins to wear out, the surrounding ligaments may slacken, creating an excess of movement in the joint. To compensate for this, the body thickens these ligaments in an attempt to hold the vertebrae in position. In time, the thickened ligaments have a tendency to calcify, resulting in the formation of small pieces of bone known as bone spurs. This process can cause compression or irritation of the surrounding nerves, leading to clinical symptoms such as: neck pain, radiating arm pain, tingling, numbness or even weakness.

Surgery for Bone Spurs

Surgery for bone spur removal is normally only recommended when conservative treatments have failed or when the patient experiences weakness or disability that can be directly attributed to the condition.

Natural treatment for Bone Spurs

There are few conservative and non-surgical treatments for neck bone spurs that actually target the removal of the bone spur. Most treatments are aimed at reducing the pain symptoms associated with the condition and include NSAIDs (Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs), rest and cervical decompression therapy. As well as prescription medicines, it is also believed that certain natural remedies may also have useful anti-inflammatory properties. If included in the diet, these can reduce the migration of white blood cells that are involved in the inflammation and tissue damage associated with bone spurs. Alternatively they may help inhibit Cox-2 enzymes, responsible for the production of the chemical messengers (prostaglandins) that cause pain and swelling.

Food supplements and therapies that do target the non-invasive removal of the bone spur, often do so by attempting to improve the health of the cervical discs. Advocators of such treatments believe that the body will remove bone spurs, if the disc is restored to its normal function. Other therapies may focus on strengthening and/ or balancing the muscles of the cervical spine, whilst some prefer to treat imbalances of the whole spine in order to achieve the same end: the spontaneous removal of cervical bone spurs.

Supplements and natural treatment for bone spurs include: apple cider vinegar; cherry juice, rose hip extract and high calcium and mineral diets.
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  In addition to attending patients at his clinic and medical practices in the U.S.A., Malton Schexneider writes for numerous recognised medical journals and publications including amongst them: Spine Universe, Oxygen and Healthy Aging. During the last 25 years, he has diagnosed and treated 1000's of back and neck pain sufferers with close to 90% of his clients undergoing lasting, permanent relief following treatment. You are able to hear from one of these people now, by visiting the Erase Your Back Pain testimonial.  
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