Cervical bone spurs
Cervical bone spurs are sometimes called neck bone spurs or neck osteophytes. They develop as we age and are considered a normal consequence of ageing and will normally never cause a problem. Simple ageing and osteoarthritis can lead to bone spurs. Injuries to the neck throughout our lives can also cause them. Bone spurs in themselves are not painful however if they grow big enough they can protrude into the intervertebral disc, blood vessels, nerves or the spinal cord and then become a source of pain via the irritation of these structures.
In general, bone spurs do not produce pain, however they do cause pain in other structure when they grow big enough to protrude into them. Therefore the most common symptoms include neck stiffness, neck discomfort, neck pain on both or either side of the neck, numbness and tingling into the shoulders, arms and hands, muscle weakness and progressive loss of function in rare cases.
The treatment of bone spurs in the neck depends on their severity and location. Conservative treatments delivered by chiropractors and physiotherapists aim to reduce pain and improve the function of the neck. Chiropractors and physiotherapists do this through a diagnostic and treatment process. The first step is diagnosing and recognising the bone spur(s) as the pain generator and then by putting together a program that treats the cause of the problem. Remember, bone spurs only cause pain when they crash into something like the vertebral joints, intervertebral disc, or pain sensitive structures such as nerves. In some (rare) cases our chiropractors or physiotherapists will have to send you to a surgeon where surgical options can be explored. Contact us at the clinic for an appointment or more information.