A bone spur is a growth of bone material over an existing bone. It’s generally smooth, unnoticeable, and not harmful. The common places to find bone spurs are on the knees, ankles, feet, shoulders, spine, hips, and hands.
Causes of Bone Spurs
Bone spurs form in response to an irritation of a bone, usually in a joint. When a bone is rubbed or pressure or stress is placed on the bone, the body tries to repair itself by generating more bone material – almost like a bone patch or band aid.
Aging can cause bone spurs. When the cartilage at the end of bone rubs away after several years, you end up with bone on bone contact. Athletes and people with active jobs also tend to be more prone to bone spurs.
Wearing tight shoes or standing for long periods of time can cause heel spurs. Sometimes when women get bone spurs from wearing high heels they are called pump bumps.Being overweight can also cause bone spurs. The added pressure and weight on the feet, ankles, and hips can cause serious pain, swelling, and friction.
Symptoms of Bone Spurs
It is common for bone spurs not to be recognized. Many don’t cause any pain or swelling and therefore are not noticed. When the bone spur is rubbing against muscles, other bones, or tendons pain can occur. Sometimes you’ll see a corn or callus develop over the bone spur to create a natural protective layer.
Natural Treatment for Bone Spurs
To treat the cause of the bone spur, the first thing to do is relieve the pressure. If the bone spur is on your foot, ankles, or legs, you should try better fitting shoes with added support. You can get orthotics, or feet supports that you have fitted to your foot and slide inside your shoe. Heel supports also work well.
Losing weight is another way to tackle the root issue causing the bone spur. The human body is not prepared to carry and support excessive amounts of weight for a continual period of time. A change in jobs may be needed if you’re on your feet all day, or extend your arms overhead all day like a painter. Thought should be given to changing the actions that place pressure on your joints and extremities.
Deep tissue massage may be helpful for people with shoulder, feet, or spine bone spurs. It seems to alleviate the pressure of the muscles, tendons, and bone.
Medical Treatment for Bone Spurs
Treating the symptoms involves ice, rest, and anti-inflammatory drugs like ibuprofen to deal with the swelling and pain associated with the bone spur. Medical professionals will also give patients steroid injections at the site of the bone spur to alleviate pain. Extreme cases can be dealt with effectively with surgery by removing the bone spurs altogether.
Bone spurs result from intense pressure and or rubbing of the bone in a joint or against other bone. The best way to keep yourself free of bone spurs is to listen to your body and don’t overdo physical exercise and work. Wear comfortable shoes and occasionally wear added support for your feet.