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Bone spurs occur when extra bone growths form on a normal bone. Bone spurs are extra portions of bone that form as the body tries to repair itself. Pain is often produced from this condition because the spurs can rub on pressure points and other bones. Many other complications can occur from neck bone spurs.
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Causes and Symptoms of Neck Bone Spurs
Bone spurs form when the body repairs its self over a long period of time. Bone spurs naturally form throughout the aging process due to osteoarthritis. With this condition, bone spurs usually form around the edges of joints as the cartilage and bone slowly deteriorate.
Although neck bone spurs can produce no symptoms at all, often there can be many painful symptoms. Pressure can build as the spur rubs on other bones and muscles. Tendons and ligaments can be affected by spurs also. When the spur rubs on a part of the body, that part can begin to break down and wear away. This can then cause swelling, pain, and a tearing sensation.
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Diagnosing Bone Spurs
Many people may not experience any symptoms of bone spurs so they may never know they have them. However, when painful symptoms are produced from this condition a doctor may order x-rays to be conducted on the painful area. X-rays can determine if there are bone spurs present and where they are located. The condition can be evaluated better with an x-ray as a visual. Any damaged caused by the bone spur can be seen on the x-ray.
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Treatment of Neck Bone Spurs
Often, bone spurs will not require any treatment unless they are causing severe pain or damage. Bone spurs can be treated in multiple ways. Deep tissue massages or stretching of the area can help relieve the pain. Anti-inflammatory drugs can be taken to reduce the pain and swelling caused by the bone spur. Cortisone injections may be given to relive the pain and swelling also. Bone spurs may need to be removed surgically on occasion. This is done when the spur causes extreme damage or deformities to the affected area.
Bone spurs are often not a major problem for many people. But, in rare cases they can cause serious complications.
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“Bone Spur” February 8, 2008 WebMD.com