Most bone spurs have no symptoms and remain undetected for years, whereas others cause varying levels of wear and tear and consequently discomfort and pain. Bone spurs may press against nerves and spinal cords to cause numbness and pain anywhere in the body, may intrude and obstruct bones and tendons making joint movements painful, may protrude in the neck making breathing and swallowing difficult, or may appear at lumps disfiguring fingers and causing loss of dexterity. At times, bone spurs break away from the parent bone to float in the joint or embed in the lining of the joint and cause intermittent locking that inhibits movement of the joint.
The coping and treatment options depend on what causes bone spurs and the severity of the symptoms. Possible options include removing the source of stress such as changing shoes or learning to take up a less stressful posture when performing, taking anti-inflammatory medications, or surgery.
At-home treatment such as administering an ice pack to the affected joint for 15 to 20 minutes several times a day or taking over-the-counter nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs such as aspirin or ibuprofen may help relieve pain and swelling and provide temporary relief from the inflammation, pain and swelling.
People who experience symptoms of bone spurs would do well to contact a certified medical practitioner at the earliest. Make a list of recent injuries or activities that cause stress for effective diagnosis. Confirmation of bone spurs nevertheless require X-rays, ultrasound imaging, MRI scan, CT scan or myelograms.
Early diagnosis and treatment prevent aggravation of the condition.