Bone spurs are a common cause of back pain, especially in patients over 60 with significant deterioration of the spine. Because these bony projections form on your vertebrae, they can press on nerves and cause pain in the lower back and even throughout the arms and legs, depending on the nerves affected. Dr. Sina Rajamand at Battle Born Brain & Spine in Reno can determine if your back pain is stemming from bone spurs and if so, how best to treat them for relief.
What Are Bone Spurs?
Bone spurs are a common result of osteoarthritis in the spine. The discs that act as shock absorbers between your vertebrae wear out over time and weaken. The ligaments that connect your spinal bones can become thicker as they try to correct the looseness caused by wear and tear. The body causes more bone material to form as an additional effort to strengthen this weakness. The hardening ligaments calcify and bond with the additional bone material to form bone spurs.
Bone spurs initially cause no pain; indeed, many patients only discover they have bone spurs when a spinal scan for other issues detects their presence. However, as they grow and/or rub against spinal nerves, they can cause pain. Some additional factors can speed their development, like bad posture, poor nutrition, heredity and some injuries. Anything that speeds the process of spinal degeneration can promote the development of bone spurs.
How Are Bone Spurs Treated?
Initial treatment for bone spurs depends on how they affect you. If they are discovered on an X-ray but cause you no discomfort, your doctor may decide to monitor them over time. If you are suffering pain from bone spurs, your specialist may recommend physical therapy, NSAIDs for inflammation or epidural steroid injections.
Sometimes bone spurs must be removed to relieve your pain and resulting immobility. Dr. Rajamand is a skilled neurosurgeon who can surgically remove bone spurs from your vertebrae. He may also recommend a laminectomy or foraminotomy to create adequate space for the spinal cord or other affected nerve roots. Other procedures may also be needed to repair other damage from osteoarthritis and prevent bone spurs from reoccurring.
Contact the Reno, NV office of Battle Born Brain & Spine to schedule an exam and consultation if you are troubled with lower back pain. Bone spurs could be the reason, but there are many other possible causes. Dr. Rajamand can get to the bottom of your back pain and provide relief.