What Causes Bone Spurs In The Neck?
Bone spurs may be caused in the neck region due to wearing out of the cervical bone present in the neck. Such tear and wear out may be caused due to some form of injury in the neck region, or due to arthritis which is a form of degenerative orthopedic condition occurring due to increased age.
What are the Common Symptoms of Having a Bone Spur in the Neck?
The bone spurs, in general, are seen not to cause any symptomatic problems, but when it presses against the spinal cord, in the neck region, it causes serious symptoms like-
- Patient may have a joint lockage which may be quite spontaneous.
- The patient may complain of experiencing a form of pain that stays localized in the neck.
- The patient may complain of severe pain beginning in the neck which travels through the shoulder followed by in the arms and hands.
- The patient may talk of experiencing a sort of tingling sensation in the neck and arm region.
- The patient may find an audible sound of a bone grinding against another bone in the neck region.
- The patient feels a form of pain characterized by throbbing or burning in the neck.
How is Diagnosis of Bone Spurs Present In The Neck Done?
As the patient comes to the doctor with the symptoms of bone spur present in the neck the following of the diagnostic procedures may be opted-
- Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) for bone spurs in the neck- An MRI scan is capable of showing the detailed cross-sections of the tissues and bones. It does not use radiation and works better than X-rays and CT-scans to diagnose problems in soft tissues. Thus, MRI scans can be used to detect osteophytes.
- Electro diagnostic testing for bone spurs in the neck is a form of nerve conduction study that can test the nerve's electrical activities in the arms. Following this, another test called the electromyogram may be carried out to test the electrical activities of the muscles. Such tests can help determine the location of the problem in the vertebrae.
- A somato-sensory evoked potential may help in determining if the spinal cord has been impinged. Such tests for diagnosing bone spurs in the neck are comparatively less common.
Ways to Get Rid of Bone Spurs in the Neck
Bone spurs in the neck generally do not require surgery. The symptoms can be reduced though non-surgical methods which may include-
- Ice and/or Heat Compress- Cooling or warming the inflamed area with ice or heated gel pack may help relieve the pain in some patients.
- Oral Medication- Sometimes anti-inflammatory medications or muscle relaxants are given to provide some form of relief.
- Injections- When oral medications cannot provide relief the doctor may directly inject some form of medication near the bone spur to reduce the inflammation and the pain.
- Manual Manipulation- Sometimes the patient is referred to a chiropractor or any other related but qualified health professional to manually adjust the cervical spine. This is done to reduce the pain and improve flexibility of the neck. It should be noted that sometimes manual manipulation may be a part of physiotherapy.
- Activity Modification- The doctor may prescribe rest for a day or two and ask to limit strenuous activities. At times the doctor advises for a better posture position. Such may include sitting up straighter instead of hunching over a desk for hours. Taking frequent breaks from long hours of work may also be a form of relief.
- Physiotherapy- Sometimes physiotherapists may be asked to design some form of exercise which may help the patient improve the neck strength and flexibility. This may help reduce the pain to some extent.