Although a lot of people think of a bone spur as being bone that has sharp points, it is actually a smooth piece of extra bone growth that forms on regular bone. The pain that bone spurs can cause in the hands, feet, spine, hips, or shoulders often makes them feel as if they really are sharp. When they rub or come in contact with a person’s nerves, ligaments, other bones, or tendons, they can cause an excessive amount of discomfort and wear and tear.
When certain areas of the body are exposed to stress, pressure, or rubbing on a regular basis, extra bone is produced as the body begins the process of repairing itself. In some cases the result of this process is bone spurs.
Symptoms Some People Experience with Bone Spurs
A lot of people do not experience any type of symptoms at all, and they actually never even realize that they have bone spurs. However, when they are located in areas that cause them to press against soft tissue or bone, it can cause a great deal of pain, tearing, and swelling. This can also happen when they cause rubbing in the tendons or muscles, which will eventually cause the tissue to break down. When bone spurs form in the feet, corns and calluses will often form as more tissue is produced by the body to cushion the bone spurs.
Reasons Bone Spurs Form on the Bone of Different Parts of the Body
The normal aging process is one of the culprits that can cause the formation of bone spurs. This is simply because over time the discs of the spine and cartilage covering the ends of a person’s joints can break down, or completely be worn away. When this happens it is not uncommon for bone spurs to form and cause a great deal of swelling and pain. The feet and the spine are generally the areas that are affected by bone spurs due to aging.
Running and dancing are activities that can cause problems such as excess stress and tight ligaments in the feet. Wearing shoes that do not fit properly and being overweight are also causes of these problems. When inflammation occurs due to the tight ligaments and stress, the bone instantly begins healing itself and in some cases bone spurs are formed.
The shoulder is another area where bone spurs commonly form, and can often be seen in painters and baseball players. The repetitive motions of each of these frequently cause continuous rubbing of tendons, muscles, and ligaments against the bone in the shoulders. Over time the rotator cuff often becomes pinched, which causes stiffness, pain, weakness, inflammation, and irritation. In some cases the tendon will also tear and bone spurs are formed.
Depending on the degree of the injury, there are some cases where physicians are able to effectively treat the cause of the bone spur. This can involve various types of prescription medications, stretching exercises, and weight loss. There are however other cases where surgery will need to be performed to remove the bone spur.