The human body is indeed a marvel creature. The way the body has many parts and different functions help humans to live and survive. Body parts such as limbs help people to move around and move objects. This enables humans to do many activities in their daily life. Regular health screening helps to identify what is possibly wrong with the limbs. It also helps a person to identify problems early on and receive treatments or support to prevent further issues. There are many problems that can arise from the limbs, one of them is a bone spur.
Bone spurs or also known as osteophytes are characterised by hard bony lumps or bumps with a smooth surface. It is considered an extra part of bones which is abnormal. Osteophytes are usually found around joints where two bones meet and sometimes at the bone of the spine. Bone spurs can develop in almost any joint of the body. The word ‘spur’ itself may seem like a thing that could cause painful sensation but bone spurs are relatively small and usually do not cause any symptoms. Many may only find these bone spurs accidentally after x-ray imaging test for other reasons.
Bony spurs tend to develop in certain groups of people such as the elderly as a result of degenerative disease. Injury to the joint such as from trauma, sports, overuse or joint diseases such as gout, rheumatoid arthritis and gout can trigger bone spurs. Bone spurs are usually a way of the body trying to compensate the injured joint by developing this abnormal bony structure.
Although bone spurs typically do not cause any symptoms, symptoms will arise when the bone spurs start to press on other structures of the joint such as nerves, tendons or ligaments. Hence, if you are wondering what a bone spur feels like, the answer is it depends on how severe the bony spurs are. In most cases, you probably would not feel a thing since the bone spurs are too small and do not affect the surrounding joint. However, you may feel pain when the bone spurs begin to rub against the bones or muscle and start to put pressure on nerves. Apart from pain, joint stiffness is common with bone spurs affecting joint movement. Abnormal sensation of weakness, numbness and tingling can be felt in the arm or leg if the bone spur pressing the nerve. If the bone spurs are big, you may see bumps under the skin of the affected area.
Bone spurs in general do not need any treatment. It is only treated when it causes problems such as the symptoms mentioned before. Before treatments are given, bone spurs are evaluated by doctors to see how severe the problem is and to get a clear picture of the bone spur itself. Imaging tests such as x-ray, CT and MRI scan are among common tests that will be done. Once diagnosis is confirmed, doctors will suggest your treatment plans that are available.
Treatments depend on how bony spurs affect a person’s life. In mild cases, painkillers, steroid injection and physical therapy should be enough to control the symptoms. In cases that already cause severe movement issues or the pain is too severe, surgery might be suggested to help remove the bone spurs. Although bone spurs might be a condition that many are likely to experience as they age, there are steps you can take to reduce the likelihood of getting it. Simply by being physically fit, maintaining healthy weight, practising good posture and preventing joint injuries by wearing supportive shoes and safe exercise technique, bone spurs are less likely to cause symptoms.