A bone spur (osteophyte) is a bony growth formed on bone. It grows through a "calcium build-up" process which forms into the bone spur. The texture of a spur is usually smooth.
Where Do Bone Spurs Develop?
Common areas in the body for bone spurs include the feet, shoulders, hips, hands, knees and spine. Bone spurs tend to develop in places where the musculoskeletal system is compromised due to aging and degeneration or poor body movement patterns over time. Recreational or work-related excessive strains in the joints may also initiate bone spurs.
Symptoms of Bone Spurs
Heat, redness and swelling in and around the joint complex are indicators of a possible bone spur. Loss of mobility, progressive weakness or pain in and around the joint are also symptoms of bone spurs.
Naturopathic Pain Relief
A combination of arnica and chamomile may be used in a poultice (a heated and medicated mixture that is spread on cloth over the skin) on the affected joint. Alternating hot and cold foot baths may be helpful for bone spurs occurring in the feet and ankles. A warm castor oil pack or cooling coconut oil rub on the affected area may also relieve pain.
Pain Relief Using Bodywork
The anatomy of the bone spur cannot be changed, but body movement therapy and better joint control can make spurs less of a factor in nerve impingement. Many people find relief through body movement practices such as yoga or Alexander Technique. For manual therapy, find a bodyworker certified in neuromuscular therapy, myofascial techniques, thai yoga massage or medical massage.
Prevention of Bone Spurs
Practicing good posture, exercising and stretching on a regular basis will keep muscles and bones in alignment, thereby reducing the chances for a bone spur to develop in high tension/friction areas. Eating organic foods high in minerals such as calcium, magnesium and phosphorus will keep muscles and bones strong. Consumption of high-grade essential fatty acids such as fish oil, coconut oil and flaxseed oil may also help in prevention of bone spurs.