Spins are protrusions that develop on the ends of bones. They are also called osteophytes and form most often in the joints, but can also form in the bones of the spine.

The primary cause of bone spike is damage that develops as a result of wear and tear associated with osteoarthritis.

Most often those affected do not show any symptoms and bone formations can go unnoticed for years.

Treatment may not be necessary, and the decision depends on where the osteophytes are located and how they affect the patient’s overall health.

What are the symptoms?

In the majority of cases, bone formations do not cause clinical symptoms.

Often even those affected do not realize they have osteophytes until an x-ray for another disease reveals the growths.

In some cases, however, bony formations may cause painful sensations and partial loss of joint mobility.

Specific symptoms depend on where the bony growths are located.

• Knee – osteophytes in the knee can make squatting and generally all movements involving the knees painful.

Bone growths can affect the way the bones and tendons keep the knee moving smoothly.

Spine – osteophytes restrict the space in which the spinal cord is contained and thus cause severe injuries to the spine or nerve roots.

And sometimes bony growths can cause numbness in the hands and feet.

• Hip – osteophytes can make it painful to move the hip joint, although sometimes the pain is felt further down towards the knee. Depending on their location, bone spurs can reduce the range of motion of the hip joint.

• Shoulder – bone spurs can rub against the rotator cuff, which is a group of muscles and tendons that control shoulder movements. This can lead to swelling /tendinitis/ and tears in the rotator cuff.

• Toes – appear as hard lumps under the skin. Bony growths usually make the joints of the fingers look lumpy.

See your GP if you have pain, swelling or difficulty moving one or more joints. Timely treatment can prevent or delay further joint damage.

What are the causes?

Osteoarthritis is the most common cause of bone spurs. The disease is characterized by destruction of the cartilage that is located at the ends of the bones.

The body tries to compensate for the loss by forming bone growth near the damaged area.

Additional bone can help increase the size of the bearing surface.

Treatment of spikes

If bone growths cause painful sensations, the attending physician recommends the use of standard over-the-counter pain relievers such as ibuprofen or naproxen, as the period of their use is no more than 4-6 weeks.

It is also recommended to restrict motor activity for a while.

If the patient does not feel relief after 1-2 weeks, physical therapy, non-stressful exercises and chiropractic are recommended, through which in most cases relief of painful joint sensations is achieved.

Treatment methods attempt to improve body posture and possibly reduce nerve compression.

But when osteophytes limit range of motion or compress nerves, surgical removal is necessary.

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