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What Causes Bone Spurs and How Are They Fixed?

xray of heel bone spurBone spurs are bony growths that typically develop on the edges of bones. This can happen in various parts of the body. Also, they can develop in the cervical spine.

Bone spurs are often a result of degenerative changes in the spine and can lead to symptoms such as neck pain and nerve compression.

Common causes of bone spurs in the neck and how they can be managed:

  • Aging: The most common cause of bone spurs in the neck is the natural aging process. As the intervertebral discs in the spine deteriorate with age, the body may respond by forming bone spurs at the edges of the vertebrae as a way to stabilize the spine.
  • Degenerative Disc Disease: When the discs between the vertebrae wear down due to age, injury, or repetitive stress, it can lead to increased friction between the bones, potentially causing bone spurs to form.
  • Herniated Discs: A herniated or bulging disc can put pressure on the surrounding structures, including the bones, and stimulate bone spur growth.
  • Osteoarthritis: Osteoarthritis in the neck can lead to the formation of bone spurs as the cartilage between the vertebrae deteriorates.
  • Trauma: A traumatic injury to the neck or spine, such as a fracture or dislocation, can trigger the development of bone spurs.

To manage bone spurs in the neck, treatment options may include:

  • Conservative Treatment: In many cases, non-surgical approaches are used to manage neck pain and related symptoms caused by bone spurs. These may include physical therapy, pain medications, anti-inflammatory drugs, and lifestyle modifications.
  • Cervical Collar: Wearing a cervical collar for a limited period can help stabilize the neck and reduce the pain.
  • Corticosteroid Injections: Steroid injections can be administered to reduce inflammation and alleviate pain associated with bone spurs.
  • Physical Therapy: Exercises and physical therapy can help improve neck strength and flexibility, which may alleviate pain and prevent further issues.
  • Surgery: If conservative treatments do not provide relief, surgery may be considered. Surgical options may include removing the bone spurs, decompressing nerve roots, or spinal fusion, depending on the specific condition and the extent of nerve compression.


The right treatment for bone spurs in the neck depends on the individual’s symptoms, the severity of the condition, and the specific cause. It is essential to consult with a healthcare provider, typically a spine specialist or orthopedic surgeon, to determine the most suitable treatment plan. Surgery is usually considered when conservative measures fail to relieve pain, or when there is significant nerve compression.

*Please Note: Information on this site or any recommended sites should not be used as a diagnosis or a substitute for talking with your doctor. Always talk with your doctor about diagnosis and treatment information.
Blue Distinction Center for Spine Surgery