A Holistic Approach To Health
Living With Bone Spurs
I had a question the other day about bone spurs.
A bone spur is a bony growth that forms on normal bone.
Most people think of something sharp when they think of a spur, but a bone spur is just extra bone.
It’s usually smooth, but it can cause wear and tear or pain if it presses or rubs on other bones or soft tissues in your body.
Common places for bone spurs are your spine, shoulders, hands, hips, knees, and feet.
A bone spur forms as your body tries to repair itself by building extra bone.
It typically forms in response to pressure, rubbing, or stress that continues over a long period of time.
Some bone spurs form as part of aging.
As you age, the cartilage that covers the ends of your bones in your joints breaks down and eventually wears away.
Also, the discs that cushion your bones in your spine may break down with age.
Over time, this leads to pain and swelling and, in some cases, bone spurs forming along the edges of your joint.
Bone spurs due to aging are very common in the joints of your spine and feet.
Bone spurs also form in your feet because of tight ligaments from activities like dancing and running, from pressure from being overweight, or from poorly fitting shoes.
Another common site for bone spurs is your shoulder.
Over time, the bones, muscles, tendons, and ligaments that make up your shoulder can wear against one another.
The muscles that let you lift and rotate your arm start at your shoulder blade and are attached to your upper arm with tendons.
As these tendons move through the narrow space between the top of your shoulder and your upper arm, they can rub on your bones.
Bone spurs can form in this narrow area that pinch your rotator cuff tendons, causing irritation, inflammation, stiffness, weakness, pain, and sometimes tearing of the tendon.
This commonly occurs with age and/or repetitive use of your shoulder.
It’s also common in athletes, especially baseball players, and in people like painters who often work with their arms above their heads.
Many people have bone spurs without ever knowing it because most bone spurs cause no symptoms.
But if bone spurs are pressing on other bones or tissues or are causing a muscle or tendon to rub, they can break tissue down over time, causing swelling, pain, and tearing.
Bone spurs in your foot can also cause corns and calluses when tissue builds up to provide additional padding over the bone spur.
Bone spurs don’t require treatment unless they cause pain or damage other tissues.
When needed, treatment may be directed at the causes, the symptoms, or the bone spurs themselves.
To deal with bone spurs it’s beneficial to:
*Lose weight to take some pressure off your joints; you can follow my weight loss blog at blog.dickandlenay.com.
*Stretch the affected area, like your heel cord and bottom of your foot.
*Eat calcium-rich foods.
*Do weight-bearing exercises to build bone mass.
*Change footwear or add padding or a shoe insert.
*Eat fresh (not canned) pineapple and/or papaya because they contain enzymes that reduce inflammation.
*Explore the use of Arnica (homeopathic remedy).
*Consider Horsetail (herb) tea or extract.
*Eliminate acid-forming food and drinks (coffee, soda pop, dairy, red meat, processed foods, sugar, white flour products)