What are bone spurs?

Updated: Sep 27


I believe everyone is familiar with the term bone spurs, but are bone spurs as terrible as its name?


Bone spurs or osteophytes are seen in degenerative joints. When the joints degenerate, the cartilage becomes thinner, and the bone surfaces begin to rub on each other. Eventually, that will stimulate the bone to proliferate and create bone spurs. Bone spurs are not a disease, but rather a symptom of degenerative arthritis which often occurs in the spine, knees, and hip joints.


X-ray shows that I have bone spurs in my low back, should I be worried?

If you don't have any pain, but x-rays show that you have bone spurs, do not be afraid. This is because many of us will have some kind of degeneration in our spine without any symptoms. Even if you have low back pain and X-ray shows that you have bone spurs, don't be too worried as well, because studies have found that most of the degenerative symptoms in X-rays are not the actual cause of pain. Therefore, a detailed examination is recommended to find out the cause of the pain as soon as possible if you are experiencing one.


The bone spurs themselves do not cause any pain. Nevertheless, some severe bone spurs can proliferate to the spinal canal or nerve outlets, and with time, they can compress the nerves and affect the sensation or function of the place where the nerves innervate.


To prevent bone spurs, we must first understand the risk factors:

1. Old age

2. Overweight – especially impact the knees and hips

3. Overused joints

4. Poor posture


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