What are the Most Common Symptoms of a Spinal Bone Spur?

M.R. Anglin

One of the most common symptoms of a spinal bone spur is pain occurring in various parts of the body. Other symptoms include dizziness, muscles spasms, and tingling in the hands and feet. Numbness, weakness, and trouble breathing or swallowing can also be symptoms. These symptoms can be debilitating in nature, but there are treatment options available to treat them. Doctors can use methods such as surgery, physical therapy, and medicine, to help relieve the discomfort associated with a spinal bone spur.

A picture of a healthy spine and one with bone spurs.
A picture of a healthy spine and one with bone spurs.

Spinal bone spurs may exist without causing any symptoms. When they do cause problems, pain is often a common symptom. The pain can come in various forms and can attack various places in the body, depending on where the spur is located. For example, shoulder pain and headaches may be present if the spinal bone spur is located in the cervical, or neck, region. Pain in the bottom and thigh can occur if the spur is located in the lumbar, or lower back, region.

Neck pain may be a sign of a spinal bone spur.
Neck pain may be a sign of a spinal bone spur.

Depending on the cause, a person may experience different types of pain associated with spinal bone spurs. As the bone becomes larger, the spinal canal could narrow and start to compress the nerve, causing pain. Pain can also result from inflammation of the joints and irritated back muscles. For example, some may experience radiating pain and others a dull pain in various parts of the body because of joint inflammation or muscle irritation. A person may also experience radiating pain the arms or legs because of a pinched nerve.

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A spinal bone spur in the neck region may cause shoulder pain.
A spinal bone spur in the neck region may cause shoulder pain.

The compressed nerves caused by a spinal bone spur can induce weakness that gets worse over time, as well as numbness. In addition, bowel and bladder problems may also occur. Spinal bone spurs can also affect other structures. For example, a person may have trouble breathing or swallowing as a result of a spur exerting pressure on the esophagus or airways. If the spur puts pressure on a blood vessel going to the brain, the person may experience bouts of dizziness and have trouble focusing.

If a spinal bone spur puts pressure on a blood vessel going to the brain, a person may experience dizziness.
If a spinal bone spur puts pressure on a blood vessel going to the brain, a person may experience dizziness.

There are treatments available to help a person deal with the symptoms of a spinal bone spur, including anti-inflammatory drugs, muscle relaxants or epidural injections. In some instances, a doctor may recommend rest and physical therapy to relieve the symptoms of a spinal bone spur. In more severe cases, a doctor can surgically remove the spurs.

An epidural injection is a possible form of treatment for a spinal bone spur.
An epidural injection is a possible form of treatment for a spinal bone spur.
Back pain may be a symptom of a spinal bone spur.
Back pain may be a symptom of a spinal bone spur.
People suffering with bone spurs may have difficulty walking up and down stairs.
People suffering with bone spurs may have difficulty walking up and down stairs.

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