Cervical bone spur treatment is a means to alleviate or manage symptoms associated with the growth of excess bone along the sides or edges of the vertebrae located within the neck region of the spine. Far more often than not, someone with bone spurs (osteophytes) within the spine never even realizes they are there. That’s because most bone spurs cause nothing more serious than a popping or cracking noise called crepitus, which can be heard occasionally when the head is turned.
Debilitating, chronic symptoms associated with spinal bone spurs can include pain, tingling, numbness, or muscle weakness in the upper extremities. These symptoms are caused by spinal nerve compression.
The Goals of Exercise and Stretching
Nonsurgical bone spur treatment is usually enough to help a patient alleviate neck pain and other problems. Surgery only becomes an option, in most cases, if debilitating symptoms persist after several weeks or months of conservative treatment. One of the treatment methods a spine specialist and/or physical therapist might recommend is exercise. In some cases, stretching might also be prescribed as part of a bone spur treatment regimen.
What do exercise and stretching accomplish? The goals are two-fold:
- To strengthen the muscles of the neck and provide greater support and stability in the area
- To improve the flexibility of the muscles, tendons, and other tissue within the area and reduce the potential for painful nerve compression
Talk to a Doctor First
Even if you have been told that surgery is not a good option for bone spur treatment, you should never begin a palliative course of exercise or stretching without first talking it over with your doctor and/or spine specialist. While exercise and stretching when performed correctly can be extremely beneficial, those same activities can lead to even worse symptoms or injury if performed incorrectly. Also, never overdo it. If your body tells you it’s time to stop, then stop and let your physician know so that adjustments can be made to the treatment plan.