As an individual ages, the body changes in various ways. One of the undesirable changes in the body is the development of bone spurs. These bone spurs do not cause pain thus some are not even aware that they have one. On the other hand, if the bone spurs compresses on the nerves and surrounding bones, it can cause various symptoms. By being familiar with these symptoms, it can help determine if the individual has a bone spur or if emergency care is required.
Signs and symptoms of cervical spine bone spurs
An individual suspected of bone spurs in the cervical spine will experience the following signs and symptoms.
Once bone spurs start to rub against the bones in the neck or against the muscles, the individual can experience dull pain. In most cases, the pain is situated in the neck and becomes aggravated when the individual walks or stands. Nevertheless, if the bone spur pinches a nerve, the pain can become intense. Additionally, the pain can also spread to the shoulders. Oftentimes, once the pain starts to radiate to other body parts, it can be accompanied by a headache.
Since the bones of the cervical spine point inwards as opposed to the rest of the spine, once a bone spur occurs, it can place pressure on the esophagus and the airways. Once pressure is present in the esophagus, the individual will find it difficult to swallow.
The pressure on the airways will make breathing a painful task. In some cases, a bone spur can also impede a blood vessel that runs from the heart to the brain and pass through the cervical spine. Once this occurs, it will restrict the flow of blood to the brain, resulting to dizziness and difficulty focusing.
Problems with the arms
Since the cervical spine is situated where the nerves that run from the brain to the arms are located, compression on these nerves can lead to problems with the arms. Typically, the problems will start to arise with pain that is similar to a herniated disc. This will be followed by numbness that results to the loss of strength in the arm muscles. Take note that the weakened muscles can also cause diminished range of motion.
Generally, spinal stenosis can occur due to natural wear and tear on the cervical spine. On the other hand, bone spurs can often lead to it when they cause the narrowing of the spinal canal. In most cases, once it results to spinal stenosis, the individual will experience weakness in the legs, numbness in the legs and arms as well as the loss of sensation in the legs and arms.
Once these symptoms are observed, it is important that the individual will consult a doctor as soon as possible so that the appropriate treatment can be provided.