Hello everyone, I hope you are all well.
Today I want to speak a little about something that has connections to arthritis, bone spurs. In actual fact, people can have bone spurs and not even realise it.
Bone spurs can be present and not cause any pain or even be visible without the use of an x-ray.
What happens then when bone spurs attack? When they become a pain, a nuisance. Can bone spurs be removed? Is there an alternative?
Let’s have a look.
Why do bone spurs occur?
This is the simple answer when the body notices a joint is unstable it immediately thinks the joint is weak and needs some help.
So it will send more calcium to the bones in the area and the bones will keep growing, growing past the point where they normally end.
This leaves overgrowth of bones, bone spurs.
Is this a problem?
Maybe not at first, as I said above they can go undetected unless you have recently had an x-ray of that particular joint.
Sadly they can become a real problem quickly if they start to pinch tendons and nerves you will be left with pain in the joint and even less motion.
In severe cases, the spurs can snap and become lodged in the joint locking it completely.
Obviously not good so let’s take a look at things we can do.
Treat the damn cause
Can bone spurs be removed?
Sure, you can have surgery to have them shaved off, but guess what? If you don’t rectify the instability then them little blighters are going to grow back.
What did we establish the cause was?
Instability. So rather than surgery that produces short term relief shouldn’t we look at solving the problem at the root.
If a joint is unstable there can be a variety of reasons for this, spurs form at areas that are stressed.
We have mentioned before that it isn’t unreasonable to believe that if we are overweight we are putting added stress on weight-bearing joints, knees, ankles, the heel.
The obvious remedy is to lose weight, easier said than done I know!
I have spoken at length about diet, the influx of commercial food, the sad absence of whole foods. I am not going to spew it at you again.
YOU know if you are overweight, YOU know if you are unhealthy due to eating foods devoid of any nutrients.
If you are then your joints are going to be suffering, this is bad news for anyone, for those of you reading this that have arthritis it should be obvious that this really is critical.
There are plenty of ways out there to lose weight, even for people with limited exercise ability. Find one that works for you and lose the extra lb’s.
I have recently lost some weight following a ketogenic diet, some people love this some people hate it as with most diets.
I hate the word diet. It always conjures up images of restriction, lettuce leaves, a white rabbit or a person who has lost the will to live.
Just consider it a change to the way you’re eating in an effort to be healthier.
It is a strange world we live in, if you tell someone you are on a diet they often think you are saying you are better than them, that you have more willpower than them and instead of support you they instantly want you to fail.
Poor posture can put stress and strain on your bones.
We have spoken about weight bearing joints but the fact is bone spurs can occur in the neck, the spine and they can cause just as much destruction there.
Try to be more conscious of your posture at all times, walking, standing, sitting, running.
Options to solve poor posture can go from buying posture aids to seeing a chiropractor.
I see a chiropractor once every two months, not because of bad posture but to try and keep a close eye on adjacent joints and prevent more joints becoming arthritic.
Vibration and repetitive strain injury can be a cause of bone spurs.
I am sure you have seen workers on public roads and the poor guy or girl who is using the jackhammer shaking like a dog doing a you know what.
Something I have previously done, truck driving can cause vibration throughout the body particularly neck and spine. Especially if driving trucks off road on an uneven surface.
Repetitive strain we should all be familiar with, example a factory worker on a line twisting to move a box from the line to a pallet.
The repetitive motion of twisting can cause stress on bones and joints.
The very reason I have bone spurs myself!
Yes, I am writing this article safe in the knowledge that bone spurs have started to form in my ankle. The last x-ray that my chiropractor received confirmed this.
A joint that has been damaged causing it to become weakened and unstable is very much prone to bone spurs.
Any good news?
For some, yes, for others maybe.
I am going to use an old familiar word again, INFLAMMATION.
Stress on joints causes them to become inflamed, bone spurs pinching tendons and muscles causes inflammation.
Some people have reported that by taking Apple Cider Vinegar daily their pain has disappeared. Others have said things like ginger, turmeric, Boswellia Serrata and coconut oil have also worked wonders.
For those overweight just losing some of the extra load will make your joints very thankful and see a big reduction in inflammation.
Those of you who, like me, have an arthritic joint with limited to no movement will find bone spurs become harder to get rid of.
At the moment they are not causing me any pain or showing any signs of deformity.
Yes, bone spurs can continue growing until they protrude out and look very unsightly.
I obviously don’t want this to happen, I don’t want them to become visible, I also don’t want them to cause me any pain.
So what are the options?
I mentioned above that surgery can be performed to shave off the excess bone, the problem is that they will grow back.
Why? Because our joint is still going to be deemed unstable by our body. We know there is no known cure for arthritis so it becomes harder for us to rectify the problem.
Things to try
I have mentioned some of them above and I already take a very active role in trying to limit inflammation in my joints.
I would say that whatever your affected joint is try your very best to strengthen all the muscles around it.
In the early days when all my cartilage had turned to jelly and it literally was like a bingo wing! I could flick it on Christmas Day and it would wobble until New Year’s Eve.
I wasn’t walking evenly, I was very unstable, on a couple of occasions the ankle joint seemed to give way when walking.
The other muscles around the joint were not strong enough to pick up the slack that was left by having a joint with limited movement.
Over the years I have made a conscious effort to rebuild my calf and strengthen my legs and as I have done that I have experienced less pain.
So yes you can definitely have bone spurs removed but if you are in the same boat as I am then you can be sure they will return.
Maybe with a combination of strengthening the supporting muscles and taking supplements to lower inflammation as well as eating inflammation reducing foods, we can make our body think that the joint doesn’t need any more help.
Could it be possible that the body sees our efforts and thinks this person has it under control.
It is all hypothetical.
The fact is that bone spurs are common with people who have arthritis, it is another obstacle that the disease tests you with but don’t you dare give in!
Don’t you ever feel despair or defeated and if you do reach out to someone, or if you see someone experiencing those dark emotions then reach out to them.
It is our duty to love one another. It is a simple rule yet one that is broken every day all over the world!
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