Bone spurs, which are small projections that develop on the edges of bones, are a highly common ailment that affects about 2 percent of the U.S. population.
People of any age can develop bone spurs, but they’re especially common in senior citizens since they are often associated with osteoarthritis-related joint damage.
Bone spurs don’t always require medical treatment, but, depending on their location, they can contribute to joint inflammation, pain, and stiffness that limit mobility. Bone spurs along the spine are particularly problematic, as are ones that develop in the knee or ankle joints.
For seniors who are struggling with bone spurs, there are lots of different treatment options available, including the four listed below.
1. Weight Loss
Weight loss is one of the most effective treatments for managing bone spurs, especially spinal bone spurs.
Changing your diet will is, generally speaking, the most effective weight loss tool. Focus on limiting your caloric intake and cutting out greasy fast food and highly processed snacks. Replace them with high-quality protein, fruits, vegetables, and healthy fats like avocados and olive oil.
Foods rich in omega-3 fatty acids can also help lubricate the joints and relieve inflammation.
2. Lifestyle Aids
There are lots of tools out there as well that can help relieve pain caused by bone spurs. Some good options to invest in include:
Supportive shoes that cushion the feet and avoid putting extra strain on the joints
Orthotic inserts to provide extra support
A shoe horn to help you avoid bending over and aggravating your back while getting dressed
3. Regular Exercise
Exercise releases natural painkillers in the form of endorphins. It also strengthens the muscles to help support the joints and relieve pressure placed on them.
Resistance training, walking, and swimming are all good exercise options for people struggling with bone spurs. Work with a trainer or physical therapist to make sure you’re practicing proper form and not doing anything to aggravate your condition.
4. Minimally Invasive Surgery
Finally, some people require minimally invasive surgery to get rid of their bone spurs. When you undergo surgery, a doctor will use state-of-the-art equipment to identify the spur and extract it.
This is typically an outpatient procedure, and the recovery time only lasts a few hours — you’ll be up and walking shortly after and won’t have to deal with an extended hospital stay.