An individual with a shoulder bone spur rarely experiences any symptoms but some might suffer from shoulder pain. A bone spur is an abnormal growth on the surface of bones. They are not usually painful but can cause pain if it rubs against the nerves and crushes the adjacent tissue.
Generally, a shoulder bone spur grows at a very slow and stable rate. Nevertheless, there are cases where the growth is rapid and unpredictable. In such instances, the doctor might suggest surgery to remove the spurs.
The usual risk factors for a shoulder bone spur include the following:
- Advanced age
- Poor posture
- Repetitive stress on the shoulder joint due to participation in high-impact sports
- Excessive body weight linked with obesity
- Unhealthy diet
- Degenerative joint diseases such as osteoarthritis
- Genetics or family history of bone spurs
What are the indications?
In most cases, bone spurs are not painful and does not trigger any serious symptoms. Nevertheless, certain symptoms might arise in some individuals depending on the seriousness of the condition.
Generally, the symptoms that might arise include the following:
- Intense, uncontrollable shoulder pain
- Weakness, numbness or tingling of the shoulder joint if the adjacent nerves are pinched
- Diminished range of shoulder movement
Management of a shoulder bone spur
The methods of managing a shoulder bone spur is based on the seriousness of the symptoms.
The conservative measures for cases with mild to moderate pain might include:
- Adequate rest from activities that can worsen the condition. The individual is instructed to refrain from certain activities until the symptoms settle.
- Medications such as non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) can be given to manage a shoulder bone spur to lessen the pain and swelling.
- Corticosteroid injections can provide brief relief to the symptoms as well as improve the range of motion.
- Physical therapy exercises can help strengthen the shoulder and improve flexibility to lessen the discomfort. It also helps lessen the pressure on the nerves.
In some cases, in which conservative measures are not effective, surgical intervention is necessary. A common surgical procedure performed is bone spur removal which involves the removal of any abnormal growth in the shoulder.