The correct name for a bone spur is osteophyte. It is a bony growth that forms on a normal bone. It is usually smooth, but can cause pain and wear and tear if it is rubbing against other bones, ligaments, tendons or nerves.
Bone spurs are commonly found on the feet, hands, hips, knees, shoulders and spine.
The Cause of Bone Spurs
When the body tries to repair itself, it builds extra bone. It does this in response to stress, rubbing or pressure that has continued over a long period of time.
Bone spurs sometimes also form as part of aging. These bone spurs are common on the feet and on the spine.
Bone spurs are most common in the feet. They can develop because of tight ligaments, activities that put stress on the foot (like dancing or running), and from pressure due to being overweight or badly fitting shoes.
‘Pump bump’ is the common name for a bone spur that forms on the back of the heel from too-tight shoes. It got its name from being found in women who wear high heels.
The shoulder joint is also a common spot for bone spurs. The shoulder joint is a complex structure that can move in a number of directions. The bones, muscles, tendons and ligaments that make up your shoulder can over time wear against each other. The bone spur that forms can end up pinching the rotator cuff tendon and lead to rotator cuff disorder, This is a common disorder with athletes and other people who work with their arms above their heads (such as painters).
It is possible to have bone spurs without even knowing it. Sometimes they will be pressing against the bones or tissue or cause a muscle or tendon to rub. This can end up breaking down the tissue and cause swelling and pain.
If bone spurs aren’t causing pain, then you can just leave it. If it is painful, however, it is suggested you go to a doctor or physical therapist.