Do Bone Spurs Cause Pain?

Bone spurs are often believed to be a source of pain and can be mistreated as a result. By understanding the real source of pain, patients suffering from bone spurs can treat their ailments properly with physical therapy.

bone spur ankle image
credit: diary of a medical scientist

The Underlying Causes of Bone Spurs

People commonly arrive in the office who have neck, shoulder, and feet pain and report that they, “have bone spurs.”  The implication of this complaint is that the bone spurs are the immediate cause of the problem.  The reason many patients believe that bone spurs are the source of their problems is because a physician has taken an X-ray and has advised them as such.

The reality is that this is a misidentification of the problem.  Here are the reasons why:

  • First, press on your bones (elbow, fingers, skull, etc.). Is there pain?  The answer is no because bones do not hurt.
  • Second, a bone spur is a symptom, not a pathology.

What is a Spur?

A spur is an indication of chronic instability.  The laxity of ligaments and the looseness of joints leads to sloppy movement between joints.  The body’s response to this is the development of a new bone known as a spur.

The contributing factors to this condition are poor posture as such contributes to cervical spurs, chronic rotator cuff weakness, which causes shoulder spurs, and chronic big toe stiffness, which causes heel spurs.

The real cause of pain when one has a spur is not the spur itself; rather, it is the muscles, tendons, ligaments, fascia, and neural tissues that cause pain.

How Physical Therapy Helps

At Orthopedic & Sports Physical Therapy, our physical therapy doctors are trained to examine joints and to determine any areas of instability.  We then use exercise to stabilize the area and soft tissue massage along with other manual techniques to ameliorate and eliminate the pain.

The outcomes have been described as ‘amazing’; no surgery or medications are required, so if you have been diagnosed with a bone spur or believe you have a bone spur, then contact any one of the four Orthopedic & Sports Physical Therapy clinics for a consultation.

From Crestview to Destin, with four locations, the Orthopedic & Sports Physical Therapy Center is the place to go for sports injuries and for expedient therapeutic recovery. When you’re in pain and looking for safe, competent, and complete relief, look no further than the experts at the Orthopedic & Sports Physical Therapy Center, LLC. They’ll get you up and running in no time.




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