Numbness in the arms and hands, tingling, loss of ability or/and strength as well as, severe and continual headaches. Muscle pain, myalgia, is another complication associated with cervical osteophytes.
Osteophytes, commonly referred to as bone spurs or parrot beak, are bony projections that form along joint margins. They should not be confused with enthesophytes, which are bony projections that form at the attachment of a tendon or ligament.
Cervical, not to be confused with Cervix, refers to the portion of the spine above the shoulders, from C-1 thru C-7
This type of challenge can also lead to excessive scaring and cervical/foremen stenosis, a narrowing of the spinal nerve canals.
Stenosis itself can be extremely painful and also include loss of function. Bone spurs or osteophytes usually involve constant pain and complications with range of motion.
At this point, eventual removal of the osteophyte is about the only way to assure restoring pain free movement to the cervical spine. As long as the bone spur is obstructing proper joint movement or placing pressure upon the nerve root, normal range of motion cannot be achieved.
Any method of adjunct treatment should be approached skillfully and gently by qualified licensed practitioners who understand the nuances of working around these types of challenges. Massage, Acupuncture, reflexology and some forms of Chiropractics can still provide a measure of relief from this condition. It is good to realize though, that complete relief from osteophytes and/or loose bodies in the spinal area ultimately will come from their removal.
Steve Lynch, LMT-008476, AAS/Holistic Health, CTE