Bone spurs, also known as osteophytes, are tiny bony outgrowths that form along joint margins. Bone spurs normally happen on the back of the spine as a person ages. However, they can also appear on the feet, either along toes or the heel, as well as on the hands.
The main cause of bone spurs is the wear-and-tear damage associated with osteoarthritis. It can result from any sequential and consequential changes in bone formation, which can be due to degeneration and mechanical instability.
It can also be caused by inflammatory conditions like plantar fasciitis, tendonitis and diffuse idiopathic skeletal hyperostosis, also known as DISH.
In addition, being overweight, applying continuous pressure and excessive use of joints during exercise or while playing sports can cause this problem.
Most bone spurs cause no signs or symptoms and go undetected for years. When they do cause symptoms, they may include sharp pain, restricted movement along the affected area, swelling, inflammation and numbness.
Most symptoms depend on where the bone spurs are located. For instance, a bone spur on the knee may cause pain and difficulty bending your leg.
When it affects the spine, it can cause pain and loss of motion. When it pinches the nerves or the spinal cord, it may also cause weakness or numbness in the arms or legs. A heel spur can even lead to calluses and corns on the foot due to pressure.
As bone spurs can become very painful, it is important to deal with them promptly. You can treat the condition naturally with simple lifestyle changes and easy home remedies.
Here are the top 10 home remedies for bone spurs.
1. Cold Compress
Regular use of a cold compress will help reduce symptoms like pain, swelling and inflammation due to a bone spur. It will also help relax the muscles in the affected area.
- Put a few ice cubes in a thin towel and tie it securely.
- Apply the ice pack over the affected area and press gently.
- Do this for 5 to 10 minutes.
- Repeat this remedy as needed.
Note: Do not apply ice directly on the skin as it may cause frostbite.
Ginger is another excellent home remedy for bone spurs. Being a natural anti-inflammatory, it can help reduce pain, swelling as well as inflammation. Moreover, it helps improve blood circulation.
- Drink ginger tea up to 3 times a day. To make the tea, boil 1 tablespoon of thinly sliced ginger in 2 cups of water for 10 minutes. Strain, add honey and drink it.
- Also, massage the affected area with ginger oil a few times daily.
- Alternatively, you can take a dose of two 500-milligram ginger tablets, 3 times a day, for extended relief and treatment. Consult your doctor first.
3. Apple Cider Vinegar
Apple cider vinegar is also a good home remedy for bone spurs. Its anti-inflammatory properties help reduce pain and inflammation. It also helps rebalance the pH levels and prevent bone spurs.
- Add 1 to 2 teaspoons of raw, unfiltered apple cider vinegar in 1 glass of water. Drink it twice a day for best results.
- You can also put a paper towel soaked in apple cider vinegar over the affected area. Leave it on for a few hours. Do this a couple of times daily.
Follow these remedies until the pain and inflammation are gone.
Turmeric is also beneficial for alleviating symptoms associated with bone spurs. Curcumin, the yellow pigment in turmeric, has anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties that help reduce inflammation and pain.
- Add 1 teaspoon of turmeric powder to 1 cup of milk and heat it over low flame. Drink this twice a day for quick recovery.
- Alternatively, you can take a turmeric supplement of 400 to 600 mg, 3 times a day, but only after consulting your doctor.
Flaxseed contains alpha-linolenic acid, a form of omega-3 fatty acid that can help reduce pain and inflammation.
- Soak a clean cloth in warm flaxseed oil, then tie it on the affected area. Put a heating pad over the cloth to keep the area warm. Use this treatment once daily.
- Another option is to tie 1 cup of flaxseeds securely in a piece of cloth. Warm it in the microwave for a few seconds. Place it over the affected area and apply pressure for a few minutes. Repeat as needed. You can reuse the same flaxseed hot pack a few times.
- Also, include flaxseeds in your diet on a regular basis.
Chamomile can help bring great relief from the discomforts associated with bone spurs. It has anti-inflammatory and pain-relieving properties that help reduce inflammation and pain.
- Add 1 tablespoon of dried or fresh chamomile flowers to a cup of hot water. Cover and steep for 10 minutes, then allow it to cool. Use this water to wash the affected area.
- You can also drink 2 to 3 cups of chamomile tea daily. To make this herbal tea, steep 2 teaspoons of chamomile in a cup of water for 5 minutes and then strain it. You can also add a little honey to sweeten it.