Arthritic Neck Spur Symptoms
- When an arthritic neck spur causes a bulging neck disc patients may suffer from symptoms such as stiffness in the neck, pain that radiates from the neck down through the shoulders and numbness, all of which are associated with the pinching of a nerve in the neck. While the initial symptoms may be mild pain and stiffness, they will quickly become more severe if there is truly a problem.
Because the discs in the spine support the symmetry of our entire bodies, a bulging or unbalanced disk may cause symptoms of pain and numbness throughout the lower back and legs accompanied by muscle spasms where you would not normally expect them to be based on a neck injury.
Neck stiffness due to a bulging neck disc caused by an arthritic neck spur may become so severe that it becomes difficult to move your head up, down, to the left or to the right.
Arthritic Neck Spur Treatments
- If you have chronic pain in the neck, then it is important to see your doctor to determine if it is an arthritic neck spur that is causing the bulging disc or some other condition. Your doctor may recommend anti-inflammatory medication such as Aleve and administer a cortisone steroid shot to the affected area to alleviate inflammation and return some range of motion. Your doctor will also recommend several days of rest so that you move the affected area as little as possible, cutting down on the chances of irritating the bulged disc.
You may also apply an ice pack to the area in 20-minute intervals several times a day as needed. This will relieve swelling and inflammation associated with the arthritic neck spur and bulging neck disc.
While a bulging neck disc usually returns to a normal state after healing, an arthritic neck spur will not simply go away and so may require surgery to remove it. There are now many relatively safe surgical procedures to remove arthritic neck spurs and reduce pressure on the bulging neck disc. One procedure called a foraminotomy relieves pressure on the nerves caused by the arthritic neck spur and bulging neck disc. A laminotomy is a procedure where the spinal canal is opened through an incision---without the need of general anesthesia---to increase the amount of space available to the nerves of the affected area. Both procedures are minimally invasive and lead to a speedy recovery.
After the arthritic neck spur is removed allowing the bulging neck disc to return to normal functionality, ask your doctor about physical therapy exercises, which may help you recover faster by returning a full range of motion to your neck and shoulders.