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Tips for Preventing Bone Spurs (Osteophytes)

By AGE2B team
January 31, 2022

What are osteophytes?

Osteophytes is the medical term for bone spurs. These usually occur due to arthritis, so there is not one specific way that you can prevent them from occurring. Staying active and physically fit can help reduce the pain and other symptoms that osteophytes and bones spur sometimes cause.

Bone spurs or osteophytes are extra pieces of bone that are formed by the body and they can occur on just about any of the bones in the body. They happen as a result of irritation or damage to the structure of a bone, such as increased pressure. By themselves, bone spurs or osteophytes don’t cause any problems. They are harmless and in fact, many people have them and aren’t even aware of their presence.

In other people, bone spurs or osteophytes grow out into the space that is normally occupied by other structures of the body. They press on nerves or other tissues, such as a nerve, or even the spinal cord, and can cause pain. For some people, this pain is mild and intermittent, but for others, the pain is serious and can be debilitating.

How To Avoid Bone Spurs

While bone spurs or osteophytes can’t be prevented, there are some things you can do to decrease your risk of the damage they cause from being severe. Bone spur and osteophyte prevention focus on keeping the pressure on bones and joints to a minimum.  This may involve some simple changes in lifestyle and the adoption of some new healthy habits:

  • Avoid repetitive activities: If you engage in a hobby or work activity or a sport or exercise that involves a repetitive movement of a certain joint, take frequent breaks to allow your joints to rest. This may decrease the risk of bone spurs and osteophytes.
  • Avoid high-impact activities that are extremely intense while performing exercises and activities. Take care of your bones and joints. Bone spurs and osteophytes are more likely to form as a result of irritation and injury to the bones.
  • Engage in regular weight-bearing activity to keep your bones strong.
  • Maintaining a healthy weight can reduce your risk of arthritis and the formation of bone spurs and osteophytes.
  • Include plenty of essential vitamins, minerals and calcium in your diet to maintain the health of your bones and prevent the complications of bone spurs and osteophytes Stay hydrated.
  • Drink plenty of water, especially when it’s hot and while exercising to keep the discs of your spine and joints adequately hydrated to avoid the painful consequences of bone spurs and osteophytes.

Some tips to prevent the odds of developing bone spurs:

  • Maintain a healthy body weight through diet and exercise.
  • Exercise regularly to strengthen the core muscles to increase support the body’s weight. Another benefit of exercise is that it helps maintain the joint’s mobility and flexibility.

Improved diet. Ensuring that the diet is rich in essential vitamins and minerals such as calcium to ensure strong and healthy bones. Aside from calcium, there are other important vitamins and minerals essential for bone formation:

  • Magnesium. It is an essential mineral for bone formation and utilizing calcium. Some magnesium-rich foods are avocados, spinach, banana, black beans, pumpkin seeds, peas, and brown rice.
  • Vitamin B5. This vitamin is responsible for helping with nerve function, specifically creating an important molecule called acetylcholine, which is used to send nerve signals to the muscles. Some foods high in vitamin B5 include avocado, sunflower seeds, salmon, eggs, and lentils.
  • Alkaline diet. For our body to function at its best, it must maintain a proper pH balance. Even though there are many sources of acidity and toxicity in our environments, the main contributor to an unbalanced pH is still our diet. Common insufficient intake of alkaline foods rather than taking too much acid is more of what is causing the problem. Fruits, vegetables, and lemons are good examples of alkaline foods. Avoid processed foods as they contain too much salt and makes the body more acidic.
  • Proteolytic enzymes. Inflammation is naturally reduced with proteolytic enzymes. They are a group of enzymes that break the long chain protein molecules into amino acids. These enzymes are used for therapy on patients suffering from intense joint and muscle pain, and age-related diseases. Pineapple is a good source of this enzyme.
  • Fish oil. Fish oil contains omega-3 fatty acids which can prevent and relieve pain and inflammation. A 1000 mg dose of fish oil daily is an effective and safe amount.
  • Regulate high-impact sports. High impact activities can cause a higher amount of stress to the joints. The higher amounts of stress can potentially lead to the growth of bone spurs.
  • Wear minimalist shoes. Wearing the appropriate shoes that would fit your lifestyle and physical activity is very important. You can prevent heel spurs by wearing well-fitting shoes with shock-absorbent soles, firm shanks, and supportive heel counters. Avoid shoes that are too tight and restrict the movement of the tendons as this could damage the bones of the feet. Wearing the right shoes reduces pressure on the heel and helps distribute the body’s weight evenly.

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