Bone Spurs and Osteoporosis

A related disorder to osteoporosis, bone spurs can add pain and discomfort to an already compromised individual


Osteoblasts creating rudimentary bone tissue

Osteoblasts creating rudimentary bone tissue (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

With osteoporosis, bone tissue becomes more porous and is therefore more prone to fracture. Since 97% of the bodies calcium is stored within bone, and leeched into the body when needed for other systems to function, osteoporosis can have other related disorders that are also sensitive to low levels of calcium both in the blood via immediate dietary sources, and stored bone sources. Bone spurs are one such disorder. These are either projections or harder spots on the bone that can come in contact with other bone or soft tissue and cause pain, tingling or weakness, and pinched nerves.


When bone tissue remodels itself, it does so with the basis of the level of loading placed on the bone. This natural process happens to children, and to adults building even bone density throughout a given bone. The ends of long bones are harder than the middle as they directly contact other bones where the contact points are cushioned by cartilage. When the cartilage wears away, which happens in compromised joints from injury, and is often associated with aging (this is osteoarthritis), harder points begin to develop in the places where the bone contacts another bone.

One common manifestation of bone spurs is formed in response to tight ligaments on the bottom of the feet. This can occur for individuals who wear an elevated heel on their shoes (high heels) for prolonged periods of time, overweight individuals, and individuals who wear poorly fitting shoes. The body’s response to this tight ligament is a hardened point on the heel, commonly known as a heel spur. Another commonplace for bone spurs is in the shoulder. Cartilage wears away is the socket of the shoulder, and hardened points develop in the joint.


Reversing this process can occur but changing calcium levels in the body requires remodeling of bone tissue, with retention of greater amounts of calcium. Physicians should be consulted for treatment protocols that include pharmaceutical intervention, or change in dietary calcium intake. In the case of bone spurs, changing calcium intake can have adverse affects.

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