bone spur shoulder

Table of Contents


Welcome to our blog post on bone spur shoulder or osteophytes! Are you experiencing pain or discomfort in your shoulder? You might be suffering from a bone spur. Bone spurs are bony growths that can appear on any joint, and the shoulder is no exception. They can cause painful symptoms that affect daily life activities such as reaching overhead objects, lifting weights, or even sleeping at night. In this article, we will discuss what causes bone spurs in the shoulder, how to identify them early on before they get worse, and some treatment options available for healing. Read on to learn more about this common condition!

Types of Bone Spur

Bone spur shoulder, also known as osteophytes, are bony growths that develop in different areas of the body. These outgrowths can cause discomfort, inflammation, and pain if they press against nerves or other tissues.

There are several types of bone spurs that can occur in various locations throughout the body. 

1. Heel spur

The most common type is called a heel spur which typically affects runners and athletes who put excessive pressure on their feet.

heel spur

2. Neck Spur

Another type of bone spur shoulder is cervical spine bone spurs which develop in the neck region and often result from aging or degenerative changes to the spinal discs. Lumbar spine bone spurs are similar but occur in the lower back instead.

neck spur

3. Hip Bone Spur

Hip bone spurs tend to affect older adults and may be caused by arthritis or hip dysplasia while shoulder bone spurs usually arise from repetitive overhead movements like throwing a ball or lifting weights.

4. Shoulder Bone Spurs

Acromioclavicular (AC) Joint Spurs 

These may develop on the top of the shoulder blade (acromion) or the collarbone (clavicle).

5. Spinal Bone Spurs

spinal bone spur

i. Facet Joint Spurs 

These can form in the joints of the spine (facet joints) due to osteoarthritis.

ii. Foraminal Spur

 These occur in the openings where spinal nerves exit the spinal column (foramina).

6. Knee Bone Spurs

Osteoarthritis Spurs 

Spurs can develop in the knee joint due to wear and tear associated with osteoarthritis.

7. Foot Bone Spurs

Heel Spurs 

These occur at the bottom of the heel bone and are often associated with plantar fasciitis.

8. Hand and Finger Bone Spurs

i. DIP Joint Spurs 

Spurs can develop in the distal interphalangeal joints, which are the joints closest to the fingertips.

ii. PIP Joint Spurs 

These occur in the proximal interphalangeal joints, which are the middle joints of the fingers.

9. Elbow Bone Spurs

Olecranon Spurs: Spurs may develop on the tip of the elbow, particularly in conditions like osteoarthritis.

10. Spurs in the Spine

i. Ligamentum Flavum Spurs

These can occur in the ligamentum flavum, a ligament in the spine.

ii. Anterior Longitudinal Ligament Spurs 

Spurs may develop along the front of the spinal column.

No matter where they form within your body, it’s important to seek medical attention if you experience any symptoms related to bone spur growth.

What is A bone Spur Shoulder?

Bone spur shoulder, also known as osteophytes in medical terms, is a bony growth that occurs on the bones of the shoulder. These bone spurs can develop on any part of the shoulder joint, such as the collarbone or scapula.

The formation of bone spur shoulders usually happens due to prolonged wear and tear or injury to the shoulder joint. The body responds by producing extra bone growth around the affected area, leading to a build-up of calcium deposits.

While some people may not experience any symptoms with bone spurs shoulders, others may feel pain and discomfort when they move their arms or perform certain activities like lifting weights or playing sports.

In severe cases where there are large-sized bone spurs present in the shoulder joint, these growths can start to impinge on surrounding tissues and nerves causing even more pain and restricted movement.

It is important for individuals who have persistent pain in their shoulders to seek medical attention from an orthopedic doctor who will conduct physical examinations and imaging tests such as X-rays or MRI scans to diagnose whether they have a bone spur shoulder condition.

Cause of Bone Spur Shoulder

The cause of bone spur shoulder is often related to wear and tear on the joints. 

1. Aging

As we age, our joints can break down, causing inflammation and damage to the bones and ligaments. This can lead to the growth of bony projections known as bone spur shoulder.

2. Overuse of joints

In addition to aging, other factors that can contribute to the development of bone spur shoulder include repetitive motions or overuse of the joint, such as in athletes who engage in throwing sports like baseball or tennis. People who have had previous injuries or surgeries on their shoulders may also be more at risk for developing bone spurs.

3. Arthritis

Arthritis is another common underlying condition that can increase a person’s likelihood of developing a bone spur shoulder. Rheumatoid arthritis and osteoarthritis are two types that frequently affect this joint area.

4. Trauma or Injury 

A previous injury to the shoulder, such as a dislocation or fracture, can lead to the development of bone spurs as the body attempts to heal and stabilize the joint.

5. Poor Posture 

Incorrect posture can contribute to abnormal stress on the shoulder joint, potentially leading to the formation of bone spur shoulder.

6. Genetic Predisposition 

Some individuals may have a genetic predisposition to developing bone spur shoulder. This can be related to the natural variation in how joints and bones develop.

7. Inflammation 

Chronic inflammation in the shoulder joint, which may result from conditions like tendinitis or bursitis, can contribute to the formation of bone spur shoulder.

8. Other Joint Conditions 

Certain conditions affecting the joints, such as rheumatoid arthritis, can lead to the development of bone spurs shoulder.

It’s worth noting that not everyone with bone spurs experiences symptoms. In some cases, they are discovered incidentally through imaging studies for unrelated issues. When symptoms do occur, they often include pain, limited range of motion, and inflammation.

Early Symptoms of Bone Spur Sholder

Early symptoms of bone spur shoulder joint can be difficult to identify as they are often mistaken for other conditions. 

1. Pain

The most common early symptom in bone spur shoulder is pain or discomfort, which may develop gradually over time. This pain is usually felt deep within the shoulder joint and may be aggravated by movement.

2. Stiffness

Another common symptom of a bone spur shoulder is joint is stiffness. This stiffness can make it difficult to move your arm freely and may also affect your range of motion. You might notice that you have difficulty raising your arm above your head or reaching behind your back.

3. Weakness in the Arm

Some people with a bone spur shoulder joint may also experience weakness in their arms. This weakness can make it harder to perform everyday tasks such as carrying groceries, lifting objects, or typing on a keyboard.

4. Inflammation 

Inflammation in the shoulder joint can cause swelling and tenderness around the affected area.

5. Pain During Movements

Pain may be more pronounced during specific movements of the shoulder, especially activities that involve raising the arm or rotating it.

6. Grinding Sensation 

Some individuals may experience a grinding or popping sensation in the shoulder joint, which can be a result of the bone spur shoulder rubbing against other structures.

If you are experiencing any of these symptoms, it’s important to seek medical attention right away. Early identification and treatment of a bone spur in the shoulder joint can greatly improve your chances for successful healing and recovery.

Late Symptoms of Bone Spur Shoulder

Late symptoms of bone spur shoulder can be quite debilitating and may restrict your movement.

1. Persistent Pain

The pain might increase, and you may feel it even when you’re resting or sleeping. Additionally, the affected joint might start swelling up and become stiff.

2. Sever Difficulty in Motion

You may experience difficulty in moving your arms around freely due to the restricted range of motion. This symptom is primarily because osteophytes impede the smooth gliding motion of joints by blocking them.

3. Limited Mobility

In some cases, people are not able to lift their arms above their heads due to limited mobility in their shoulders caused by bone spurs. Besides that, they could also face weakness or numbness in the affected arm or hand if nerve compression occurs.

4. Muscle Atrophy

Furthermore, prolonged inflammation caused by bone spurs can cause muscle degeneration leading to muscle atrophy over time. 

5. Joint Instability 

In some cases, bone spurs can affect the stability of the shoulder joint, leading to a sense of instability or a feeling that the shoulder may “give way.”

6. Crepitus 

Increased friction between bones and tissues may result in a noticeable grinding or popping sensation (crepitus) during shoulder movement.

7. Chronic Inflammation 

Ongoing irritation and inflammation in the shoulder joint can lead to persistent swelling, tenderness, and warmth around the affected area.

8. Difficulty Sleeping 

Shoulder pain and discomfort may interfere with sleep, particularly when lying on the affected side.

9. Nerve Compression Symptoms 

In some cases, bone spurs can impinge on nearby nerves, leading to symptoms such as tingling, numbness, or weakness in the arm and hand.

10. Functional Impairment 

Individuals with late-stage shoulder bone spurs may find it challenging to perform routine activities of daily living, impacting their overall quality of life.

Therefore, it’s essential to consult a medical professional immediately if any unusual symptoms occur as early detection plays a vital role in treating this condition efficiently.

How Serious is a Bone Spur Shoulder?

A bone spur shoulder can range in seriousness depending on a variety of factors. One important factor is the location and size of the spur. A small, non-obstructive spur may not cause any symptoms or problems, while a larger or more located in an area that affects movement could be more serious.

Another factor to consider is how long the individual has been experiencing symptoms. If left untreated for an extended period of time, a bone spur shoulder can lead to further complications like rotator cuff tears or arthritis.

In some cases, surgery may be necessary if conservative treatments such as physical therapy and medication are not effective. It’s important to consult with a doctor if you suspect you have a bone spur shoulder to determine your best course of treatment and prevent further damage.

How Long Does it Take for Bone Spur Shoulder to Heal?

The healing time for a bone spur shoulder varies depending on the severity of the condition and how early it is detected. In mild cases, where there is no or minimal damage to the joint structures, the healing process may take several weeks to months with proper treatment.

However, in severe cases where there is significant damage to the bones and tissues surrounding the shoulder joint, healing time may extend up to a year or more. Surgery may also be required in such situations which could further lengthen recovery time.

It’s important to note that healing doesn’t necessarily mean the complete elimination of symptoms. Even with successful treatment, some individuals may still experience pain or limited mobility in their affected shoulder. It’s essential for patients to follow post-treatment care plans recommended by their healthcare provider including physiotherapy exercises and lifestyle modifications.

Patience and persistence are key when it comes to dealing with bone spur shoulders as every individual heals differently based on various factors unique to them.

Are Shoulder Spurs Painful?

Shoulder spurs are bony growths that can develop on the bones of the shoulder joint. These bony protrusions can be asymptomatic, meaning they cause no pain or discomfort. However, in some cases, bone spurs may trigger mild to severe levels of pain and loss of mobility.

The amount of pain caused by a shoulder spur depends on its size and location. If it rubs against surrounding tissues like tendons or ligaments when you move your arm, it can cause irritation and inflammation which leads to discomfort.

People who perform repetitive movements using their shoulders such as athletes or construction workers are more prone to developing painful shoulder spurs than those who lead a sedentary lifestyle.

If you experience sharp pain while lifting objects overhead or moving your arm in certain positions – these could be signs that you have a painful shoulder spur. While non-surgical treatments like physical therapy and anti-inflammatory medications may help relieve symptoms temporarily, surgery might be required if the condition worsens over time.

Does Shoulder Spur Go Away?

Shoulder spurs can be a persistent problem for many people. Whether you’re an athlete or someone who works at a desk job, shoulder pain can make it difficult to accomplish daily tasks. The question that arises is whether shoulder spurs go away on their own.

Unfortunately, the answer isn’t straightforward. In some cases, bone spur shoulders may indeed go away without intervention. This may happen if there wasn’t any underlying condition causing the formation of the bone spur.

However, most of the time, bone spur shoulders don’t just disappear on their own. Without proper treatment and management of symptoms, bone spurs in your shoulder joint can continue to grow and cause more damage over time.

If you start experiencing pain or discomfort in your shoulder area that lasts longer than a few days or interferes with your daily life activities such as sleeping try seeking medical attention immediately before it worsens and affects other parts of your body.

Treatment of Bone Spur Sholder

The treatment of a bone spur in the shoulder may involve a combination of conservative measures and, in some cases, medical interventions. Here are common approaches:

1. Conservative Treatment

i. Physical Therapy

They targeted exercises to improve shoulder strength and flexibility.

ii. Anti-inflammatory medications

Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) to reduce pain and inflammation.

iii. Rest and Ice

Adequate rest and applying ice to manage pain and swelling.
Activity Modification: Avoid repetitive overhead movements that may aggravate the shoulder.

2. Corticosteroid Injections

Intra-Articular Injections

Steroid injections directly into the shoulder joint to reduce inflammation and alleviate pain.

3. Pain Management:

Pain Medications

Prescribed medications to manage pain and discomfort.

4. Assistive Devices

Braces or Supports

These may provide support and alleviate strain on the shoulder joint.

5. Surgical Intervention

i. Arthroscopy

Minimally invasive surgery to remove the bone spur and address related issues.

ii. Open Surgery

Traditional open surgery may be required in more complex cases.

6. Rehabilitation

Post-Surgery Rehabilitation: Physical therapy to restore shoulder function after surgical procedures.

The specific treatment plan depends on factors such as the severity of symptoms, the impact on daily activities, and the underlying cause of the bone spur.


In conclusion, bone spurs in the shoulder can present a spectrum of conditions, ranging from asymptomatic cases to those causing significant pain and functional impairment. While bone spurs themselves are not inherently serious, their impact on joint health and quality of life can vary. Understanding the causes, symptoms, and progression of shoulder bone spurs is crucial for effective management.

For individuals with asymptomatic bone spurs, regular monitoring may be sufficient, with a focus on maintaining overall joint health through appropriate exercises and lifestyle adjustments. Conservative measures, including physical therapy and anti-inflammatory medications, often prove effective in managing mild to moderate symptoms.

In cases where bone spurs lead to severe pain, limited range of motion, or functional impairment, more targeted interventions may be necessary. Healthcare professionals may recommend corticosteroid injections to alleviate inflammation or, in some instances, surgical removal of the bone spur to restore joint function.

It is essential for individuals experiencing shoulder pain or discomfort to seek timely medical attention. A comprehensive evaluation by a healthcare professional, often including imaging studies, will help determine the severity of the condition and guide appropriate treatment strategies.

Ultimately, the goal of managing shoulder bone spurs is to improve symptoms, preserve joint function, and enhance overall quality of life. Tailored treatment plans, often involving a combination of conservative and, in some cases, surgical approaches, can provide relief and restore functionality to individuals affected by shoulder bone spurs. Regular communication with healthcare providers and a commitment to joint health can contribute to long-term well-being for those navigating the challenges associated with shoulder bone spurs.

Treatment for bone spurs in the shoulder may include:

  • Conservative Measures: Physical therapy for strengthening and flexibility.
  • Anti-inflammatory medications. Rest and ice to manage pain and inflammation.
  • Injections: Corticosteroid injections for temporary relief.
  • Lifestyle Modifications: Activity modification to reduce stress on the shoulder joint.
  • Surgery: Arthroscopic or open surgery to remove the bone spur.
  • Rehabilitation: Post-surgery rehabilitation, including physical therapy.

The seriousness of a bone spur in the shoulder varies. While bone spurs themselves are not inherently serious, they can cause pain and limit joint mobility. In some cases, they may lead to significant discomfort and functional impairment. Treatment depends on the severity of symptoms, ranging from conservative measures to surgical intervention.

Bone spurs typically do not go away on their own. Treatment may be necessary to manage symptoms, and in some cases, surgical intervention might be considered for their removal.

The recovery time for a bone spur in the shoulder can vary. For non-surgical treatments, improvement may be seen in weeks to months with consistent rehabilitation. If surgical removal is required, recovery may take several weeks to months, depending on the extent of the procedure and individual healing.

The fastest way to heal a bone spur involves a combination of rest, anti-inflammatory medications, physical therapy, and, if necessary, targeted interventions such as corticosteroid injections. Surgical removal may provide relief but involves a longer recovery period.

Bone spurs in the shoulder often form in response to factors like aging, osteoarthritis, joint overuse or repetitive stress, trauma, poor posture, and inflammation.

For More Informative Articles, Keep Visiting Formal Words

Similar Posts