October 13, 2009

Tendonitis & Bone Spur: Causes & Symptoms

Posted in Category : Bone, Joint & Muscles Disorders

A bone spur is also known as an osteophyte. It is any extra growth of a bone, on an normal pre-existing one. A bone spur can often cause a lot of pain including wear and tear, particularly when it applies pressure or rubs against the other bones, tissues, tendons etc. A bone spur can be formed anywhere in one’s body – the feet, hips, shoulders, spine, knees and hands. Bone spurs are formed due to the ageing process or when the body is trying to heal itself through the formation new or extra bone. Cartilage is a soft bone tissue, which is found in various parts of the body, particularly at the end of joints, the rib cage, ear, nose, and the spine. As one ages the cartilage that is present at the joints tends to wear and tear and eventually breaks down. The body’s natural response then is to create new bone tissue to replace the worn out one. This new bone that is formed is called a bone spur.

Tendonitis, on the other hand, is the inflammation of the tendon. A tendon is a thick chord like tissue that connects the muscle to the bone. Movement is possible due the action of the muscles. In order to bring about movement, a muscle will contract and pull on a particular bone, thus enabling it to move. The structure that is responsible for transmitting the force from the muscle to the bone, in order to make it move, is the tendon. Many a time these tendons get inflamed, and this condition is referred to as tendonitis. Tendonitis can result due to a person’s age. This is because as we grow older, the elasticity in the tendons reduces thereby reducing their potential to glide smoothly as well.

Another reason is due an overuse of the tendons. This is seen in individuals that begin a very strong exercise regime. Not being accustomed with the increased level of the demand, the tendon swells up thus resulting in tendonitis. Bone spurs could sometimes cause tendonitis, but this is rather rare. When these spurs rub constantly rub against the tendons, it causes the tendon to get inflamed. The treatment associated with tendonitis is mainly to alleviate the pain and reduce the inflammation of the tendon, so that it can perform as normal. With bone spurs, however, the treatment will vary depending on the location of the spur.