What are the indications of bone spurs in the shoulder?

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Bone spurs in the shoulder are typically triggered by osteoarthritis. These spurs develop as a response to wear and tear breakdown of the cartilage in the shoulder joint from natural aging, overuse or injuries.

The bone spurs that develop in the shoulder joint might not necessarily trigger any symptoms but those who have large-sized bone spurs that compress the nerves or reduce space in the joint can lead to significant symptoms. If the individual suffers from intense shoulder pain, it is best to set an appointment with a doctor for further assessment and management of the shoulder pain or diminished degree of mobility.


The usual symptom of bone spurs in the shoulder joint is no other than pain. In case osteoarthritis is the cause for the formation of the bone spurs, the pain can be worse once the individual starts activities or during a phase of inactivity.

This typically occurs since bone spurs in the shoulder joint can crush the neighboring sensory nerves in the joint that are positioned in the neighboring bone, soft tissue or muscle.

Shoulder bone spurs
The usual symptom of bone spurs in the shoulder joint is no other than pain.

These sensory nerves transmit pain signals to the brain which results to pain in the shoulder joint. Always bear in mind that the pain is described as achy and dull but can be described as piercing during certain movements. Additionally, the pain is worse during activity and subsides with rest. In most circumstances, conservative treatments are preferred such as rest, cold therapy and over-the-counter medications but surgery might be needed for severe cases of spurs in the shoulders.

Limited movement

An individual with bone spurs in the shoulder can suffer from limited mobility in the shoulder joint. This occurs since the spurs can form in the joint that can crush the rotator cuff, rub on other bones or reduce movement of the humeral head or upper arm bone. In such cases, the diminished motion caused by the large-sized bone spurs in the joint could not be managed conservatively.

In case mobility is significantly reduced and limits the ability of the individual to engage in usual hobbies and physical activities, surgery is usually required to remove the bone spurs from the joint. The risks for surgery include excessive bleeding, infection and possible damage to the nerve. The risks and benefits of every procedure must be carefully discussed by the doctor.


The swelling is a usual symptom of the development of bone spurs in the shoulder. Take note that the swelling develops due to bone rubbing which causes the immune system to release chemicals that can trigger swelling in the shoulder.

The swelling can cause the joint to appear bigger than the unaffected shoulder. The swollen joint appears reddened and warm to the touch. In addition, the swelling can drastically reduce the shoulder mobility of the individual. If swelling is an issue, the individual should keep the shoulder in a raised position above the level of the heart so that gravity will minimize the amount of fluid in the joint. The individual should set an appointment with a doctor for further assessment and management of the swelling.

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