Non-invasive or non-surgical bone spur rehabilitation can seem an impossible task at first glance due to the simple fact that bones are hard. But at closer examination bone spur formation is generally precluded by soft tissue imbalances. These soft tissue imbalances lend themselves quite easily to noninvasive corrective therapies, that when applied ultimately result in the elimination of symptomologic bone spurs.
About the bones
The bones are not a static entity. They remain in a constant state of fluctuation in order to maintain blood calcium levels and promote normal metabolism. Calcium is at times removed from the bones to raise blood calcium, or at other times taken from the blood to reinforce the bones.
Calcium is taken from the bones to be used for muscle contraction, nervous system conduction, and blood clotting. When blood calcium levels are too high the body deposits it in the bones or releases it in the urine.
The thyroid gland and parathyroid glands are responsible for blood calcium levels. Proper bone remodeling requires proper functioning of these glands.
The thyroid gland releases calcitonin which inhibits bone breakdown and the release of calcium into the blood.
The parathyroid gland increases blood calcium by releasing parathyroid hormone to stimulate bone breakdown.
Stress – benefits and detriments
When blood circulation is adequate this natural bone remodeling phenomenon removes calcium from the bones that provide less weight bearing structural support. More weight bearing structurally supportive areas are reinforced.
Weight bearing exercise is one of the best ways to increase or maintain bone density and strength. When we stress our bodies, our bodies respond by becoming stronger.
The part of the bone that that is stressed is the part of the bone that the body reinforces. Muay Thai kick boxers have very strong tibias (shin bones) from repeatedly kicking hard objects over and over again with their shins.
When blood circulation is blocked or impeded, this process continues, but sub-optimally. Because the blood can’t get to where it needs to be, calcium is deposited in places that may not need as much structural integrity, and removed from places that require more.
Not all stress is good. Poor posture or other misuse of the body can lead to tight muscles, and injure ligaments and tendons. If these problems are not corrected, these tissues will put uneven stress on the bones near the joints, as well as blocking blood circulation at chronically flexed or stretched areas.
In order to deal with this stress the body will reinforce the bones at the stress points, causing the bones to gradually reshape, which can ultimately lead to bone spurs, also known as osteophytes. (Note: this is not the same as rheumatoid arthritis which has no clear link to overuse/misuse of the joints).
Weight bearing exercise has been shown to prevent osteoporosis by reinforcing the bones. Unfortunately joint imbalances (such as a tight tendon or muscle) put uneven strain on the bones that the body interprets the same way it does weight bearing exercise.
The two phenomenons; bone reinforcement and blood stagnation, are responsible for most bone-spur formation in the body. Luckily these same principles can be applied to minimize new bone spur formation as well as eliminate existing bone spurs.
So how do you remodel the bones to alleviate bone spurs?
The first thing that is necessary is to take the stress off of the bones that is leading to further build up of bone spurs.
With connective tissue acceleration, myofascial release, tui na, and acupuncture, the muscles, tendons, ligaments and articular cartilage can be corrected so that they no longer put uneven stress on the bones.
The next step is to increase blood flow to the bones near the joints at the site of the bone spurs. By increasing blood flow here, the parathyroid hormone can get to where it needs to be and gradually stimulate the bone spurs to break down.
The joints naturally have less blood flow due to their anatomical structure. The tendons, ligaments, and articular cartilage, all of which are plentiful in the moveable joints of the body (barring those joints that have suffered severe trauma, undergone extensive replacement surgery, or have severely degenerated) have fewer blood vessels than other body tissues. Injuries, scar tissue, degeneration, and subluxations of the joints all provide further barriers to blood flow here, and further prevent the parathyroid hormone from doing its job.
Connective tissue acceleration can enhance blood flow to the joints, heal the ligaments, tendons, and articular cartilage, and in so doing ultimately decrease the size and severity of bone spurs.
Basic Traditional Chinese Medicine Principles provide a simple solution for why calcium deposits end up in the wrong places in the body.
The basic principle of Chinese medicine is that unimpeded blood flow is required for correct function, if there is a blockage in the flow it will result in malfunction.
Calcium is carried in the blood to function for nervous system conduction, blood clotting, and muscle contraction.
Any time the blood flow is inhibited, the contents of the blood are also inhibited. Where the blood encounters friction, some of the contents of the blood remain trapped at the site of the friction. When you slide a block of wood across a smooth surface it usually slides easily, but if you slide it across sandpaper it is harder to push, and part of the wood gets left behind on the sand paper.
So places in the body where blood flow is inhibited are also more likely to develop calcium deposits.
Ligaments, tendons, and articular cartilage all have less blood vessels and so are of greater likelihood to develop calcium deposits.
Blood clots, scar tissue, dislocations or subluxations of joints, and joint degeneration are all possible causes of reduced blood flow, and thus are all possible candidates to result in calcium deposits.
Calcium deposits and bone spurs
Bone spur formation and calcium deposit accumulation are generative rather than degenerative diseases, in that the body is generating something that it would be better off without. The stressed points are reinforced by the body; the body generates bone through calcium deposits eventually leading to bone spur formation. The bone spurs in turn put pressure on soft tissues such as nerves, tendons, ligaments, and muscles resulting in a great deal of pain.
Both bone spurs and calcium deposits can be repaired simply by increasing blood flow to the area they develop.
Tui Na medical massage, acupuncture, connective tissue acceleration, and acupressure are excellent methods to increase blood flow where it is blocked or deficient. Make an appointment today at Roots of Eastern Medicine Acupuncture Clinic to resolve your calcium deposits and bone spurs and stop the pain.