INFOMEDICA’S BOTTOM LINE:
Preventing and Healing Bone Spurs Naturally
Bone is living tissue, which is an easy thing for many people to forget. Until, of course, something goes wrong. Most of the time, our bodies work very well at keeping the right proportion of new bone growth and old bone resorption (breakdown) in balance.
But not always.
Sometimes, due to age, weak bone structure, physical activity, and pH imbalances, your patients may build up areas of what is essentially “dead calcium”, which results in painful bone spurs (also called “osteophytes”) or kidney stones. Conventional treatment is risky and unnecessary, especially when the right nutrients can help put your body back on track naturally.
The normal pattern of bone growth is balanced
Normally, specialized cells called “osteoblasts” add fresh minerals (primarily calcium, but others, too) to bone and “osteoclasts” remove older bone tissue by properly breaking down the minerals and reabsorbing them into the bloodstream. Both processes are intricately interlinked and crucial for health. But they must be supported with the right nutrients, and this is where we usually fall short. In some cases, bone spurs form as a forced correction to weakened bone structure.
At other times, lifestyle, genetics, or a combination of both, conspire to create bone spurs. In this case, individual pH may tend toward a more alkaline nature, setting the pieces in place for calcium to build up where it isn’t needed.
To function at its best, the body must maintain a proper and delicate acid/alkaline (pH) balance. An over-alkaline system makes calcium harder to absorb, and calcium is essential for strengthening bones. So, once load-bearing bones are under a lot of stress, they try out some “quick fixes” to shore up against it. One of these happens to be bone spurs.
To begin with, the standard American diet is very much to blame for the development of weak bones, bone spurs, and kidney stones. Contributing foods and ingredients include high-fructose corn syrup, soda, apple juice, fluoridated water, and other refined sugars. Combine that with the fact that most people don’t hydrate enough during the day, and there is a perfect storm of conditions for bone spurs to develop.
Of course, people who are very active can get bone spurs as a result of repetitive activity (like pitching or carpentry), and the irritation, pain, and stiffness they feel might not just be muscle aches, but actual change in the structure of their joints. In these cases, bone spurs can appear in the shoulders where bones, muscles, and ligaments wear against each other, and in the heels, which take a lot of punishment from exercise, work, and everyday life.
And even fashion can play a role. Shoes that are too tight and restrict the movement of the tendons can damage the bones of the feet, resulting in plantar fasciitis. This essentially muscle-based damage can be the first step in developing heel spurs, because in the course of trying to repair damage to the feet, extra “emergency” bone can develop, becoming a spur of unwanted—and potentially debilitating—calcium.
Some people may not realize they have a bone spur until it begins to restrict movement and becomes painful, however. That’s not surprising: 1 in 10 people have heel spurs, yet it can take years to notice.
Aside from being uncomfortable and restricting mobility, bone spurs can also break off and “float” in the joint, or become stuck in cushioning synovial fluid between the joints, which can be both debilitating and painful.
But while some bone spurs can be identified just by feel, x-rays are the best way to determine the full seriousness of the condition.
The Ingredients That Can Help:
Ammonium chloride may sound potentially intimidating to your patients, but it is essential in helping support the normal growth cycle of bones. It is mildly acidic and can help the body return to a healthy acid/alkaline balance. It is actually a component of our digestive juices and stomach acid, and is crucial for mineral absorption.
Calcium chloride: In this case, calcium isn’t for building up bone as much as it is for helping keep the overall bone resorption process running smoothly.
Calcium phosphate—another form of calcium, and the same kind found in our bones and teeth—is an additional ingredient for fighting bone spurs. You may want to remind your patients that almost all of the calcium in our bodies is used to create healthy bones. So they don’t want to cut calcium from their diet and supplement regimen in order to fight bone spurs. In fact, they are much more likely to develop bone spurs without appropriate calcium intake.
Betaine Hydrochloric acid is another acidifying ingredient that mimics the stomach acid we create naturally to help break down minerals properly. In an over-alkaline environment, where calcium and other minerals aren’t prepared for the body to absorb well, the formation of bone spurs, calcium deposits, and kidney stones is much more likely. As calcium crystals collect at the site of an injury or weak bone, a bone spur is certain to follow.
Vitamin C is crucial for collagen formation during the tissue rebuilding phase after injury or other heavy activity. Any deficiency of vitamin C doesn’t just slow down this process, but actually weakens ligaments and tendons. So it is essential to keep the cushioning and connective tissue of the joints healthy so that the body doesn’t overcompensate by creating bone spurs. Plus, vitamin C fights the oxidative stress that can hinder joint repair.
Vitamin B6 as P-5-P: The P-5-P (pyridoxal-5-phosphate) form of vitamin B6 is readily absorbed by the body and doesn’t need to be converted by the liver. It is a perfect nutrient to combine with magnesium (in this case, magnesium glycerophosphate, an acidic form) to help ensure proper calcium absorption and use by the body.
Magnesium glycerophosphate: Magnesium the cells build energy, assists calcium in bone-building, and helps relieve pain. The glycerophosphate form is the acidic form of the mineral, so it will not alkalinize body tissues, and potentially add to the problem of bone spurs.