How do I treat an arthritis spur on the top of the clavicle?

Written by kay miranda
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How do I treat an arthritis spur on the top of the clavicle?
Bone spurs on the clavicle can reduce shoulder mobility. (human anatomy showing the skeleton from the back image by patrimonio designs from

Arthritis is a degenerative condition that causes inflammation in the joints coupled with pain, immobility and at times bone calcification bumps called bone spurs. These spurs can form on any bone, but when they form on the top of the clavicle, these bony protuberances impinge on the movement between the clavicle and the scapula. Spurs in the acromioclavicular joint prevent free movement of the joint bursa and tendons, thus restricting movement and creating pain. You can treat the pain and restricted mobility resulting from the bone spurs, but severe cases may require surgery.

Skill level:

Things you need

  • Ibuprofen
  • Ice pack
  • Heating pad

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  1. 1

    Take non-steroidal anti-inflammatory medicines (NSAIDs) such as ibuprofen. These medications reduce inflammation and alleviate pain. You can get ibuprofen at a local pharmacy or grocery store.

  2. 2

    Rest your shoulder to reduce further friction in the joint. Once the swelling is reduced, the majority of the pain may alleviate without the need for further treatment. Avoid heavy lifting and sports, limiting motion that creates more pain.

  3. 3

    Ice the shoulder several times a day for 20 minutes at a time to reduce swelling. Be sure to ice your shoulder after exercise of any sort.

  4. 4

    Talk to your doctor about a cortisone injection or physiotherapy. Cortisone helps reduce inflammation directly in the joint and often provides relief for six weeks to several months. Physiotherapy helps redirect the way you use your shoulder to reduce stress and strain in the joint and reduce the symptoms of arthritis and the bone spurs.

Tips and warnings

  • In severe cases, when non-surgical treatments provide no improvement, surgery may be necessary to increase the space in the joint to reduce the strain incurred during movement.

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