When osteophytes cause significant back pain, it is time to seek treatment. Osteophytes are smooth bone growths that the body forms to respond to damage. The spinal structure deteriorates as a part of the aging process, and osteophytes are the body's way of retaining bone mass, notes Laser Spine Institute.
Initial treatments include dropping weight to reduce spine pressure, using exercise to strengthen the neck or back, stretching the affected part of the back, and improving posture. Discomfort management includes pain medications, muscle relaxants, ice packs, heat therapy and rest. If back or neck pain persist after these treatments, it is possible to have the osteophyte surgically removed. Both open and laser surgical procedures are available for those who want these bone spurs out, reports Laser Spine Institute.