Bone remodeling is a normal ongoing process whereby bone tissue is broken down, resorbed into the body and new bone made. Bone remodeling activity often responds to things like the pressure and/or wear and tear on your spine from daily activities, and from injuries.
With spinal arthritis, bone remodeling is the spine’s way of adapting the fit of damaged joints. Spinal arthritis is a condition in which cartilage between two articulating bones begins to erode. This alters the way in which the bones make contact at the joint. Remodeling, in this case, is like a carpentry job in which ledges and other structures are built to help the bones that form a joint remain in contact with one another despite the erosion.
Bone spurs, also called osteophytes, often develop from arthritis related bone remodeling. The bone remodeling and resultant bone spurs limit normal joint range of motion and likely contribute to stiffness so common with this degenerative condition.
Cluett, J. Bone Spurs. About.com. Sept 2009. http://orthopedics.about.com/cs/arthritis/g/bonespur.htm"
Mosby. Calcification. Mosby's Medical Dictionary. 7th ed. Mosby Elsevier.