It's a more complicated process than that including theories about arthritis, swelling and calcification.
Wikipedia has some good, basic information. What seems to be missing under the "Treatments" heading, next to surgery and anti-inflammatories is massage therapy.
That's a bold statement to make, but one that is accurate and justified. Here's why. Every muscle crosses at least one joint, and every joint has several muscles that cross over it. A well trained and critical thinking massage therapist can affect the compressive forces caused by muscle imbalances. An orthopedic massage therapist can effectively work inside a joint and muscle test weak, non-firing, tight, or fascially restricted muscles.
Relieving the causes of compressive forces in early onset osteophytes can theoretically halt and reverse their formation.
Licensed Massage Therapist
Certified Medical and Orthopedic Massage