Bone pain or tenderness is aching or other discomfort in one or more bones.
Bone pain is less common than joint pain and muscle pain. The source of bone pain may be clear, such as from a fracture following an accident. Other causes, such as cancer that spreads (metastasizes) to the bone, may be less obvious.
Bone pain can occur with injuries or conditions such as:
See your health care provider if you have bone pain and do not know why it is occurring.
Take any bone pain or tenderness very seriously. Contact your health care provider if you have any unexplained bone pain.
Your health care provider will ask you about your medical history and do a physical exam.
Some questions that may be asked include:
You may have the following tests:
Depending on the cause of the pain, your doctor may prescribe:
If pain is related to thinning bones, you may need treatment for osteoporosis.
Aches and pains in bones; Pain - bones
Choi L. Overuse injuries. In: DeLee JC, Drez D Jr, Miller MD, eds. DeLee and Drez’s Orthopaedic Sports Medicine. 3rd ed. Philadelphia, Pa: Saunders Elsevier; 2009:chap 14.
Lorenzo JA, Canalis E, Raisz LG. Metabolic bone disease. In: Melmed S, Polonsky KS, Larsen PR, Kronenberg HM, eds. Williams Textbook of Endocrinology. 12th ed. Philadelphia, Pa: Saunders Elsevier; 2011:chap 29.
Updated by: Linda J. Vorvick, MD, Medical Director and Director of Didactic Curriculum, MEDEX Northwest Division of Physician Assistant Studies, Department of Family Medicine, UW Medicine, School of Medicine, University of Washington. Also reviewed by A.D.A.M. Health Solutions, Ebix, Inc., Editorial Team: David Zieve, MD, MHA, Bethanne Black, Stephanie Slon, and Nissi Wang.
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