Bone Pain - Is it normal?

Bone Pain - Is it normal?


Pain that specifically affects the bones is much less common than pain in the joints or muscles. In cases of fractures, the cause of bone pain is immediately apparent. In other cases, however, the reason may not be so easy to determine. In any case, pain that originates in the bone is not normal and should be taken seriously.

Bone Pain and Injury

The most common cause of bone pain is an injury. In the majority of cases, this pain becomes apparent immediately or within minutes of the injury. Injuries can range from bruising of the bone to complete breaks. In toddlers, stress fractures are common sources of bone pain. Fractures often cause severe pain, inflammation, and redness or bruising. They may also cause deformity of the area, and in extreme cases, the broken bone may protrude through the skin. Bruises to the bone are usually more difficult to detect but typically cause tenderness or pain when the area is touched.

Bone Pain and Diseases

Bone pain may also occur as the result of diseases and conditions that are not related to injuries. It may occur as the result of cancer in the bones, cancer that has spread to the bones from another area, infection, leukemia, osteoporosis, or a disruption in blood supply. These conditions require immediate medical attention to prevent them from worsening or spreading to other bones and other parts of the body.

Bone Pain Diagnostic Tests

Doctors usually determine the cause of bone pain using the patient's complete medical history, a physical examination, and some diagnostic testing. Physicians also try to identify the potential causes of bone pain by carefully examining the characteristics of the pain such as the location and when pain occurs. Other symptoms the patient is experiencing may also provide valuable clues for determining the cause of bone pain. Common diagnostic tests for bone pain include laboratory tests, X-rays, hormone level studies, urinalysis, and CT or MRI scans.

Bone Pain Treatments

When a diagnosis has been reached, the doctor will prescribe the treatment that is best for the individual patient. In many cases, anti-inflammatory medicines or pain relievers are prescribed. When an infection is present, antibiotics are needed. Injuries may be treated surgically or non-surgically depending on the severity. Other treatments or medications may be recommended depending upon the exact nature of the source of pain. In cases of cancer in the bones or that causes pain in the bones, cancer treatments such as radiation or chemotherapy are usually recommended.

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