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Alternative Names Return to topAches and pains in bones; Pain - bones
Definition Return to top
Bone pain or tenderness is aching or other discomfort in one or more bones.
Considerations Return to top
Bone pain is seen less commonly than joint pain and muscle pain. The source of bone pain may be obvious, as in a fracture following an accident. Or it may be more subtle, such as cancer that spreads (metastasizes) to the bone.
Whatever the source, bone pain should always be taken seriously. Seek medical attention any time you have bone pain.
Causes Return to top
Bone pain can occur with many injuries or conditions:
Home Care Return to top
For unexplained bone pain, see your health care provider.
When to Contact a Medical Professional Return to top
Take any bone pain or tenderness very seriously. Contact your health care provider if you have any unexplained bone pain.
What to Expect at Your Office Visit Return to top
Your health care provider will ask you about your medical history and perform a physical exam.
Medical history questions may include:
Diagnostic tests that may be performed include:
Depending on the cause of the pain, your doctor may prescribe:
For osteoporosis treatment, see the article on osteoporosis.
References Return to top
Tamisiea DF. Radiologic aspects of orthopedic diseases. In: Mercier LR, ed. Practical Orthopedics. 6th ed. Philadelphia, Pa: Mosby Elsevier; 2008:chap 16.
Coleman RE, Holen I. Bone metastases. In: Abeloff MD, Armitage JO, Niederhuber JE, Kastan MB, McKena WG, eds. Clinical Oncology. 4th ed. Philadelphia, Pa: Elsevier Churchill Livingstone; 2008:chap 57.Update Date: 5/2/2009 Updated by: Linda J. Vorvick, MD, Medical Director, MEDEX Northwest Division of Physician Assistant Studies, University of Washington, School of Medicine. Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Medical Director, A.D.A.M., Inc.