Bone Pain: Causes, Symptoms, Types, and Various Treatments For Bone Pain
Bone pain can be a debilitating condition that affects the quality of one’s life. There are several reasons why you may feel pain in your bone. It could be due to injury, cancer, mineral deficiency, aging, or other medical conditions (1). The pain felt from the bone is different from joint pain or muscle pain because it’s present whether you move or not.
Bone pain is commonly linked to some diseases that affect the structure and function of the bone. In this article, we will discuss the causes, symptoms, treatments, and the various parts of the body where bone pain can be experienced such as shoulder bone pain, lower back bone pain, pain near the tailbone, forearm bone pain, neck bone pain, and bone pain in forearm.
What Are The Causes and Symptoms Of Bone Pain?
Bone pain can have several causes and also varying symptoms. Some of which include:
- – Osteoporosis: A condition where bones become weak and brittle due to loss of tissue, which can cause pain and fractures. It can cause severe pain in the whole body and it usually occurs when more than 12 percent of the bone mass is gone. Symptoms common to this condition include stooped posture and loss of height over time (2). Individuals with osteoporosis should be treated with calcium tablets, and activate vitamin D.
- – Osteoarthritis: A degenerative joint disease that can cause pain and stiffness in the joints, including those that connect to the bones.Generally in osteoarthritis, cartilage surrounding the surface of a joint begins to wear off due to wear and tear, causing friction between cortical bones.
- – Leukemia: This is a cancer of the bone marrow. Leukemia begins in the soft spongy tissues in the inner cavity of the bone, where blood cells are produced. Symptoms include night sweats, pale skin, unexplained weight loss, and feeling fatigued.
- – Bone cancer: Tumors that grow in or on the bones can cause localized pain and tenderness. This is because cancer can disfigure the bones’ normal structure. Other symptoms include a mass or lump under the skin, Increased bone breaks, numbness or tingling sensations (when a tumor presses against a nerve).
- – Paget’s disease: A condition that causes the bones to grow abnormally, which can lead to pain and deformities. The spine, skull, and legs are mostly affected and because it causes the body to generate new bones too quickly, making them weaker, deformed and less organized
- – Fractures: A broken bone can cause significant pain, especially if it is not properly set or allowed to heal. Symptoms include visible breaks, Swelling, visible deformities, and a grinding noise upon injury.
- – Infections: Bacterial or viral infections that affect the bones can cause pain and inflammation.
- – Osteomyelitis: A bone infection that can cause pain, fatigue, fever, and swelling. Infections sometimes reaches the bone by traveling from a near by tissue or the bloodstream. Individuals with chronic health conditions like diabetes, kidney failure are more likely to develop osteomyelitis.This infection kills bone cells (3).
- – Sickle cell disease: A genetic disorder that can cause bone pain due to a lack of oxygen to the bones.
- – Fibromyalgia: A chronic condition that can cause widespread pain, including in the bones.
- – Vitamin D deficiency: A lack of this essential vitamin can lead to bone pain and weakness. Other symptoms you may experience uncles cramps, fatigue, and sleep disturbances (5).
Types of Bone Pain
Shoulder Bone Pain
Shoulder bone pain can be caused by several factors, including injuries, overuse, and degenerative conditions. Common causes of shoulder bone pain include rotator cuff injuries, frozen shoulder, shoulder impingement, and osteoarthritis. Symptoms of shoulder bone pain can include difficulty moving the arm, aching pain in the shoulder, and stiffness.
Treatment for shoulder bone pain depends on the underlying cause. Injuries can be treated with rest, ice, compression, and elevation. Physical therapy and anti-inflammatory medications can also help. In more severe cases, surgery may be required.
Lower Back Bone Pain
Lower backbone pain is a common condition that affects millions of people worldwide. It can be caused by different factors, including bad posture, spinal stenosis, muscle strain, and herniated discs. Symptoms of lower back bone pain can include aching pain in the lower back, difficulty moving, and shooting pain down the legs.
Treatment for lower back bone pain depends on the cause. Mild cases can be treated with rest, ice, compression, and elevation. Physical therapy and chiropractic care can also help. In more severe cases, surgery may be required.
Pain Near Tailbone
Pain near the tailbone, also known as coccydynia, can be caused by several factors, including injury, poor posture, pregnancy, childbirth, and degenerative conditions. Symptoms of pain near tailbone can include aching pain in the area, difficulty sitting, and shooting pain down the legs.
Treatment for pain near tailbone depends on the actual cause. Less severe cases can be treated with ice on the site of pain, anti-inflammatory medications like steroids, and taking adequate rest. Going for physical therapy and alternative traditional medicine like chiropractic care can also be of help. In more severe cases, surgery may be required.
Forearm Bone Pain
Forearm bone pain can be caused by several factors, including overuse, injury, and degenerative conditions. Common causes of forearm bone pain include tennis elbow, golfer’s elbow, and carpal tunnel syndrome. Some of the symptoms of forearm bone pain can include having difficulty moving the arm, aching pain in the area, and weakness in the hand. Treatment for forearm bone pain depends on the cause. Mild cases can be treated with rest, ice, and anti-inflammatory medications. Physical therapy and chiropractic care can also help. In more severe cases, surgery may be required.
Neck Bone Pain
Neck bone pain can be caused by several factors, including injury, poor posture, and degenerative conditions. Common causes of neck bone pain include whiplash, herniated discs, and cervical spondylosis. Symptoms of neck bone pain can include aching pain in the area, difficulty moving the head, and shooting pain down the arms.
Treatment for neck bone pain depends on the underlying cause. Mild cases can be treated with rest, ice, and anti-inflammatory medications. Physical therapy and chiropractic care can also help. In more severe cases, surgery may be required.
Hand Bone Pain
Hand bone pain can be caused by several factors, including overuse, injury, and degenerative conditions. Common causes of hand bone pain include carpal tunnel syndrome, trigger finger, and osteoarthritis. Symptoms of hand bone pain can include aching pain in the area, difficulty moving the fingers, and weakness in the hand.
Treatment for hand bone pain depends on the underlying cause. Mild cases can be treated with rest, ice, and anti-inflammatory medications Physical therapy and occupational therapy can also help. In more severe cases, surgery may be required.
Bone Pain in Forearm
Bone pain in the forearm can be caused by several factors, including overuse, injury, and degenerative conditions. Common causes of bone pain in the forearm include fractures, sprains, and strains. Symptoms of forearm bone pain can include aching pain in the area, difficulty moving the arm, and swelling.
Treatment for bone pain in the forearm depends on the underlying cause. Mild cases can be treated with rest, ice, and anti-inflammatory medications. Physical therapy and chiropractic care can also help. In more severe cases, surgery may be required.
How Much Do Bone Density Tests Cost?
Bone density tests, also known as DXA scans, are used to measure bone density and diagnose conditions such as osteoporosis. The cost of a bone density test can vary depending on several factors, including location, type of test, and insurance coverage. According to Healthcare Bluebook, the cost of a bone density test can range from $150 to $300 without insurance. However, insurance coverage can significantly reduce the cost, with some plans covering the entire cost of the test.
Bone Pain with Leukemia
Leukemia is a type of cancer that affects the blood and bone marrow. Bone pain is a common symptom of leukemia, particularly in the long bones of the body, such as the legs and arms. The pain can be caused by the cancer cells invading the bone marrow or by the treatment of cancer (6).
Treatment for bone pain with leukemia depends on the underlying cause. In some cases, pain medications, such as opioids or non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), may be prescribed. Radiation therapy and chemotherapy may also be used to target the cancer cells causing the pain.
Bone Health and Vitamin D
Vitamin D is essential for bone health, as it helps the body absorb calcium, which is necessary for strong bones. A deficiency in bone health vitamin D can lead to weak bones and an increased risk of fractures.
The recommended daily intake of vitamin D for adults is 600-800 IU per day. Sources of vitamin D include egg yolks, sunlight, fatty fish,and foods such as milk.
What Are The Treatments for Bone Pain?
Treatment for bone pain depends on the underlying cause. Mild cases of bone pain can be treated with rest, ice, and over-the-counter (drugs that do not require a doctor’s prescription) pain medications, such as acetaminophen, celecoxib, or ibuprofen. Adding physical therapy and chiropractic care as advised by your physician can also help relieve pain and improve mobility.
In more severe cases, prescription pain medications may be necessary. In cases of bone cancer or other serious conditions, treatment may involve surgery, radiation therapy, or chemotherapy. Such medications may include;
- 1. Antibiotics
If you have a bone infection, your doctor may recommend strong medicines to get rid of the infection-causing bacteria. These antibiotics can be vancomycin, clindamycin, or ciprofloxacin.
2. Pain Reliever
Although they do not treat the underlying problem, painkillers are among the most frequently recommended drugs to lessen bone pain. You can utilize non prescription medications like ibuprofen, diclofenac, or acetaminophen. For moderate to severe pain, prescription drugs like morphine or pentazocine may be utilized.
3. Dietary supplements
Osteoporosis sufferers must raise their calcium and vitamin D levels. In order to cure the mineral shortage, your doctor will prescribe nutritional supplements. The form of supplements can be liquid, pill, or chewable.
4. Cancer therapies
Cancer-related bone pain is challenging to manage. To alleviate the pain, the doctor will need to focus on and treat cancer. Surgery, radiation therapy, and chemotherapy are all frequently used cancer therapies (although chemotherapy might exacerbate bone pain). A class of drugs known as bisphosphonates aid those with metastatic bone cancer in preventing bone discomfort and destruction. Additionally, opiate painkillers may be prescribed (4).
To remove bone fragments that have degenerated due to infection, surgery may be required. Resetting fractured bones and removing cancerous tumors may both need surgery. In severe cases where joints can be swapped or replaced, reconstructive surgery may be used.
Ways To Protect Yourself From Joint Pain
- 1. Keep your body at a healthy weight.
Being overweight harms your bones in addition to your cardiovascular system. Your joint can only withstand so much pressure. Joint discomfort results from excessive body weight because it places unneeded strain on the joints. Every 500 grams of excess weight you carry, according to the Arthritis Foundation, can put an additional 2 kilograms of pressure on your weight-bearing joints. Maintain a healthy weight, if possible. By exercising daily, you shed undesirable fat, keeping your weight within the recommended BMI.
- 2. Wear The Right Shoes.
We hardly ever think about the shoes we wear daily. When purchasing footwear, we prioritize trends over support and comfort. Another factor contributing to joint pain is the choice of footwear. Buy footwear that will protect your knees, ankles, and feet. Whenever you can, choose flat shoes instead than high heels. Inappropriate footwear can even cause back discomfort.
- 3. Consume Healthy Foods
Consuming foods rich in vitamins, minerals, and anti-inflammatory characteristics can assist to maintain the health of your bones. Studies that take into account alliums, a food category that includes leeks, onions, garlic, and chives, can lower your risk of developing bone pain. Also, calcium supplements should be a huge part of your everyday intake.
Bone pain can be a debilitating condition that affects many parts of the body, including the shoulder, lower back, tailbone, forearm, neck, and hand. The causes of bone pain can vary, from injury and overuse to degenerative conditions and cancer. Treatment for bone pain depends on the underlying cause, with options ranging from rest and ice to prescription pain medications, physical therapy, and surgery. Maintaining good bone health, including getting enough vitamin D, can help prevent bone pain and reduce the risk of fractures.
- 1. https://www.webmd.com/pain-management/bone-pain-what-know
- 2. https://www.cdc.gov/arthritis/pain/index.htm
- 3. https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bone_pain
- 4. https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/321835
- 5. https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/bone-cancer/symptoms/
- 6. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/9060007/