What Causes Bone Pain?

Bone pain is a feeling of extreme tenderness, tingling, pain or discomfort in one or more bones. The difference between bone pain and muscle and joint pain is that it is present even when you do not move. Many patients apply to physical therapy and rehabilitation clinics with the complaint of “my bones hurt”. So what causes bone pain?

Trauma – Injury

Trauma is among the most common causes of bone pain. Traffic accidents, falls, and violence are prime examples of trauma. A bone fracture may occur as a result of trauma, or a bone may be injured without a fracture. They may have additional symptoms such as swelling, bruising, bone deformity, abnormal movement, crackling, or other abnormal sound.

Vitamin and Mineral Deficiency

Bones need vitamins and minerals to stay healthy. Calcium and vitamin D are among them. Calcium and vitamin D deficiencies can lead to osteoporosis. Bone pain may be felt in advanced bone resorption. Osteoporosis can lead to problems such as short stature and increased back hump. Vitamin D deficiency can also lead to muscle pain. Additional complaints such as cramps, fatigue, weakness, weakness, sleep problems may be seen.

Bone Cancer

Cancer that originates from the bone itself is called bone cancer. In fact, the majority of cancers involving the bone do not originate from the bone itself, but develop as a result of the spread (metastasis) of a tumor elsewhere in the bone. Cancer disrupts the normal structure of the bone and causes bone pain. Unexpected fractures can occur in cancers that lead to reduced bone tissue. Cancer may be felt as swelling under the skin as a result of growth in the bone. There may be sensations such as numbness and tingling due to the nerve fiber damage of the mass.

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Cancer Metastasis

The spread of cancer from one part of the body to another is called metastasis. Breast, lung, thyroid, kidney, and prostate cancers are among the cancers that metastasize to the bone. In this case, there is a complaint of bone pain. Depending on the location of the main cancer and metastasis, it can give very different symptoms such as headache, chest pain, seizures, dizziness, jaundice, shortness of breath, and accumulation of fluid in the abdomen.

Disruption of Bone Blood Flow

When the blood circulation of the bone is disturbed for any reason, the bone tissue begins to die. In sickle cell anemia, the disfigured red blood cells can clog the capillaries in the bone. The condition called avascular necrosis may cause pain, especially in the hip joint, in those who use cortisone drugs. If the disease progresses, the structure of the joint deteriorates and movement limitation may develop.


Inflammation of bone tissue is known as osteomyelitis. It may give symptoms such as bone pain, fever, weakness, loss of appetite, and increased temperature at the infection site.


Leukemia is a cancer involving the bone marrow. Bone marrow is where blood cells are made. Patients with leukemia often complain of bone pain. Symptoms such as pale skin, fatigue, shortness of breath, night sweats, and unexplained weight loss may be associated with leukemia.

Bone Pain During Pregnancy

During pregnancy, pain may be felt in the joint area in the front of the pelvis. There may be symptoms such as groin pain, stiffness and pain in the hip. It usually resolves after birth. Manual therapy, water exercises, physical therapy, hip and pelvic floor muscle strengthening exercises can be effective in treatment.

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How Is Bone Pain Diagnosed?

For the diagnosis of bone pain, the doctor first takes a detailed medical history, that is, questions your complaints. Subjects such as where you feel the pain, how long it has existed, how its severity changes over time, and other complaints accompanying the pain are questioned. The examination examines whether the problem is really bone pain or muscle or joint pain. In blood tests, features such as vitamin levels, complete blood count, hormone levels, cancer markers, infection parameters can be checked. Imaging methods such as X-ray film, computed tomography, MRI (MRI) can be used. Bone resorption can be recognized by a bone density measurement called DXA. Signs of multiple myeloma disease involving the bone marrow can be seen in the urinalysis. When the diagnosis is made correctly, treatment for the cause begins.

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