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Bone pain or tenderness

  • Definition

    Bone pain or tenderness is aching or other discomfort in one or more bones.

    Alternative Names

    Aches and pains in bones; Pain - bones


    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.

    Common Causes

    Bone pain can occur with many injuries or conditions:

    • Cancer in the bones (primary malignancy)
    • Cancer that has spread to the bones (metastatic malignancy)
    • Disruption of blood supply (as in sickle cell anemia)
    • Infected bone (osteomyelitis)
    • Infection
    • Injury (trauma)
    • Leukemia
    • Loss of mineralization (osteoporosis)
    • Overuse
    • Toddler fracture (a type of stress fracture that occurs in toddlers)