What Causes Bone Pain?

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Bone pain can have a severely negative impact on your quality of life. It’s also a likely sign of a serious condition that should be investigated by a doctor. Bone pain is usually deep, penetrating, or dull and may stem from a variety of causes — most often is injury. In this blog post, we’ll take a look at some of the most common issues that cause bone pain. If you are in pain, give us a call and we’ll help you to find a solution.


Doctors Looking At X-raysIt hurts to break a bone. It is the most common and obvious cause of bone pain. Broken bones can happen in countless ways — sports, falling, accidents, or it could even be spontaneous, like with a stress fracture. Osteoporosis increases the risk of breaking bones because it makes them more fragile. When a bone has been broken it is important to see a doctor as soon as you can because untreated fractures can have serious complications.

Bone Bruise

Your bone pain might be coming from a bone bruise. It is one of the common causes of bone pain. A bone bruise generally happens when a bone hits a hard surface. An impact with force can create small breaks in the outer layer of the bone. There may also be bleeding under a thin layer of tissue covering the bone called the periosteum. You may also experience tenderness to the touch, swelling, and discoloration. Osteoarthritis is also a cause of bone bruises. When the cartilage between bones starts to wear, it can take your bone health with it as bones rub against each other — eventually developing into a bruise.

Bone Infection

Bone infection is also known as Osteomyelitis. Fortunately, this is not a very common issue. When this infection does come into play, for adults it is usually in the vertebrae or pelvis. For kids, it happens at the ends of their arm or leg bones. Osteomyelitis is an infection that can happen after there is a broken bone, from bacteria that get into the bloodstream, or from an open wound that has been infected. Symptoms to look for include bone pain or tenderness, fever, nausea, and swelling or redness.

Tailbone Pain

Back Pain - neuropathy pocatelloTailbone pain is something that a lot of people are dealing with. Part of why it is so common is the fact that there are many things that can cause that particular part of the body to hurt. Pretty much everything from falling and landing hard on your tailbone to even sitting for too long on a hard surface. Some women have tailbone pain that stems from childbirth.

Often, the body will heal and the pain will go away naturally. Some ways that you can try to relieve tailbone pain include sitting on soft cushions, taking over-the-counter painkillers, and putting ice on the tailbone area. But if these aren’t giving you any relief, it may be time to consult with a physician for an x-ray or other options.

Blood Cancer

There are a few types of cancer that can cause bone pain. We’re talking about leukemia, lymphoma, myelodysplastic syndromes, and myeloma. The pain occurs most often in the arms, legs, and ribs. The discomfort is caused by cancerous cells that are in the bone marrow. This pain in the bones might actually be the first symptom of the disease. Cancer treatment can reduce or eliminate the pain you are feeling.

Sickle Cell Anemia

Sickle Cell Anemia is a blood disease. It may cause bone pain because of blood flow being blocked in your blood vessels. In this situation, the pain can be excruciating and varies in how long it may last — from a few hours to weeks. Hospitalization may be necessary and treatments may include strong analgesics, like opioids or blood transfusions.

Bone Cancer

Graphic Of Cancer CellsThe different types of bone cancer include chondrosarcoma, chordoma, osteosarcoma, and Ewing sarcoma. In many cases, these conditions are discovered in x-rays after a bone has been broken. Bone cancer makes the bones weaker and causes them to break easier.

Cancer Treatment

Everyone knows that cancer treatment can be pretty miserable. Those treatments commonly include medication that can bring side effects — including bone pain. Especially when chemotherapy is involved. Patients with osteoporosis may be given bisphosphonates, leading to bone pain.

Post-Chemotherapy Treatment

Chemotherapy depletes your white blood cells which will weaken your immune system. When your immune system is compromised, infections and complications happen more frequently. Medication can help to stimulate white blood cell growth. But a side effect of that medication may be bone pain.

When To See A Doctor For Bone Pain

If you are experiencing bone pain that is severe and persistent, it is time to consult with a physician. Whether the bone pain is caused by fractures or something else, if your symptoms include the following, give us a call.

  • severe bone pain
  • bone pain that does not go away
  • pain that is getting worse over time
  • there is redness or swelling around the area of bone pain

Why Choose Pain & Spine Specialists Of Idaho

The pain doctors in Pocatello at Pain & Spine Specialists of Idaho are Board Certified physicians. We implement leading treatments and procedures to help resolve or manage chronic pain. We can help with more than just bone pain. If you are experiencing joint pain, muscle pain, arthritis, back pain, or any other type of discomfort, come see us. You will find health information treatment options at our clinic that you won’t find anywhere else in Idaho. Don’t let bone pain hold you back from the things in life that matter most – contact our clinic today.