Bone pain | Bone pain or tenderness | Bone pain and symptoms | Bone pain and treatment
The term ‘Bone pain’ or Ostealgia, or Osteodynia generally is used to refer to pain felt within a bone. Bone pain is not to be confused with arthritis pain, where is a catch-all phrase meaning pain in a joint, typically with inflammation and stiffness. Bone pain strictly means pain emanating from bone tissue. “This pain is deep, nagging and has a permanent character.
The cause of the bone pain may not be immediately apparent, and further testing is usually warranted (CBC, x-rays, etc.). Because of diagnostic protocols, diagnosis is usually first from a “clinical diagnosis” (examining and questioning the patient), and progressively adding either an x-ray, a blood test, or both, and then an MRI. If those items are inconclusive, a bone scan is usually the next step. For a bone scan the patient receives an injection of marker chemical and then 3-hours later has an imaging exam that shows the entire skeleton. A radiologist provides an opinion as to any image findings that may relate to the bone pain.
Common diseases affecting bones
* Viral illness – longstanding viral infections may spread to the bones/joints
* Leukemia – rare – can present with bony tenderness due to blast cells that have surfaced to the top of the bone
* Sepsis/Bacteraemia – infection of the blood
* Physical Trauma to the bone (such as a fall)
* Arthritic pain
* Fibromyalgia – widespread pain with bony tenderness
* Neoplasm/Cancer – can be primary bone tumor or may be metastatic (spread from another neoplastic site)
* Paget’s disease
The prognosis of Bone Pain is determined once the cause of the pain is known. For example, if the bone pain has a neoplastic cause, the bone pain may resolve through judicious use of opioid pain medication or chemotherapy.
Recovery from bone pain depends on the cause. Especially in younger patients, pain medication to treat the symptoms may result in the body’s natural defenses curing minor infection issues within just a few days. For older patients or more serious pathologies, treatment may involve physical therapy, medications, surgery and/or chemotherapy that requires weeks or months for full recovery.
18 possible causes of ‘Bone pain’
3. Sickle cell anemia
4. Bone tumors
6. Lung cancer
7. Paget’s disease
11. Multiple myeloma
15. Lung cancer – non-small cell
TREATMENT OPTIONS FOR BONE PAIN: Typically, this syndrome requires moderate baseline analgesia with increased on-demand doses. Other techniques for treating bone pain, including radiation therapy, neuraxial application of analgesics, nerve blocks and local stabilisation procedures, should be considered. In addition, therapy with bisphosphonates targeting bone-specific pain is an important strategy. This review discusses the various management options for bone pain arising from metastatic bone disease.