Fibrosis is the tissue that connects one bone to another and is sometimes caused by bone infections. Fibrosis tissue is hard and thick. It can cause pain and limit the range of motion.
Fibrosis can also be caused by conditions such as rheumatoid arthritis, osteoarthritis, and post-traumatic fibrosis.
When a bone breaks, a piece of it breaks off and moves through the soft tissue, such as muscle and fat. This is known as a fracture.
Fractures can occur in one bone or, less commonly, in two or more bones.
In many cases, a break in the bone causes mild pain. Sometimes, the bone may break into several pieces or pieces break into several bones. This can cause long-term pain.
Fractures can also cause other symptoms, such as:
- Dull or aching pain
- Muscle weakness
- Joint stiffness
Infections can cause pain and discomfort in the bone. They can also cause:
- Swollen lymph nodes
- Redness and warmth of the affected area
- Bone-related pain in the surrounding area
In some cases, the infection will spread to other parts of the body, such as the muscles, tendons, and nerves. This can cause more severe symptoms.
A stress fracture is the name of a bone break that happens when you exert a large amount of force over a long period of time.
A stress fracture usually occurs in the lower part of the leg or foot. A stress fracture can occur after a period of intense physical activity.
This can happen if you have a bone that is weak, such as after you have had a hip or knee replacement. It can also happen if you have a bone that is overused, such as a bone from the pelvis.
In some cases, the break can occur when you put weight on a foot that is already hurting from an old injury. Other times, it can be caused by something like a car accident.
Other symptoms of a stress fracture include:
- Pain that’s sharp and intense
- Pain that lasts for several days
- A tender spot or area of bone that’s warm to the touch
- A lump in the arched part of the foot
- Swollen and painful lymph nodes
A bone can tear, allowing blood vessels and soft tissue to leak into the soft tissue. This can cause intense pain. It can also cause swelling and a rash.
This is called a fracture that’s open. It can cause other symptoms, such as:
- A lump in the soft tissue
Other causes of bone pain include:
- Ligament pain
- Bone spurs
- Bone infection
- Bone cancer
- Bone tumors
- Bone metastasis
When to see a doctor?
If you experience bone pain that doesn’t ease with painkillers, talk to your doctor.
They may recommend that you see a rheumatologist or a bone specialist. They can help you determine the cause of your pain.
They can also help you diagnose and treat any conditions that may cause the pain.
You may need to see several different doctors to get the right diagnosis and treatment.
How is bone pain diagnosed?
Your doctor will use a variety of tests to diagnose your condition. These tests can help them determine the cause of your pain. They may also rule out other conditions.
In some cases, your doctor may order an X-ray to check for fractures.
They may also order other tests. These tests may include:
X-ray or MRI scans of the affected area. These will help your doctor determine if there are breaks in the bones.
Ultrasound of the affected area. This will help your doctor determine if there are fluid buildup in the area.
Blood tests of the affected area, such as a complete blood count. This will help them detect signs of infection.
Bone scan of the affected area. This will help your doctor see if there are areas of abnormal bone growth.
Other tests may include:
- Antibody tests. These tests can help your doctor determine if you have a rheumatoid arthritis diagnosis.
- Fecal Calprotectin test. This can help your doctor diagnose a fungal infection, such as candidiasis.
What are the types of bone pain?
There are three types of bone pain:
- Bone pain that’s caused by a broken bone.
- Bone pain that’s caused by osteoporosis, which happens when bone density gets too low.
- Bone pain that’s caused by arthritis.
Osteoporosis is a disease that causes bones to become weak and brittle. This can cause you to experience bone pain.
You can develop osteoporosis if you:
- Are over the age of 50
- Are a woman who has never given birth
- Have a family history of osteoporosis
- Had a recent hip or knee replacement
- Have a sedentary lifestyle
Bone pain caused by osteoporosis
Bone pain caused by osteoporosis can be severe. It can also be constant.
It can be worse when you:
- Walk or stand for long periods of time, such as while you’re at work
- Sit for long periods of time
- Have an injury
- Have a fever
- Have a headache or migraine
You may also notice that your bones feel thicker than usual.
If you have osteoporosis, you may also notice that you:
- Have to strain to walk or stand
- Have small joints
- Have a weak core
- Have weak or brittle bones
- Feel like you have a weak or brittle spine
- Feel like your bones are cracking or breaking
As you age, it’s common to develop osteoporosis. It’s not usually a cause for concern until you’re older.
It’s important to work with a doctor to diagnose osteoporosis. They can run diagnostic tests to see if you have it.
Osteoarthritis (OA) is a type of arthritis. It causes the cartilage in the joints to break down.
It can occur in many joints in your body. These include:
- Your hand
- Your knee
- Your hip
- Your ankle
- Your spine
OA can cause chronic joint pain, stiffness, and swelling. These are the most common symptoms.
Other symptoms of OA include:
- Aching joints and muscles
- Pain when you move
- Joints that don’t heal
- Limited range of motion
- Pain in the morning
- Pain that gets worse with movement
- A stiff, swollen, or warm knee
Bone pain is a common symptom of many conditions.
Common causes include:
- Bone breaks
If your pain is severe or chronic, it’s important to see a doctor. This is especially true if you have other symptoms.
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