Bone Pain | Causes, Diagnosis And Medications For Bone Pain

In most instances, people face health challenges they do not understand. Such health problems can be caused by the daily activities we take part in. One good example is bone pain; this is a problem that most individuals encounter when the bones in the joints are strained, or hurt while doing daily activities. Many patients also suffer from joint ache due to cancer that originates within a single bone in the body. In this piece, we have done a comprehensive exploration of facts related to this health issue.

What is Bone Pain?

Bone pain is best described as extreme aching, tenderness, or discomfort in one or many bones in the body. Bone pain is different from joint and muscle pain since it is always there whether or not you are moving. In most instances, bone pain is linked to infections that affect the normal structure or function of the body.

The Main Causes of Bone Pain

woman strained her foot while walking

Bone cancer has always been the main cause of bone pain among most individuals. This type of cancer always takes place in the long bones of legs and or upper arms; though it can affect any bone in the body. Primary bone cancer occurs when the cancer cells shift to the bone itself.  There are many symptoms brought about by the pain caused by primary cancer. Such symptoms include tenderness in the bone, severe pain that is constant or intermittent in or around the bone affected, and persistent pain that comes at night or while resting from work. Other causes of bone pain are discussed below.

Mineral Deficiency

Your bones need certain minerals and vitamins like Vitamin D and Calcium to stay strong. People who do not have enough minerals and vitamins, are most likely to suffer from bone complications that lead to bone pain. Many are the case where individuals suffer from osteoporosis due to the lack of calcium and Vitamin D in the body. Individuals in the late stages of osteoporosis tend to suffer from severe bone pain that does not go away for several weeks or months.

Metastatic Cancer

Metastatic cancer is a cancer that commences somewhere else in the body, but spreads to other parts of the body after a specific duration. Such cancers include: cancers of the lung, breast, kidney, thyroid, and prostrate. These are the main types of cancers that are most likely to spread to the bones, causing bone pain among the victims.

Bone Cancer

Primary bone cancer is the type of cancer that originates in the bone itself. Compared to metastatic cancer, bone cancer is rare. This medical condition can cause severe bone ache when the cancer begins to destroy, or disrupt the normal structure of the bones affected.

Diseases That Interfere with Blood Supply to the Bones

doctor injecting medication to a patient

Sickle cell anemia can affect the blood supply to the bone. Minus a steady blood supply to the bones, the tissues of the bone start to die. This will result in significant bone pain and can weaken the bones of the patient.

Leukemia

Leukemia is best described as the cancer of the bone marrow. Bone marrow is found inside the bone and plays a significant role in secreting the bone cells. People with leukemia, in many instances, complain of severe bone pain, more so in the legs.

How to Know If You Have Bone Ache

taking care of a bone problem

It is a fact that most people may experience bone ache without their knowledge. This is because this problem starts small and becomes severe after some time. During the early stages, one might not be aware of the impending bone complication that is building up. Here are some signs and symptoms that can help you know whether you are suffering from bone pain.

  • Your infection has spread to the bones due to the prostate, lung, and or breast cancer
  • You have an injury due to spinal cord compression
  • You have had trauma like a broken bone, from falling down or from cancer
  • You have sustained bone tumors from your cancer
  • You have the shinning of the bones. Hence, developed a fracture

If you have any of the above problems, then chances are, you are suffering from bone ache and should seek medical attention from experts. However, it is worth noting that while one, or many of the signs mentioned above, could be a sign that you are suffering from bone pain, you will need a medical practitioner to confirm that that is the case.

When to Seek Help for Bone Pain

wearing a cast helps bones to heal quickly

Bone ache is not always caused by a serious condition. It is imperative to know that even a mild bone pain could indicate a condition that requires instant medical attention from the experts. If it happens that you encounter a bone ache that doesn't go away naturally, after a few days or weeks, then it is advisable to consult your medical doctor right away.

One should also see their doctor if the bone ache is accompanied by a drastic weight loss, general fatigue, or decreased appetite.

If the bone pain comes due to a physical injury, then a doctor's visit is ideal. Medical treatment is always required for fractures from straight trauma to the bone. If proper treatment is not employed, bones may heal in the wrong positions, thereby, inhibiting movement among the affected area in the individual. It is essential to pay attention to the pains in the joints and bones since these could be an indication that the bones are affected in one way or the other.

How to Diagnose Bone Pain

medical practitioner diagnosing a bone problem

During the diagnosis of bone ache, the medical practitioner should locate the pain's underlying cause to come up with the best method of treatment. By treating the underlying cause, it can greatly reduce the bone pain. The identification of the underlying cause is a process that can take days, or a few weeks, since the doctor needs to be certain, before coming up with the best procedure to deliver appropriate treatment.

Your expert will administer a physical exam, to find out about your medical history, as a means of identifying the actual cause of the problem. The questions will touch on the areas of where the pain is located, when the pain was first experienced, and if the pain is getting worse. Also, the doctor will ask if there are any signs and symptoms that are accompanying the bone ache that the patient is reporting.

The next process may involve your doctor ordering a blood test to find out if there are vitamin deficiencies, or even cancer producing cells. Through the blood tests, your doctor will be in a position to detect the infections, including adrenal gland complications that are known to interfere with the health of the bone.

Bone X-rays, CT, and MRIs can help your medical practitioner evaluate the areas affected by identifying an injury, health problems, tumors within the bone, and bone lesions. Also, urine studies can be administered to help detect the abnormalities found in the bone marrow. In some instances, your doctor will have to run numerous tests to rule out certain conditions, to diagnose the actual cause of the bone ache.

Medications to Cure Bone Pain

Medications to Cure Bone Pain

Depending on the severity of your health condition, the doctor may recommend a specific drug that can help make your bone pain go away forever. Some drugs that can be used to cure bone pain, among various patients, are discussed below.

Antibiotics

In the event your medical practitioner suspects you may have an infection that could affect the bones, he or she may order an antibiotic for you. These antibiotics come in the form of pills or intravenous. It is vital to take the entire dose of the antibiotics prescribed for you. It is not advisable to stop taking the medication once you feel better.

Anticonvulsants

This can also be referred to as adjunct medicine, which implies that it is used with other medications for it to work well. Most patients, alongside gabapentin, will be placed on narcotic pain relievers such as morphine sulfate or oxycodone. These medications will combine functionalities to ensure that the patient gets the best pain control. Note that each of them has a different function so that at the end of the day, you get better pain control.

Bisphosphonates

The cancer cells that find their way to the bones, may produce substances that can destroy other cells found in the bones, known as osteoclasts that eat away portions of the bones. These tumors can weaken the bones and can cause serious complications. Some problems that can result by such breakdowns are fractures, bone pain, and hypercalcemia. Bisphosphonates, like pamidronate and zoledronate, can be used to cure hypercalcemia and to eliminate pain. The pain can also be reduced by preventing the damage or destruction of the bone and preventing the bone from being destroyed by the destructive cells.

Conclusion

man with bone pain on his knee

Bone pain is a problem that anyone can encounter at some point in their life. Therefore, it is advisable to pay close attention to the signs and symptoms that are mentioned above to prevent the problem from getting worse. In case you encounter bone ache, there is no need to worry since there are medications that can be used to reduce the pain or even make the problem go away permanently. You are strongly encouraged to consult your medical practitioner about every health condition that might lead to bone ache. If you are provided with a prescribed dosage, make sure to take all the pills so that the problem is cured completely.