Severe Bone Pain – What Does This Mean?

Bone PainPain in a muscle, tendon or ligament can usually be traced back to stress that causes a sprain or tear. Bone pain is less common, so you will likely face some uncertainty trying to determine the underlying issue. People who suffer from bone pain describe it as an ache or extreme tenderness. Unlike muscle or joint pain, bone pain can be felt at all times, whether or not you’re in motion.

Here are the principal causes behind bone pain. Be sure to consult your orthopedic doctor for an accurate diagnosis of your particular case.

Bone injury

This is one of the more frequent causes of bone pain. Serious trauma such as a fall or an auto accident can result in breaks or fractures. Injury doesn’t always prevent function, so don’t assume that the ability to move the corresponding body part gives an all-clear signal.


Bone density generally decreases as you age. Vitamin deficiency, hormonal changes and lack of physical activity can result in osteoporosis, a condition marked by thin, brittle bones. Collapsed vertebrae may lead to back pain. Post-menopausal women are the ones most frequently at risk, but recent reports indicate that as many as 25 percent of men over 50 will experience a broken bone due to osteoporosis.


Osteomyelitis is an infection in the bone resulting from infection spreading from surrounding tissue. It can also enter the bone through the bloodstream or from exposure to germs due to an injury. At one time it was considered incurable, but now it can be treated successfully with surgery and antibiotics.


  • Metastatic cancer begins in the breast, lung, prostate or other parts of the body and spreads to the bones.
  • Bone cancer originates in the bone itself but is more rare than metastatic cancer.
  • Leukemia is cancer of the bone marrow that can cause pain in the bones of the legs.

An orthopedic doctor will ask specific questions about your symptoms to help determine the cause. Contact us to make an appointment with one of our experienced staff members.

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