Bone pain or tenderness


Bone pain or tenderness is aching or other discomfort in one or more bones.

Alternative Names

Aches and pains in bones; Pain - bones


Bone pain is seen less commonly than joint pain and muscle pain. The source of bone pain may be obvious, as in a fracture following an accident. Or it may be more subtle, such as cancer that spreads (metastasizes) to the bone.

Whatever the source, bone pain should always be taken seriously. Seek medical attention any time you have bone pain.


Bone pain can occur with many injuries or conditions:

Home Care

For unexplained bone pain, see your health care provider.

When to Contact a Medical Professional

Take any bone pain or tenderness very seriously. Contact your health care provider if you have any unexplained bone pain.

What to Expect at Your Office Visit

Your health care provider will ask you about your medical history and perform a physical exam.

Medical history questions may include:

Diagnostic tests that may be performed include:

Depending on the cause of the pain, your doctor may prescribe:

For osteoporosis treatment, see the article on osteoporosis.


Choi L. Overuse injuries. In: DeLee JC, Drez D Jr, Miller MD, eds. DeLee and Drez’s Orthopaedic Sports Medicine. 3rd ed. Philadelphia, Pa: Saunders Elsevier; 2009:chap 14.

Lorenzo JA, Canalis E, Raisz LG. Metabolic bone disease. In: Kronenberg HM, Melmed S, Polonsky KS, Larsen PR, eds. Williams Textbook of Endocrinology. 11th ed. Philadelphia, Pa: Saunders Elsevier; 2008:chap 28.

Review Date: 5/1/2011
Reviewed By: Linda J. Vorvick, MD, Medical Director, MEDEX Northwest Division of Physician Assistant Studies, University of Washington, School of Medicine. Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Medical Director, A.D.A.M., Inc.
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