Bone pain or tenderness


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


Bone pain is less common than joint pain and muscle pain. The source of bone pain may be clear, such as from a fracture following an accident. Other causes, such as cancer that spreads (metastasizes) to the bone, may be less obvious.


Bone pain can occur with injuries or conditions such as:

Home Care

See your health care provider if you have bone pain and do not know why it is occurring.

When to Contact a Medical Professional

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

Your provider will ask you about your medical history and do a physical exam.

Some questions that may be asked include:

You may have the following tests:

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

If pain is related to thinning bones, you may need treatment for osteoporosis.

Review Date: 5/9/2015
Reviewed By: C. Benjamin Ma, MD, Professor, Chief, Sports Medicine and Shoulder Service, UCSF Department of Orthopaedic Surgery, San Francisco, CA. Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Isla Ogilvie, PhD, and the A.D.A.M. Editorial team.

This information should not be used during any medical emergency or for the diagnosis or treatment of any medical condition. A licensed medical professional should be consulted for diagnosis and treatment of any and all medical conditions. Call 911 for all medical emergencies. © 1997- 2007 A.D.A.M., Inc. Any duplication or distribution of the information contained herein is strictly prohibited.