Bone Pain vs Muscle Pain: Coping And Quality Of Life


An excruciating pain is a mind-torturing pain that creates inconvenience in general health and well-being. This kind of pain can be likened to bone and muscle pains, it’s often extremely severe and tiring accompanied by restlessness. If you have experienced bone fractures or muscle pulls, then you will agree that they are indeed very painful. This article will focus on bone and muscle pain, its causes,  how to cope, and ways to improve quality of life.

Understanding Bone Pain And Muscle Pain

Bone pain is any pain you feel in your bones that causes severe discomfort which is often caused by injuries or health conditions.

Sometimes when the bone has injuries, it can be easier to feel or see than others. For instance, bone fractures caused by an accident or fall will be a lot easier to feel and determine the specific area being affected, unlike some types of bone cancer that trigger constant pain but are not obvious yet spreading and causing intense pains.

The sensational feeling you get from bone pain is usually dull, and achy like the pain is coming from deep inside your body and every ache stings in your brain like a warning signal, without a relief. This pain does lead to reflection on the skin, it could be swollen or reddish in color, and it can disrupt the movement of the affected area.

Understanding Bone Pain And Muscle Pain

Muscle pains are steady aches, deep or random sharp pains that affect soft tissues or stretchy fibers in the body. It is often a sign of injury, infection, disease, or other health problems. Muscle pain is experienced differently, while some people may experience this pain all over, others might have it in specific areas. 

Examples of muscle pains;

  •  Cramping (due to contraction).
  • Soreness and stiffness (due to inflammation).
  • Spasms ( a severe kind of muscle stiffness).
  • Muscle tears (Partial breakage of a muscle and its surrounding envelope).
  • Pulled or strained muscle( large tears).
  • Full-thickness tear (the most severe kind of muscle tear).

Causes Of Bone And Muscle Pain

Bone pain is triggered by many factors which include: car accidents, sports injuries, falls, bone fractures, osteoporosis, osteoarthritis, avascular necrosis, osteomyelitis, osteomalacia, osteitis deformans, osteopenia, rickets, aneurysmal bone cyst, osteoblastomas, bone cancer, osteosarcoma, leukemia, metastatic cancer and exostoses.

Muscle pains are caused by injury, flu virus, tetanus, or overexertion of the muscles during physical activities which can lead to persistent prolonged pains, eludes from sleep, followed by tremors or fever. Experiencing all this will obstruct movement and increase more intense pains.

It is good to note that the most common causes of muscle pain are tension, stress, minor injuries, and overuse and it usually affects a small part of the body or is limited to just a few muscles.

The muscle pain that is felt in the whole body is caused by an infection, like flu.

Bone Pains vs Muscle Pains

Bone pains and muscle pain operate in different modes but can both seem similar. Some injuries and health conditions that affect bones and muscles at the same time result in musculoskeletal pain. When you feel this pain, it’s hard to know what’s causing it inside the body because you can’t see the bones or muscles. Muscle pain is likely not uncommon to bone pain. 

The Most Common Causes Of Muscle Pain Include;

  • Sports injuries
  • Muscle strains (pulled muscles)
  • Repetitive strain injuries
  • Overuse syndrome
  • Infection

Bone pains and muscle pains can hurt badly. If you have had bone pains and muscle pains, you noticed that bone pains are more intense or severe unlike muscle’s. Bone pains seem to be deep in the bone marrow causing strong sensitive pain that processes to neurons in the brain and it can be felt from a specific spot, unlike muscles that are not localised. Muscle pains usually spread out along the length of the sore or injured muscle.

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Coping With Bone And Muscle Pains

The way to get better with these excruciating pains is through receiving medical treatment. But first, you will need to know what specifically is the bone or muscle cause of pains and discomfort through proper diagnosis. This can be accomplished by going for an imaging test which includes

  • X-ray
  • MRI
  • CT scan
  • Ultrasound
  • DEXA scan or DXA scan.

To cope with bone pains after diagnosis, get proper treatment. You can also try taking over-the-counter pain relievers such as aspirin, ibuprofen, or acetaminophen

To avoid assumptions that will yield no positive result, consult a doctor.

Muscle pains that indicate a serious problem should not be treated with gestures but rather consult a medical professional. 

Below are what you can do to alleviate muscle pains:

  • Rest
  • Stretch the muscle
  • Massage the muscle
  • Apply heat like pressing with hot water or flames.
  • Take pain killers
  • Apply ice if caused by injury
  • Elevate and compress with bandages
  • Muscle relaxants


Pains are inevitable in life and they usually come as an unforeseen occurrence, if you experience either bone or muscle pain accidentally, do not shower blame on yourself rather get properly diagnosed and receive adequate treatment for quick recovery. Also, try out the tips above for quick relief and comfort.

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Dr. David G Kiely is a distinguished Medical Reviewer and former General Medicine Consultant with a wealth of experience in the field. Dr. Kiely's notable career as a General Medicine Consultant highlights his significant contributions to the medical field.

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