bone or muscle pain?

How does one tell the difference between the two? I have been assuming that if bone pain it wouldn't go away with massage, acupuncture or the use of muscle relaxers? Or would it? What does "bone" pain feel like, and what do those who have it use to relieve it?

I've been putting in many hours on the yard/garden and oh my gosh, my aching bod! Bad to have an inactive winter! ~ JJ

Edited April 5, 2009 at 1:13 pm

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Please read my previous post. Basically, bone pain you can't get too it's so deep. I've had to use Celebrex as I stated and it helps a little. Rest it off if you can. Than go slow. Moist heat,
Creams diatec or biofreeze roll on. Be careful with the heat and these rubs. I also got the flector patch better for me than the lidocaine patch.
Fell better everyone. AND REST,crucial to healing

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Justosteopenia, could you direct me to your previous post. I checked your profile, but nothing previous was listed.

Re: the rubs and such, are those for muscle or bone pain? Celebrex helps the bone pain?

I use to use Bextra, for muscle pain, I miss that med. :-( ~ JJ

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Look up mamaMarks I responded to her question above.
Loved Bextra, miss it terribly. Poor replacement Celebrex! It helps both muscle and bone pain. You have to find a combination of Physical Therapy, exercise (moderate) moist heat, meds (pain or NSAID) creams. I'm sorry to say REST will help the most.

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Dear Gatekeeper,

What is the difference between bone pain and muscle pain and how does one tell the difference? Thank you for posing this brilliant question. I see that you have not yet got an answer for it. I am looking for an answer to this question as well. I have an appointment with my specialist on April 29 and I will post an answer if I get one.

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New here and I find this site very helpful.
Good question- re: bone or muscle pain?
I was just told I have osteoporosis.
I have also had back issues for the past couple of years and it drives me CRAZY not being able to do the things I use to be able to do.
Every time I have a good day I tend to over due thinking I'm back to my old self (wishful thinking) and I'm back to hurting again.
PT seems to help but I can't do that the rest of my life!

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Hi Gatekeeper.

I too would like to know if my pain is Bone or Muscle. I also have a suspicion it is Nerve - which leads to the muscle spasm I get. Had vertebroplasty T7 and 8 one year ago for osteoporosis fracture. Still get terrible pain. Tried strong pain killers then muscle relaxants eventually, but no good. Feb I began acupuncture and this has made quite a big difference - still get problems but pain has moved (back to original site of injury). Have you thought about "clearing" the nerve ways? which is what my acupuncture is achieving. Most of my pain is in evenings now (when gravity makes spine settles thru day and I become up to 3cm (1 inch) shorter! Also took up tai chi (2 months) which has helped. I am 60 but very active - until problem... stopped me in my tracks - 12 months havent gone back to work or sport (ten Pin Bowling twice a week - probably wont be able to do this any more) . Also pain prevents playing piano and guitar. Only pastime no pain seems to be reading. I sympathise with you and know exactly what you mean by having to take it 1 day at a time - and each day I hope its the beginning of NO more Pain... ha ha I wish. I improved to about 50% 6 months after injury but since then its been a snail pace recovery. I hope my pain is nerves not happy that they have a foreign substance in the spine! As T7 is directly related to arm movement this is where my pain is most severe. It is so hard to prepare meals as arms agravate the problem so much.Some days I cant even carry a cup of coffee yet I can sweep the floor! Frustrating. I prefer not to take medication if possible. Used all kinds of heat which helped in early stages a bit. Now sometimes a sit down can fix. If really bad I only need some paracetamol or digesics plus a lay down. I live in Australia so some meds have different names here. Ive tried to connect with others who have the bad pain and you are the first one I can share this with. Keep your chin up and be an optimist like me - some days are harder than others arent they!!
Aida

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Hello Roxabb, you mention in your post that PT seems to help, but that you can't do it for the rest of your life. Have the PT give you exercises that you can do at home .... and those exercises you would be able to do for the rest of your life. I remember when I was taking an exercise program for osteoporosis from a physical therapist many years ago. Basically, it was a preventive program for me as I was fracture free. I thought I could participate in the program and "bank" the exercise and no longer have to exercise. Aha! Unfortunately, that isn't the way it works. Every morning before I get out of bed, I do some light stretches. Every day, I do exercises for my back. Every day, I do the "corpse" pose and focus on my breathing, so when I am in a stressful situation, I have the tools ready to bring myself to a calm place. I didn't begin an exercise program until I was diagnosed with osteoporosis (age 50). Mentally, I fought against exercise until I realized that I would be playing "catch up" for the rest of my life in order to have a daily quality of life with little or no discomfort. But the hardest part of any program is being consistent. If you have the opportunity to work with a physical therapist that has knowledge of bone loss, please take advantage and use the information. I feel very fortunate that my body has worked for me in the past years and I remain fracture free at age 62 with -3 range hips/spine .... but I don't take any of it for granted. Unless I am sick with a bug, I do some form of exercise daily. Please check with your PT for a program that you can work on your own.

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Hi Sdivas- I do have some exercises for home from my PT but it helps soooo much more going.
The massage with that machine and the traction type pull he does with my back and the equipment to use there is great.
It's something insurance does not pay for after a certain amount of time.
I usually go back when I start feeling really bad for a few weeks.
I have to just be as faithful as I can with my home exercise.
I also bought a recumbant bike which is nice.
My doc. wants me to start taking Fosamax for the osteoporosis. I'm not liking that idea. I read too many negative things.
Always side effects to go along with any medication but these are too much.
Anyway...thanks for responding.

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Hi gatekeeper:
Bone pain is very rare even when you have osteoporosis. You cannot increase bone pain with external pressure. The next most common is nerve pain followed by muscle pain. Generally, muscle pain can be increased by putting pressure on the painful muscles with a finger. Nerve pain is a little trickier to detect because it can refer from another place. You cannot generally make nerve pain worse by pressure. Movement can make both muscle and nerve pain more intense.

Also visits to the PT should be supplemented with a good stretching program on the off days. When the pain subsides then you can start considering a good functional strengthening program to add stability to the spinal column.

The best therapy is ice 20 minutes followed by heat 20 minutes repeated again. Heat alone will tend to swell tissues and increase long term pain. Ice is pretty magical when it come to pain relief.

Hope this helps,

Woody McMahon
Reston/Herndon Osteoporosis Support Group Leader

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Thanks everyone, and Woody, thanks about the explanation about ice & heat. I've heard to do that, didn't know why.

I'm glad folks liked my question. I was thinking, if what I'm feeling is bone pain why would massage help? I'm satisfied by the replies that it is just muscles (or lack thereof) ha! I'm been good doing my T-Tapp, the outside yard work has left me quite tender and than work-work was tense, but the tension was resolved yesterday (to my satisfaction I might add), so hopefully my bod will start to feel better soon.

I decided this weekend to give it a rest. I have acupuncture on Monday with needles that will go from base of skull down each side of the spine to about mid-back. Then she attaches electricity to some so they dance. It is wonderful!

I also use a product called Roll Away the Pain. I just wish I could find a local source, my mom gets it from her PT and buys an extra for me. (We live about 80 miles apart.)

Re: PT. I plan to check into this probably this summer when school is out. I have a reference, just need the time to go. ~ jan

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Muscle pain is often a burning, numbing, or stabbing pain. Bone pain is very deep, I often tell people it feels like a vice is on my arm is tightening constantly. While hydrocodone helps muscle pain, it has very effect on bone pain.

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After resting yesterday had more energy today, took my DS hardware shopping. <gasp> Talk about shop till one drops, yet I manage to come home and cook dinner afterward, says a lot.

I did order some Biofreeze that justosteopenia mentioned. $9 for the roll-on, free shipping thru Amazon (good deed or ?). I really like the Roll Away the Pain, but it just can't be found. ~ JJ

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Really,
I agree with U totally. I recently broke my humerous. Hydrocodone, oxy and ultram did nothing. I did get relief with the flector patch. It also helps the hip.
I go to PT for the broken shoulder and hip pain. The only way the hip problem is given any relief is when my 6'4" 220 lb therapist elbows the area with the weight of his entire body...than I see stars and get some relief. I don't know what he hits but when he does....it is very intense. I still feel the hip bone nagging pain (when I walk up stairs or lie on it too long, sometimes just sitting) but the surrounding area ,even into my groin is addressed with the elbow and his weight. It is amazing how what hurts you can make U feel better....EVENTUALLY.
C

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Really,
I agree with U totally. I recently broke my humerous. Hydrocodone, oxy and ultram did nothing. I did get relief with the flector patch. It also helps the hip.
I go to PT for the broken shoulder and hip pain. The only way the hip problem is given any relief is when my 6'4" 220 lb therapist elbows the area with the weight of his entire body...than I see stars and get some relief. I don't know what he hits but when he does....it is very intense. I still feel the hip bone nagging pain (when I walk up stairs or lie on it too long, sometimes just sitting) but the surrounding area ,even into my groin is addressed with the elbow and his weight. It is amazing how what hurts you can make U feel better....EVENTUALLY.
C

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The physical therapists' advice and teaching should help you "the rest of your life". Areas such as posture, exercise goals and contraindications, body mechanics, pacing oneself, etc.
Lucy Buckley PT aka Mother Goose

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Gatekeeper,
U got a reasonable price on the biofreeze. Here it's about $12 but no shipping. I hope it works for you.
Blessing
C

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C, The Biofreeze is doing the job that Roll Away the Pain did, so I'm very pleased. Granted I almost need to take a bath in it during the start of gardening season...

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Bone pain is very deep. And while a side effect of osteoporosis medications such as Actonel, there is always the possibility that you are dealing with bone cancer.

Other than attempting to decide if "muscle pain" or "bone pain" is involved--- have such checked out by a trusted health care provider.

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Gatekeeper (JJ)
Now get yourself some flector patches, (ask your dr. for samples) and U will be good to go. Today my dr. confirmed that although they are a NSAID they only penetrate the area they are put on.. No kidney absorption.
Someday we will be pain free and be done with all these little tricks!!!!!!!!!!!!
Blessings C

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Do they make a patch that's comes in a size 8? Actually these sound like a very good idea for the trigger points when I can't get into the acupuncturist. I will ask. Thanks for the tip! ~ JJ

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