Can bone and joint pain be a symptom of cancer or is it just bad arthritis?

37 answers | Last updated: Nov 18, 2016
A fellow caregiver asked...

When your bones and joints hurt so bad, to the point you can barely walk or move, could it be some kind of cancer or just a bad case of arthritis?  Doctors can't seem to figure out the cause of this and it's been going on for six years. 



Community Answers

Lebecky answered...

I have this problem every day. I'm only 54 and this started a few years ago. I knew I had arthritis in my back and pelvic area, but it seems to me that my whole body aches with pain , every day. I hate to bend or stoop. I can do very little in housework without resting, when I could used to clean my house in a few hours. I have questioned bone cancer, as my father died in 4/08 with a tumor on his spine that spread to all or most of his organs and into his bones. I'm to young to have all this crap. I wanted to enjoy my later years and go and do. I can't even walk around the block sometimes. Is very frustrating to be in this spot at this early age.


Rph answered...

Please get medical help. If you have ever had an MRI of your spine done, did you get to see the report itself? If so, did it state anything about "tarlov cysts" being present? (it would be an "incidental note" on the MRI report. These are NOT cancer, but check http://www.tarlovcyst.org and please see your MD, as my answer is informational only. Good Luck!!


Joanie3 answered...

NOT ALL PAINS ARE CANCER JUST GOOD OLE' ARTHRITIS, BURSITIS AND THE OTHER ITIS BROTHERS:) JOANIE3


Lebecky answered...

I just had an MRI a few weeks ago. I have arthritis throughout my whole back and joints even in some of my feet, arms, wrists, and well i guees just about everywhere. Most of my back is just bone on bone and we talked about surgery and then when i returned four days later he just prescibed a pain killer and muscle relaxer. The pain killer knocks me out , i take it at night and i felt better but groggy and maybe a little sick to my stomach. Then he wants me to do therepy and I have done that a million times. its is not the answer either. I want to have a fix of my back not just get addicted to the pain killers and live like i"m in the time zone. I don't think this is the answer. Ig surgery could fix it you:'d think they would do it so i could like a somewhat normal life. I am tired of living like this and want to do something that will give me back some of my life cause i have none right now. I am depressed every day and angry for being in the situation i am in. There is no one to take care of me when i do need help so things go undone for sometime. I am sick of the itis brothers and want an answer from a doctor that will help me.


Dutch answered...

for anyone suffering from cancer to arthritis, pleeeeese go to a website called KNOW THE CAUSE...it will help you tremendously as it has me. thanks


Doris in nh answered...

i was diagnosed with rhumatoid athritis and secondary sgjrons syndrome two years ago. it started 5 years before that with my first symptoms being achy joints and just feeling blah as if i had the flu. as the years went on it has gotton worse and i also have been in such pain that you wonder sometimes if it is bone cancer because athritis couldnt possibly feel this bad! well im here to tell you and im sure there are alot of other people with RA that yes it can be pretty painful and make you feel pretty crappy at times. i am only 43 and have often felt bad for myself until i remind myself there are innocent children that have RA and that is definetly not fair!!!


A fellow caregiver answered...

I had non stop deep joint pain in both my knees. GP, rhumatoid specialist and osteo doctors all said it was a virus. I asked to be tested for several diseases that included deep joint pain, loss of weight, low grade constant fever, night sweats. Turned out 3 doctors grossly misdiagnosed me. I had stage one lung cancer. I took my records to another medical group and he said the tumor in my lower right lung had grown to a point where it was pressing on nerves to my knees and as soon as I had lung surgery the pain would go away and it did. That was in 1995 and knock on wood, I've been cancer free ever since.


Woman in pain. :'( answered...

I have the same problem. I am 42 years old and i dont have a normal life. I was an active woan did my house work in a flash. But now i cant get up from my bed. ALL my body hurts. My waist is KILLING me. I a, worst than an old person. I cry every morning because i dont know whats wrong. And with no insurance it stinks. I cant work any more. So if someone finds a cure please help.. Hurting person here. :'(


A fellow caregiver answered...

I am only 16 and have RA. If i could imagine what a mild version of cancer would feel like i do believe it would feel similar. Its rather difficult for me to do anything. I cant even open a water bottle or chew hard foods because it is worse in my hands and jaw. But I think the worst symptom is the fatigue. I always feel like i have no energy at all.


A fellow caregiver answered...

Hi, I too have Been suffering with chronic pain in what felt like joints, shoulder pain, elbow pain, pain in knees, ankles, hips, wrists fingers and hands, lower to mid back pain. Pain in chest. I have been diagnosed as having chronic fibromyalgia. By 3 consultant rheumatologists. Three years later and to present date. I am seeing another, he sent me for chest X-Ray, it has shown a lung nodule. I am now awaiting a scan as an urgent matter. I am worried about the out come. Do not ever ignore any kind of joint pain or bone pain. Every possible cause should be ruled out before being labeled as having Fibromyalgia. Do not be fobbed off with it like I did.


Sanchwega answered...

Try asking about Fibromyalgia..


Mintech answered...

I had the same thing and I am 54 and going through menopause. Well, ladies what you are experiencing is joint pain due to lack of estrogen in your body. I starting having severe pain in my knees mostly. I was an active sport type women. After doing my own research and I starting using bio identical hormone replacement via Smoky Mountain estroil and Natural Progesterone Cream https://www.smokymountainnaturals.com/products/creams-a-lotions/all-products/4-creams-a-lotions/P18-natural-estriol-cream. I also take a GNC menopause vitamins pack also. Vitamin D3 is actually more important than Calicum. After just a few weeks of use the knee pain is gone. I am feel 95% better. please look into this as I did. Estrogen is a minor hormone but so important to a women health. There are no need to suffer. Do what I did and take your health back. Do not take Prempo or Premarin. Most doctor think it is an "one size fits all " pill and Premarin is the commercial name for a medication consisting primarily of conjugated estrogens. Isolated from mares' urine (pregnant mares' urine), do not put that crap in your body. It will not solve your joint pain I have already tried it. Take it from me I have suffered for 2 years. Menopause sucks for sure. http://www.herplace.com/hormone-info/natural-vs-synthetic.htm this website will show you difference is natural vs synthetic hormones. Do some research like I did so your life can get back to normal like mine did. God Bless all. p.s. here is a doctor that explains it well about one of his patients. Menopausal Arthritis

I explained to Joyce that she had fairly classical Menopausal Arthritis caused by an inflammatory response associated with declining estrogen levels. I have noted this in many of my patients. The inflammatory process is usually relieved by bio-identical estrogen as a topical cream. Joyce's lab panel showed low estrogen levels, and Joyce was started on her bio-identical hormone program. Six weeks later, Joyce reports complete relief of symptoms. Her arthritis pains have gone. In addition, Joyce reports that she went off the bio-identical hormone cream for a week to see what would happen, and sure enough, the arthritis came back, only to be relieved again by resuming the hormone cream. This is a fairly typical story that I have seen over and over again.


Lbelly77 answered...

I've been getting pains a lot lately wondering if had to so with sugary soda and Aspartame!!! yes Aspartame !! I hear it's all connected.


A fellow caregiver answered...

I live w pain in all of my joints day and nite. Throbbing, striking, pounding, swelling, stiffness, fatigue, flu ?ik symtom, tiresome, lo.st of interest, sleep. I jut think its more than jut RA. I went thru a few most expensive RA meds but no help. I feel that my specialist RA is neglecting my well being therefore I'm goin to see another specialist. I hav told my RA dr bout my concern of server chonic continuous pain I live w. I'm so depressed n get upset why nothing wrkz n why cant d dr do something. Its so frustrating n its hurtful that no one understand ur pain n wat its lik to b n this situation I'm in. At time I feel guilt cuz I can't do much due to my mobility limitation. I very dislike the pain. My limitation robs freedom. Still I force my self to do wat I got to do. Pain medication doesn't help much but little. I cry n d dark cuz I really don't know why I'm lik this n cuz of d pain is excruciating n I don't know how to stop r comfort d darn pain. This website redured me dat I'm not d only one lik this.


Christine1989 answered...

My god you remind me of what my mothers going thru ... we have been to countless of Drs and none have really helped her. My mom is 67 and has osteo orthoritis In her bones and shes type 2 diabetic..shes gotten cortisone injection in her knee My mom was very active in her younger years but as of 5 years ago this pain gradually started getting worse and then her diabetes came so from there on her health is on the decline.So all she does is sit in the living room in pain upset at everything due to this pain that is controlling her life. And its horrible to see my mother in pain because she cant do nothing no medication has helped her. Please if u do have any suggestions on what I can tell her drs to do or what kind of test to run it would be very helpful.


A fellow caregiver answered...

LUPUS CAUSES LOTS OF JOINT AND MUSCLE PAIN. SWEELING IN KNEES HURTS TO WALK AND YOU FEEL ALWAYS TIRED NOT ABLE TO DO ANY THING AT HOME OR WORK AND DEPRESSION DUE TO NOT KNOWING WHY ARE FEELING THAT WAY HOPE THIS WAS HELPFUL I HAVE LUPUS ITS VERY PAINFUL AND DEPRESSING I HOPE THSI WAS HELPFUL.


Oralee answered...

I don't know if you've tried Chiropractic. I have had my ankles, legs, back, knees all be hurting and feeling run down because of it. He has given me an overall adjustment and it is amazing how adjusting my back makes the bones and joints stop aching. Find a good Chiropractor and try it out!


A fellow caregiver answered...

i too suffer daily with severe chronic pain and stiffness. I do have osteoarthritis, synovitis, and Sacriolitis. But I want to throw this out there in case nobody has heard of it.

Ehlers Danlos Syndrome (type 3 for me)

A lot of the symptoms I see here fit right into this syndrome. It can be triggered by childbirth, an infection or just pop up when your joints are finished being useful. It can be very painful, the stiffness is brutal and symptoms are so wide scale it's hard to diagnose. This is a connective tissue disorder. If this sounds like it could be you read about it and ask to see a geneticist.


A fellow caregiver answered...

Have you been checked for Vitamin D defficiency? I get pains, sometimes excruciating to the point you want to scream, when my vitamin d is low.


A fellow caregiver answered...

I'm a 41 year old male and have been feeling chronic skeletal and muscle pain apart from sciatica, since childhood and in my adult life it got unbelievably worse I worked for a company for 20 years and I always gave it my all so I thought it was normal to feel flu like symptoms all the time I was so naive, I thought everyone felt this way until 6 years ago I began to have problems walking and now use a cane, i could not do the normal things like bend down, too much to mention, I was diagnosed with fibromyalgia and I had never heard of that, let me tell you that every single day is an absolute challeng, if it wasn't for my two boys I don't know what I would do, they are my motivation, 5 days out of the week I'll cry at different times of the day cuz the pain is horrific and I've never been one to complain but Jesus lord help me, my quality of life is truly awful and the only advice I can give is find a great doctor that will diagnose and treat your issue, words of my 19 year old "push through pop push through I love you" I wish you the very best of life and god bless


A fellow caregiver answered...

Anyone tested for lyme disease?


Anamandy answered...

I have deep bone pain in my legs. It started on the top of my thighs and radiated to my knees. The other day I got such sharp electric shock pain in my knees that I almost passed out from the pain. My lower back has been hurting too. The pain in my legs is so bad it's hard to go up stairs. Problem is the pain isn't as bad when I am moving around. We have been having an extremely long winter this year, and for a 2 week period, cold and damp. Even my dog is limping around (she was diagnosed with arthritis in her hip as a pup)and had to go back on anti-inflammatory medication and pain killers. I haven't been using anything. Just dealing with it. I hope this is something that will go away when the weather regulates. I work in a very heavy work environment, where I'm on my feet and moving all the time. Pain like this is threatening my livelihood because I'm finding it harder and harder to work while in such pain.


Tntsmom1212 answered...

I'm going through this too. I have arthritis in my neck and back but my whole body hurts. Muscle and joint pain like the flu time a million. So far all my blood work has chime back pretty normal. I even hurt on the inside. Sounds crazy. I cry all the time because they can't figure it out. I quit smoking to be able to do things with my 2 and 14 year olds and now this. They are treating me for Lyme but my results have not come back. Oh side note, my legs feel so heavy. I just want to be back to normal or semi. Good luck all. I'll be praying for us all.


A fellow caregiver answered...

For anyone who has problems with their joints painful or not- cracking , popping and laxity (loose joints) look into Elhers Danlos Syndrome.

It is considered "rare" but now thought to be rarely diagnosed because the medical community is unaware of it. It may be as prevalent as 1:200 people yet only 5% are ever diagnosed.

It is an inheritable collagen defect and can cause all kinds of seemingly unrelated problems such as fatigue, joint pain, and low blood pressure. If you have "loose joints" read this: http://www.ednf.org/images/stories/leaflets/soyouthinkyoumighthaveeds.pdf


Gabrielamb answered...

I feel for all of you, because I have all of the above, So much pain that sometimes I don't want to wake up.


A fellow caregiver answered...

All I can say is do anything you can to catch RA, early, mine started 14 years ago, I was 30 and just had my 1 st child. My RA count was very elevated, my Sed rate , off the charts, I have never been without pain. I can no longer walk. Both knees, both hips, and both elbows are bone on bone, with more cartledge. I have tried the Ra meds, they give me infections, so it's pain meds, and years of prednisone injections, that leave you , hardly able to remember what life is. I'm in a wheel chair and hospital bed now. My only thought now is to, try and take raw honey and cinnamon nightly, probiotics, I have enimia at a level of 5,, vitamins with D,,force water, I love coke, I know, it's bad, Any disease that's autoimmune, starts in the gut. Steroids cause constipation. Which causes bleeding, live probiotics will help, with water. I have been passed from doc to doc, no one really knows what to do, so some of us have to help ourselves. It's terrible to have your husband, or child talking care of you for everything. You do not want to move, but movement helps. After I had no access to a pool is when I stopped being able to walk. The hip pain is the worst. And if anyone wants to know what those cysts are, they are Rheaumatoid nodeulds, and I have them everywhere. Take care and God Bless


Bgaroo answered...

You all have been very helpful and to know it's not just me helps me have some sanity going for some tests this next week but after reading all this I'm sure I need to gear up for a long ride!! 51 and life with all the joint pain is so hard also waking up every morning with no energy feeling useless..


Carmen49 answered...

I have experienced by losing 60 lbs in 3 months. Not starving myself too. so many have foods have to be cut out. I am experiencing a lot of pain in my joints and throat feels contrasted also chest. When I eat only fruits and veggies and eggs. just natural, no bread, cheese, pasta hardly meat I just ate low fat turkey. If I eat a hotdog my knees swell up and can hardly walk But when I did eat natural I also excercised at the gym 3-4 times per week for just 40 minutes I would start with excercise bike for 4 minutes then to 3 sets of weights then back to cardio thread mill for 4 minutes then 3 sets again and repeat I never had pain! U have to not like processed food and eat plain Lifestyle more important than food. It is hard bit to ice certain foods but just not good.


Hopeful16 answered...

I'm an almost 64 year old female. I recently began having pain and stiffness all over, more than the pain in my knees I'm used to. After reading all of the accounts of those of you who are suffering so much, I read about one of you and hormone replacement therapy. I realized that the HRT pellets that I have inserted 1-2 times yearly are past due. When I get them inserted again, and if I feel better. I will post the results. Maybe this will help someone. God bless you all and I hope you find answers and relief.


A fellow caregiver answered...

I have osteoarthritis severe rheumatoid arthritis fibromyalgia and lupus I cannot stress enough how much pain im in!!! I found out at the age of 29 i saw doctors for about 3 years then the specialist's told me no other specialist would touch me with my insurance and gave me a years supply of hydrocodone And sent me home haven't seen anyone in 10 years...I struggle everyday to lead a normal life and I pray everyday they find a cure soon.....God Bless you all


Danielpain answered...

Hi I had back surgery l1 l2 l3 l4 pined and fused so I in a lot of pain. Taking a lot of pain medication fentanyl 100 mcg/h and 2 oxycocet every four hours. Start two month ago all my join started hurting if I bend down the pain hurt so bad my join lock up, feel sick to my stomach week tired hard to move do anything when I wake up in the morning the pain is so bad. The only thing that seem to help is getting rub down on the join form a massages therapist ever 2 week but that cost a lot of money hope this help anybody out there.


A fellow caregiver answered...

Please for your health issues just try Dr sebi he is good with herbs and his medicine are going to help and put your hope in Jesus Christ for he is the healer


Mrsneediknees2 answered...

I found out a year ago that I have knee osteoarthritis. My left knee is nearly bone on bone I had a chondroplasty with microfracture surgery in Oct. 2015, which didn't help. I had knee realignment surgery in May 2016 on my right knee. My knees just keep getting worse. If the bone has fused back together in my right knee when I go for my appointment next week, we will proceed with knee realignment on my left knee in August. I have lost a total of 60 pounds in the last 6 months, at my OS request. I went from 285 pounds to 225 pounds. But the damage to my knees was already done so the weight loss didn't help at all. I have had 2 OS Dr.'s tell me that there is nothing that they can give me orally that will help my pain. The past week or so I have been having more pain all over my body. My ankle, wrist, fingers, elbows, shoulders, thighs, and neck joints have been aching and the connecting bone has been burning. I had blood test done for RA and Lupus, results was negative. So I'm am lost as to what is going on. Pain has taken over my life. I am only 38 years old, and I have 3 boys, 9, 6, and 4. My OS told me that I will not be able to walk in 5 years if I don't get Total Knee Replacement on both knees. But I have to be at least 50 to get those done. I have a tone of restrictions but because of the pain, I can't work and I was denied Social Security. I don't know what to do anymore. It seems like my life just keeps getting worse as the days go by.


Lkk55 answered...

I'm 60 and experiencing most of the same symptoms. Very depressed because I hurt all the time, I can't do anything I really want to do. Very fatigued all the time. I just read an article that some lung cancers cause the same symptoms many here have been expressing. Actually many cancers start this way. Just a suggestion you might want to check into. Prayers and sympathy for you all, hope you find answers and relief!!


Elyse25 answered...

I hurt and Crack all over my body several times a day. The doctor said it's arthritis after the Mri and blood draw, they did not classify it. I was ordered to do physical therapy and they hurt me more than helped. I went home determined to get my hips to stop hurting ( feels like a knife) I do planks, a seated psoas stretch ( I lay on my back on a kitchen table like at the doctors office and let my legs hang which emediatly stretches muscle on my hips and makes them feel better). Also look up ways to strengthen your back muscles (I found a few exercise for boxers on you tube that helped me feel 100%) as long as I do them a few times a day, if I don't, I can't walk and i am in great pain. Hope this helps my people here.


Kristysuttles78 answered...

38yofemale. Started with stiffness and mild pain in hips. Then localized and set into left hip. Bad bone pain. Drs tested 2x for inflammatory markers in blood for ra. Negative! I have psoriasis and osteoarthritis. But I'm not inflamed. So the pain isn't from arthritis. Now, we are concerned. They want to do a nuclear bone scan, but my insurance will not pay with out wacky blood work..... so... I'm left worried with family history or cancer and lots of pain. I take 15 mg of roxicodone 4x a day that does not touch my pain. It is for my back. I'm hoping the hip pain is from my back although I had injections for it and it helped the right hip/leg pain due to the fact that the back issues are all on right side..... very confused and in some major pain. Cannot sleep through the night even with 300 mg of trazadone and a 2mg Xanax. Any ideas???


Yoyo3 answered...

I am 47 years old and I started with my left hand hurting and had a surgery on it. Now it feels like my hand is coming from my wrists. Then it move to the right side on my body to my hip that carry pain to my feet and ankle. I have spasms on the right side of my body as well. I have had many mri's and IMG's and they say it is nerotopical. They do not know and this have been going on for five years. I take so much medication and it is doing nothing for me. I can not walk for a long time or sit. When I put clothes on of even shoes my body hurts. I do not have Diabetes been tested six times. My hands moves on its own sometimes as well. I can not sleep, clean the house or yard. It takes me along time to cook and have to get help washing off. There other things that is going own. I really wants to know what is wrong so I can go back to work. Please some body help me.