Pain and aches in your bones and joints can range from mild discomfort that goes away by itself to severe aches that require medication. Arthritis can cause bone and joint pain. Cancer spreading (metastasizing) into a bone also causes pain.
Some breast cancer treatments may cause bone or joint pain:
- hormonal therapy:
- some targeted therapies:
Some pain medications, such as Feldene (chemical name: piroxicam) also can cause bone or joint pain. Bisphosphonates, medicines used to treat osteoporosis, may cause bone or joint pain. Common bisphosphonates are Fosamax (chemical name: alendronate sodium), Actonel (chemical name: risedronate), and Boniva (chemical name: ibandronate).
Neulasta (chemical name: pegfilgrastim), a medication used to reduce the risk of infection during chemotherapy treatment, can also cause bone or joint pain.
Managing bone or joint pain
If you have bone or joint pain, talk to your doctor. If your bone pain is due to a specific breast cancer treatment, you may be able to switch to a different chemotherapy or hormonal therapy that may ease your pain.
Medicines, such as naproxen and ibuprofen, are available to help manage bone and joint pain.
Some complementary and holistic medicine techniques have been shown to ease bone pain, including:
Other tips for managing bone/joint pain:
- Hot or cold packs, or a combination of the two, can soothe sore areas. Heat can help reduce muscle spasms and cold can help reduce inflammation.
- Eat a healthy diet that includes enough calcium and vitamin D to keep your bones as strong as they can be.
- Maintain a healthy weight to ease stress and strain on your joints.
- Exercise regularly. Exercise keeps your bones strong and helps your joints stay flexible.
How to Ease Aromatase Inhibitor-Related Pain
Ashish Khanna, M.D., a physical medicine and rehabilitation specialist, explains why and how aromatase inhibitors cause joint pain, how exercise can reduce aromatase inhibitor-related joint pain, and other ways to ease joint pain.
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