Anxiety can make everyday life more challenging, causing symptoms like racing thoughts, difficulty concentrating, and constant worry. However, anxiety can cause physical symptoms as well, including pain. This guide will help you identify when bone pain might be a symptom of anxiety and when you should visit a sports injury clinic

Can Anxiety Cause Bone Pain?

The symptoms of anxiety can be debilitating, and this is especially true when the symptoms show up in the body. Research has linked pain symptoms with general anxiety disorder. Individuals with anxiety may experience soreness, muscle tension, and headaches. However, those with anxiety may also experience chronic conditions like arthritis and fibromyalgia, which can lead to bone and joint pain. 

While the correlation between these conditions isn’t always clear, there are a few reasons why anxiety and chronic pain appear together. This may be because anxiety makes people more in tune with their pain or increases pain sensations. Brain chemistry may also play a role. The area of the brain that creates pain, as well as the neurotransmitters norepinephrine and serotonin, also contribute to mental health conditions like depression and anxiety. 

If you are experiencing pain along with your anxiety, it’s important to discuss your symptoms with a mental health professional. They can work with you to identify and manage these symptoms in your daily life. Treatments like cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT), medications, relaxation methods, and lifestyle changes can be helpful in easing pain connected to a mental health condition. 

When Should You See a Doctor?

While bone, muscle, and joint pain can be symptoms of anxiety, these sensations can also be symptoms of common sports injuries. It’s important to see a doctor if your pain is persistent and severe. You should also look out for swelling, bruising, and tenderness. Call your doctor or visit a sports orthopedic urgent care clinic if you are having trouble moving the limb or joint. 

Symptoms like pain, swelling, bruising, and impaired movement can be signs of orthopedic injuries, including:

  • Fractures
  • Overuse injuries
  • Sprains
  • Tears 
  • Bruising

In rare cases, bone pain can be a sign of a more serious condition or infection. A sports injury doctor will refer you to a specialist for further testing if your symptoms suggest this. Otherwise, the doctor can provide sports injury treatment at the clinic, as well as recommendations for next steps. Injuries like ACL tears, open fractures, and dislocated joints may require surgery and/or physical therapy for full recovery. Following the sports injury doctor’s instructions and getting plenty of rest will be key for healing. 

If you are experiencing persistent bone pain, the team at Sport Ortho Urgent Care is here to put your mind at ease. With locations in Hendersonville, Murfreesboro, and Mt. Juliet, TN, we offer in-house diagnostics and sports injury treatment, including bracing, splinting, and casting. Our team of clinicians also provides diagnostics and treatment for workers’ compensation injuries. While we do accept walk-ins at all of our locations, you can also call us or use our online scheduling tool to book an appointment. 

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