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Why do I feel pain with Parkinson’s Disease?

Pain is a common symptom experienced by people with Parkinson’s Disease, with approximately a 40% prevalence who experience pain or unpleasant sensations. Often overlooked, pain is distressing and can severely affect the function and mobility of these people, impeding their activity. These types of pain can be classified into many different categories, but the primary painful sensation is caused by muscle cramping. 

Clinical classification of painful sensations in Parkinson’s Disease:


  • Aching, cramping sensations in joints and muscles. Can be caused by muscles tenderness, arthritic changes, limited joint mobility, postural abnormality. This type of pain can be exacerbated by parkinsonian rigidity and stiffness. Physical and occupational therapy, with mobility exercises, along with anti-inflammatory agents may be used. 


  • Pain in the roots and nerves associated with movements. This can be caused by repetitive motions or frequent poor posture. 


  • Dystonia is involuntary muscle contractions that can cause tremors and other repetitive movements. These movements can be painful, especially in forceful muscular contractions.

Central Pain

  • These are burning and tingling sensations that frequent in occurrence. Medication such as levodopa and dopaminergic agents can ease these. 

Painful symptoms usually occur in relation to the physical symptoms of Parkinson’s disease, such as tremors, rigidity, and dystonia. These can often worsen in patients who are off medication. The lack of mobility in PD patients and stiffness in limbs will exacerbate pain experienced, and is recommended that exercise with mobility can alleviate the pain to regain pain-free movement. 

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