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Pain can be a symptom in Parkinson's, and it can be attributed to many causes. Complaints of pain should be discussed with the doctor. Most people can safely take over-the-counter analgesics to decrease pain. Check with your physician for advice on which pain reliever is best for your loved one's situation.

  • Use warm packs to control pain. Avoid electric heating pads, which may cause burns with prolonged use. Microwaveable or air-activated heat wraps offer a safer heat.

  • Use ice packs after acute injuries sustained during falls or other accidents to reduce pain and swelling.

  • Consider massage to aid circulation and decrease muscle soreness.

  • Add cushions as needed for comfort and support. Avoid the use of too many pillows, which contribute to a flexed posture.

  • Be aware that increased wandering, agitation, or unexplained crying in someone with dementia may be a sign of pain.

  • See a physical therapist for specific pain evaluation and additional recommendations

  • Get a referral to palliative care. Palliative care focuses on providing relief from symptoms to improve quality of life. It is appropriate at any stage of Parkinson's (from diagnosis through advanced disease). It does not mean withdrawing treatment.


Parkinson's Foundation. Page 158. Managing Pain. Chapter 6. Advanced Parkinson's. Caring and Coping. A Care Partner's Guide to Parkinson's Disease. "Booklet."

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