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Between 60% and 83% of people with Parkinson's report experiencing chronic pain. Managing pain, usually is associated with managing Parkinson's. Taking control of our pain through pain management with your physician can improve your overall quality of life.

There are five main types of pain that are common for people with PD. They include:

  • Musculoskeletal Pain - Pain from muscles, bones, tendons, ligaments, and nerves

  • Neuropathic Pain - Somatosensory nervous system responding to stimuli from touch, temperature, or vibration

  • Dystonic Pain - Associated with involuntary muscle contractions or twisting

  • Akathisia - Associated from the inability to be still that results from pacing, rocking back and forth, or fidgeting which can cause a burning sensation or soreness

  • Central Pain - Generally from the central nervous system that is specific or generalized to a portion of the body and is constant

The most common pain associated from PD is from muscle cramping. Standard protocol for treating cramping includes exercise, massage, stretching, and heat. Keeping hydrated can also help limit or prevent cramping. Additionally, you might try consuming more turmeric, found in yellow mustard and tonic water.

Toe cramping can be a common problem for those living with PD too. Physical therapists specialize in helping you strengthen weak muscles and stretch tight ones. They also teach exercises that you can do at home, along with their proper form so that you do not get injured.

No matter what type of pain, managing it can be complex for people with PD. However, there are medications, exercises, and lifestyle choices that can improve overall pain management, and thus improve your quality of life.

Remember, check with your doctor before taking any over-the-counter medications that help with cramping or pain. Though many anti-cramping products contain essential minerals, some have added ingredients that could interfere with Parkinson's medications.


Davis Phinney Foundation for Parkinson's.  Every Victory Counts,  Your Go-To Resource of Essential Information for Living Well with Parkinson's. Page 89-90. "Manual" Sixth Edition. 2021.

Marie, Liane. Managing Pain and Muscle Cramps. Pages 131-132. The Complete Guide for People with Parkinson's Disease and Their Loved Ones. Purdue University Press, 2022.


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