The nature of pain in Parkinson’s - Parkinson's Movement

Parkinson's Movement
17,560 members17,522 posts

The nature of pain in Parkinson’s


Hi folks. My foot is killing me😕, and I sense that I’m getting achey fingers for some reason. The foot definitely has ‘tender’ points which points to tissue damage but I know that this is related to my PD. So my question is ‘where does pain in PD reside?’ Madopar blunts it somewhat but certainly doesn’t remove it. I’m aware that all pain is in ones head of course, but usually we do something to a limb then it sends signals to the brain. I haven’t injured my foot as far as I know, so is the bran reversing the usual arrangement and sending a pain signal TO the limb? Bit weird but a drag🤔

57 Replies

Where in your foot is the pain? I have some neuropathy in bottom of my left foot (which is my bad side) that comes and goes but it predates my PD. Rigidity and dystonia also bring on some pain, but I try to stretch and have regular massage to combat it as much as I can. I don't generally have random pain that is not attributable to a specific cause but I know many PWP do.

jeeves19 in reply to Juliegrace

Hi Julie. It’s mostly in the arch of the foot on my affected side. I had a sports masseur attend to it and it was good for about 20 minutes after I left her but returned almost immediately. I suspect my affected gait might be causing som bio-mechanical issues but who can tell with this odd disease?

I've had problems with foot soreness and pain, and it usually stems from walking badly

and placing uneven pressure on my feet whilst not properly medicated. Your problem may be different but a bad gait can put pressure on the wrong parts of the foot. The only cure for me is resting my feet.

jeeves19 in reply to Buckholt

But it’s a drag when you want to exercise and walk the dog eh?

Wonder if related to muscle tension and rigidity in your affected leg and foot due to PD?

Ken had back, shoulder and neck pain on his affected side due to rigidity, but completely gone with Amantadine Hydrochloride 100 mg twice a day (yellow capsule)

(Bionpharma is the manufacturer.

The same med by Mylan (red capsule) did not work and had lots of side effects for him!)

He also takes magnesium at night, and is on High Dose Thiamine.

Works for him but everyone is different. May be worth a try.., feel better.

jeeves19 in reply to Kattripp

Thanks. I probably need to get to my neuro but I only see him once a year😕

Very useful information, thanks so much

Pain is your bodies mechanism for communicating damage is being done. Muscles and nerves subject to stress create a pain response. I think one aspect of PD that causes this is that the muscle signalling gets interrupted, and "wrong signals" put muscles in positions which generate pain.

Have you tried CBD oils? (Relatively inexpensive to try)

I also use a RITM scenar sports (significantly more expensive to try - and a price that is impossible to justify on a component count )

I’m a bit puzzled by the CBD thing. When I go online to try and purchase some I find myself being offered a thimble full for £100 etc! Then there are different strengths. I’m a tad worried about spending a lot and then finding it has no effect. Any tips appreciated Winnie.

I have a friend in town who first alerted me to cbd oils, who is seriously committed to canabis, and points out different things work best for different people and conditions. So some experimentation is in order. Although I have barely used them, due to SPARK, I think I got lucky with blue sativa from cbd bros. Try


Blue 100mg capsule sample £9

Blue edition oil 5ml sample £10.80

Thanks Winnie. Most appreciated.🤪

You are right to worry about this completely unregulated industry. Indeed, we bought some of that expensive stuff and IMHO it only really has the placebo effect.

Then I saw some TV news segment a few months ago confirming that the concentrations of the unregulated CBD Oil aren't really adequate to have much effect. Except possibly on the fringes.

You have to try the prescription stuff if you want to be sure of any ACTUAL effect. Except possibly on the fringes.

(OR you have to make do with smoking the CBD&THC)

By the way, on your main point, whereas gabapentin did nothing whatsoever for me, Naproxen (an anti-inflammatory) totally got rid of all my pain! But dont get your hopes up, my pain is spinal stenosis based, probably not PD

Thanks for your thoughts 😊

Thanks so much for your post! I also have spinal stenosis and gabapebtin didn’t touch the pain I was in either. I will check with my doc regarding Naproxen.

Hi Jeeves.

Recommend hot baths (I have one nightly with Epsom salts) to relax muscles that tend to stay rigid. Also I take one 400mg ibuprofen every night to reduce muscle soreness (of course this is not recommended as can persistent use can lead to gastric bleeds but ...). Also use a foam roller morning and night but that doesn't work for feet! My wife recently bought a foot spa from Amazon but we haven't used it yet :-). Hope you find something that works for you.



chartist in reply to Kevin51


For ibuprofen, I have found it is better for me if I make a topical ibuprofen lotion that I apply directly to the painful area and it works as good as the oral route, but I greatly reduce the potential for gastro issues related to long term ibuprofen use by doing it this way plus the rest of my body does not need ibuprofen, only the area where I apply the lotion.


jeeves19 in reply to Kevin51

Thanks Kevin😊

Kevin51 in reply to Kevin51

Just occured to me to ask if it could be plantar fasciitis; I had that years ago and it was very painful but easily solved. Your masseur would have checked I guess as it is very common.

jeeves19 in reply to Kevin51

Yes she seemed to think so but after 50 minutes of massage, the relief was rather short lived and after about 25 minutes after leaving her the pain was back.

Kevin51 in reply to jeeves19

If it is plantar f then you just need to buy a pair of trainers with arch support of the right kind - and get inserts for your shoes. My pain disappeared in a few days. The podiatrist I saw (expensive) took 1 min to diagnose and 2 mins to tell me what type of trainer to buy!

jeeves19 in reply to Kevin51


Kevin51 in reply to jeeves19

google "trainers to help with plantar fasciitis"

also I bought their custom insoles for my work shoes

and mayo clinic to check diagnosis; they leave arch support to the last in their list of therapies but it was the first/only thing my podiatrist recommended as the cheapest most effective solution.

PDGal4 in reply to jeeves19

I have also had plantar fasciitis. Both a massage therapist and chiropractor told me this is caused by calf muscle issues. Massage therapy experience is similar to yours--short-lived relief. But chiropractor worked on my calves--horribly painful but after 2 sessions pain was completely gone. More recently had ganglion cyst in the arch of my foot, which acupuncturist worked on. Also took a few sessions but complete relief. I hope you find cause and relief; it's terrible when feet hurt.

jeeves19 in reply to PDGal4

Interesting. Thanks. My pain did go but came back after 40 mins of leaving the masseur. Pricey at £35 a go. Unsure if I can keep paying this to tell the truth. But thanks for the advice!

Agree with Kevin regarding hot baths. Just having a foot bath in a bucket of warm salty water may help - I've had it done years ago when for no apparent reason the back of my foot became so painful I could hardly walk and my father suggested to try the "brine" treatment which initially I was skeptical about but surprisingly relieved the pain.

jeeves19 in reply to faridaro

I’m lying in a bath currently. Still hurts though😕. Maybe I’ll add some salt at some point.🤔

faridaro in reply to jeeves19

Try doing it for a few days - hope it helps!

jeeves19 in reply to faridaro

Thanks 😊

Also, I would try infrared light if you have one available.

Use it on my head. Pushed for time to use on foot as well but it’s an interesting idea. Thanks 🙏

Try PEA - a natural anti inflammatory. Will help with all stiffness and soreness. Need to take for a while though (6 weeks).

I suspect your sore foot is due to change in gait. My left knee is suffering from my left leg drag.

jeeves19 in reply to Astra7

Thanks Astra. Expensive stuff though eh?

Astra7 in reply to jeeves19

Yes it is! But when I last ran out I stopped for a week or so, but noticed very quickly how much sorer and stiffer I was, so I went back on it.

Hi Jeeves. I get achey fingers, I put it down to arthritis. I was taking glucosamine every morning and it definitely helped. I changed my breakfast because of the weather and started taking it at lunchtime instead - but often forgot. The pain returned. It could be arthritis, could be PD. Maybe try glucosamine and see if it helps. As for your foot pain, I would try a couple of podiatrists. Different ones have different ideas. I had a fungal infection I couldn't get rid of. A podiatrist told me to rub bicarb soda into it and then put it in water. It doesn't like the environment. After 10 years of expensive treatments it is gone. Sometimes it's the simple things. Good luck.

Good to hear from you again, jeeves19! Sorry that you have foot pain! Likewise, I have foot pain, more so on the foot that is affected more by PD. My affected foot comes down, differently, than the other one. This is painful, after walking the dog/or going for a walk. I take Aleve, for pain. I use sports walkers, light, canvas, low heeled, sneakers, with a series of springs, on the bottom of the sneakers, covered and held in place by a rubber coating. So, when I walk, I feel much less pain, especially in the affected foot, and can walk much further, with these light , cushioned sneakers. For other shoes, foam rubber ( Dr. Scholl’s )inserts, are helpful. Soaking my feet, with epsom salts, several times a week, helps with pain control, too. Hope you can get some relief! I would suggest seeing a podiatrist, and securing that advice.

jeeves19 in reply to ddmagee1

Hey Doug. Thanks for posting. Old age eh? No fun. Hope the soft sneakers work for me too!

I agree with a lot of these answers that it seems like the altered gait of PD causes a lot of the pain in the foot, knee, and hip.

I find sometimes simply changing my shoes helps. It's weird but for some reason putting something DIFFERENT on my feet changes the feeling on my feet which somehow improves my gait which in turn can make my feet hurt less. So maybe try periodically changing shoes.

Also you could get a mobility aid like an electric scooter so you don't have to walk as much.

jeeves19 in reply to Limpmaster

The day I ride in a scooter mate is the day they put me in my box 🛵! Thanks for posting though.

Limpmaster in reply to jeeves19

Lol. I can understand that sentiment but it beats not going anywhere because your gait is all wonky and your joints hurt. You could try putting on some muscle. That way you'll look super fit scooting around and confuse the hell out of everybody. Good times!


ddmagee1 in reply to jeeves19

I like your reply on this one.

Hi Jeeves, I was diagnosed with PD 9 years ago. From reading posts in forums and articles in medical journals, it is clear that:

* PD is virtually ignored by Pharma. No new drugs or research .

*Doctors, even Neurologists, are often confused.

*While we know what causes the symptoms, what causes the disease is unknown/

*The symptoms and prognosis of each sufferer differ infinitely.

This forum is a wonderful source of hope for us all because it is full of information about alternative medicine, of which I am a total believer .

Pharmaceuticals rarely cure. They reduce symptoms. After all, they can't make a profit from a healthy patient!

Alternative medicine can do so much more, without side effects, because it can reduce the imbalances caused by environmental problems and nutritional deficiency when combined with a healthier lifestyle.

A couple of months back, a friend of mine introduced me to a couple of micro nutrients that have contributed significantly to my well being.

One, in particular, promotes the production of NO (nitric oxide) in our bodies.

NO is essential for the health of our arteries and muscles.

It was proclaimed the "Molecule of the Year" in 1992 The 1998 Nobel Prize in Physiology of Medicine was awarded for discovering nitric oxide's role as a cardiovascular signalling molecule.

Unfortunately, from the age of 20, the body produces less and less NO as we grow older. It can be increased by the consumption of certain vegetables and fruit.

NO is an important regulator and mediator of numerous processes in the nervous, immune, and cardiovascular systems. These include vascular smooth muscle relaxation, resulting in arterial vasodilation and increasing blood flow.[4] NO is also a neurotransmitter and has been associated with neuronal activity and various functions such as avoidance learning. NO also partially mediates macrophage cytotoxicity against microbes and tumor cells. Besides mediating normal functions, NO is implicated in pathophysiologic states as diverse as septic shock, hypertension, stroke, and neurodegenerative diseases.[5]

Nitric oxide dilates blood vessels, raising blood supply and lowering blood pressure.[45] Conversely, it helps protect tissues from damage due to low blood supply.[45] Also a neurotransmitter, nitric oxide acts in the nitrergic neurons active on smooth muscle, abundant in the gastrointestinal tract and erectile tissue.[46] Sildenafil (Viagra) works to inhibit the enzyme phosphodiesterase PDE5, which increases the cGMP concentration by inhibiting the conversion to GMP.

Nitric oxide (NO) contributes to vessel homeostasis by inhibiting vascular smooth muscle contraction and growth, platelet aggregation, and leukocyte adhesion to the endothelium. Humans with atherosclerosis, diabetes, or hypertension often show impaired NO pathways.[47]

Nitric oxide (NO) is a mediator of vasodilation in blood vessels. It is induced by several factors, and once synthesized by eNOS it results in phosphorylation of several proteins that cause smooth muscle relaxation.[4] The vasodilatory actions of nitric oxide play a key role in renal control of extracellular fluid homeostasis and is essential for the regulation of blood flow and blood pressure.[48] NO also plays a role in erection of the penis and clitoris.[49]

Cardiac effects

Nitric oxide also acts on cardiac muscle to decrease contractility and heart rate. NO contributes to the regulation of cardiac contractility. Emerging evidence suggests that coronary artery disease (CAD) is related to defects in generation or action of NO.[50] Reduced levels of exhaled NO have been associated with exposure to traffic related air pollution.[38]

The micronutrient my friend gave me is a 100% natural supplement. I notice an increase in energy levels and a decrease in muscle rigidity within 30 mins of taking 20 drops. It is not available in any retail outlets. Please contact me if you would like more information about this supplement.

Guyb in reply to Royzluck

Hi I’m very interested in more information please

Royzluck in reply to Guyb

Hi, Guyb, PM me please with your contact info. I will send you a video and info about this product


Guyb in reply to Royzluck

Hi Roy did you get my email

Theraworx stops my foot pain

jeeves19 in reply to Idofotos

I’ll look it up😊

Do you have signs of psoriasis anywhere on your skin— not just the foot. Sounds strange, but psoriatic arthritis is real and it is very painful in the foot. I received one shot of cortisone and it was gone and stayed gone for eight years now.

jeeves19 in reply to Giannababy

Thanks but no. Bit of eczema occasionally though.😕

B12 has proven to be effective against neuropathy

Have you ruled out bone spurs? Those are very painful and sometimes require surgery.

Have you tried Hardy’s daily essential nutrients yet? Try it to rule out a nutrient deficiency.

But I agree with others above, sounds like your gait is causing it. I don’t have Pd but I had sore hip and knee. I went to the physio and got an orthotic and it helped. Can you get someone to video you walking back and forth so you can analyse your gait. I also worked out when I am working in the kitchen i tend to do circles in the same direction always so I always pivot on that leg. I try now to go the other direction some times and that also helped.


You can try icing your affected foot and or calf. If that offers some relief from pain it tells you that there is inflammation involved, not just over stressed muscles, in which case a foot soak in epsom salt (magnesium sulfate) or magnesium chloride flakes dissolved, plus borax maybe useful in reducing the pain. Some people find the borax component helpful for PF also. I don't know where you are, but if in the UK, borax will be hard to come by, but either of the magnesium soaks may still be helpful. If you are in the UK, then the ibuprofen gel may also be useful and should avoid the gastro issues. Here is a link to Amazon UK which sells the 10% Ibuprofen gel :

If you're not in the UK, you can always make your own ibuprofen lotion for direct application to painful areas as it is quite effective with a greatly reduced chance of gastro issues related to long term use of NSAIDS.


It could be dystonia. Is your foot arching up and your toes curling down while you walk. If untreated, it can be pretty painful. Levadopa (Sinemet CR) usually helps me. It's one of the few PD symptoms where the drug actually works. Also my fingers will sometimes swell up, turn red and get itchy whenever the weather starts to get cold. I think the disorder is known as chilblains. Not much can be done about that except try and stay warm. Thanks for posting. Hope you feel better soon.

You’re most kind. Yes I do get some Dystonia there and yes the dopamine does help but this residual ache persists. My problem and I’ll get it sorted in time I’m sure. Thanks for your concern.

You may also like...