Spastic Pain

Understanding Spastic Pain

Pain that results from spasticity (abnormal muscular tension and stiffness) is a common symptom in people with neurological conditions. Spastic pain can be experienced differently depending on its severity and other factors, but it’s often described as a burning or stinging sensation. It can affect any muscle group, from the entire body to specific areas and may travel along nerve pathways.

People with neurological conditions may also experience spasticity that can cause involuntary muscle contractions. This can make everyday movements and activities difficult, and can cause discomfort, pain, and difficulty sleeping. Spastic pain is typically caused by tightness or inflammation of those affected muscles. Common treatment options include medications, physical therapy, occupational therapy, and some lifestyle changes.

Types of Spastic Pain

The severity and characteristics of spastic pain can vary widely. Here are some types of spastic pain:

  • Neuropathic Pain - Caused by damage to or dysfunction of the nervous system. It can be described as burning, stabbing, pins and needles, shock-like, or electrical.
  • Musculoskeletal Pain - Usually caused by muscle tension, overuse, or injury. It can be described as sharp, ache, pressure, or throbbing.
  • Nociceptive Pain - Caused by tissue damage or inflammation. It can be described as aching, throbbing, sharp, and/or burning.
  • Visceral Pain - Describes pain that originates from internal organs. It can be described as a deep ache, sharp or throbbing sensation, or cramping.

Managing Spastic Pain

The most important step in managing spastic pain is to receive a correct diagnosis from a medical professional. A combination of treatments may be necessary to manage spastic pain. Common treatments include:

  • Medications - Certain medications, such as analgesics, antispasticity drugs, and muscle relaxants, can help manage spastic pain.
  • Physical Therapy - Your physical therapist can help you strengthen and stretch affected muscles, improve your posture, and promote healthy movement.
  • Occupational Therapy - An occupational therapist can teach you techniques for completing everyday tasks with less strain on your body.
  • Lifestyle Changes - Regular exercise, a balanced diet, and getting proper sleep can help reduce spastic pain.
  • Alternative Therapies - Massage, acupuncture, yoga, and tai chi can also help reduce spastic pain.


Spastic pain is a common symptom of neurological conditions and can range in severity and characteristics. If you’re experiencing spastic pain, it’s important to seek medical attention for an accurate diagnosis and proper treatment. Treatment options may include medications, physical therapy, occupational therapy, lifestyle changes, and alternative therapies. Working closely with your medical team can help you find the best treatment plan to manage your spastic pain.