What causes pain that feels like electric shocks in body?

Do you sometimes feel like electric shocks in your body?

You are not the only one. Electric shock-type pain in muscles, ligaments, and joints is a common complaint. There can be several causes for this including nerve entrapment, muscle imbalance, infection, or spasm of the muscle.

If you have sudden, sharp shooting pain or pain that feels like electric shocks in your body it’s time to get help. The first step is to find out the root cause of the pain.

Your doctor will diagnose your condition and then proceed with treatment depending on the diagnosis.

Here are a few common causes that could be behind this pain:

  1. Nerve entrapment in joints:

Nerves in our body pass through a tunnel formed by a bone and surrounding tissue in places such as the elbow, knee, etc. These nerves can get trapped leading to symptoms such as pain, swelling, and electric shock type feeling when you touch these areas or when weight-bearing activities take place. Asperger syndrome has been linked to nerve entrapment in some cases suggesting there could be a genetic link here too! This pain often gets worse at night and the feeling of electric shock-like pain is bad enough to disrupt sleep. These symptoms require treatment with medications, anti-inflammatory drugs, physiotherapy, etc.

  1. Infection in joints: 

The tissues surrounding your joints are susceptible to infection leading to swelling and pain. Antibiotics will be needed for this condition before it can get better.

  1. Muscle imbalance:

Your muscles might not work in coordination thus leading to pain around affected areas. Weight loss, physiotherapy, and medication can help too.

  1. Muscular Dystrophy:

This occurs when your muscle tissue breaks down over time resulting in progressive weakness and uncoordinated movement affecting muscles throughout the body including arms & legs. Medical attention is required here along with proper rehabilitation to handle this condition.

  1. Spasms:

There could be a spasm in the affected muscle leading to pain and stiffness in that area. Rest, anti-inflammatory medications, physiotherapy help.

  1. Arthritis:

The cartilage around your joints can break down causing pain and inflammation in these areas leading to tenderness with electric shock type feeling. Medications for arthritis including NSAIDS or steroids can alleviate symptoms here.

  1. Injury :

You might have got an injury at work or during a sporting activity resulting in a ligament tear or muscle tear with the build-up of blood around the wounded tissues giving rise to swelling and pain similar to electric shocks when you touch the affected area or weight bear on that joint etc. Physical therapy and the use of ice in the initial stages can help in this condition.

  1. Degenerative Disc Disease:

As we age our spinal discs degenerate leading to pain due to protrusion of these discs into the spinal canal affecting nerve roots. Applying heat or ice on the affected area along with medications helps in such cases. Many patients also report relief with epidural injections (injections around the outer wall of the disc).

  1. Fibromyalgia:

This is a rheumatic disease characterized by widespread musculoskeletal pain with a lack of restorative sleep and fatigue too. The cause for fibromyalgia is not clear but it has been linked to depression and stress disorders tender points, disrupted sleep, and stress on the muscles. Medical help is required along with anti-inflammatory drugs, medication for symptoms of depression and pain, medications that help you sleep better, etc.

  1. Spinal stenosis:

This condition occurs when your spinal canal gets narrow resulting in pressure on the spinal cord leading to symptoms like weakness, numbness, tingling, or pain in different parts of the body which can be mild or severe depending upon the severity of stenosis. Your doctor will confirm this diagnosis after examining you & conducting some tests. Treatment includes surgery before symptoms worsen along with medications to reduce symptoms like pain etc.  

  1. Osteoporosis:

Bone loss results in thinning of bones thus increasing the risk for easily leading to back pain or leg pain which could even result in a broken bone. In such cases, increased calcium intake along with vitamin D supplementation will be required to help strengthen bones and avoid fractures.

  1. Bone tumors: 

These include benign or cancerous tumors like osteosarcoma (cancer of bones), Ewing’s sarcoma (cancer involving nerves, bone marrow & blood vessels), etc. Cancer usually spreads to other parts of the body if left untreated. Treatment requires chemotherapy, radiation therapy, surgery before symptoms worsen, etc.


Patients who receive an electric shock treatment to damage specific areas of the brain to control seizures may also suffer from short-term memory loss. But new research suggests that it’s receiving a different type of electrical stimulation – on the body – which impairs their ability to remember what happened five minutes ago.

The findings, published this week (11 September) in Epilepsy and Behavior, could provide valuable information for patients taking part in studies on how epilepsy affects cognitive functions.

Epilepsy is one of the most common neurological disorders after stroke, affecting around 50 million people worldwide. It’s known that many epilepsy patients are treated with deep brain stimulation (DBS), where electrodes are implanted into specific parts of the brain to control seizures.

“The hippocampus is one of the most common targets in DBS studies,” said lead author Dr. Klaas Enno Stephan from Germany’s University Hospital Bonn, adding that this brain region is involved in many memory processes.

Previous research has shown that epilepsy patients who undergo DBS can suffer from memory problems during or after treatment when receiving electrical stimulation to their hippocampus – but it wasn’t clear whether this was due to damage caused by the surgery itself or changes brought about by seizures.

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