Does anyone else experience this "pain-like"-symptom?

hey there fellow brains
found out about my ADHD 2 months ago. im 33 years old(male).
i wondered if anyone of you are experiencing some sort of pain or heavy bodily unease in connection to your ADHD? i cant find anything on the internet about that sensation i have. its really hard to describe.
i think it might be connected to the “urge to move”. it feels like a disgusting tingeling especially in my joint areas like ellbow and knee. its especially hurtful while resting or while not having anything to distract myself. it feels like my whole nervous system is out of control. im taking ritalin for 3 days now and it got so much better. if anyone might have a clue what it could be i d be very grateful. maybe someone even has some pointers how i could tackle it. so far my only strategy is to lie flat on my stomach while making pain noises -.-
thanks four ur time !


Welcome to the HowToADHD forums, @Kai1 !

I am JD.
I have the Inattentive presentation of ADHD, so I haven’t experienced anything like you are describing. I get a little restless sometimes, which can get worse when I’m feeling a lot of anxiety.

I have a son who is 9 years old, and he seems to have a need to move. He’s homeschooled, and I’ve watched him do his schoolwork while changing positions on the floor every few minutes. But, the only pain he tells me about are when he has an injury, a headache, or the one time he had a serious vitamin D deficiency (which caused him to have stomach pains).

Maybe someone else here has experienced something similar. There are so many potential effects of ADHD, I would only be surprised about the pain and tingling you’ve described if it isn’t a possible symptom.

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Sometimes I need to move so badly it’s like this weird fizzy feeling beneath my skin. It’s impossible to ignore, but if I run a lap or something that usually takes care of it.


There is some connection between ADHD and restless leg syndrome (RLS) whose symptoms include “an uncomfortable tingling, burning, or crawling sensation in the legs when the child lies down to sleep. This causes an almost uncontrollable need to twitch, move the legs, or thrash around.”

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It used to be believed that restless leg syndrome was caused by a dopamine imbalance, but back in 2013 it was discovered to have a strong connection to another neurotransmitter… Glutemate.

  • Glutemate is the “activating” neurotransmitter. It is more abundant than any other neurotransmitter, because it is essential to much of the activity of the nervous system. However, it can get out of balance (too high or too low).
  • The “deactivating” neurotransmitter is GABA, which the body actually makes from glutemate. GABA is associated with sleep, rest, and reducing pain response. I’m not aware of any issues with too much GABA, but too little can make it difficult to reduce pain or restlessness. (Some medications, such as gabapentin, are designed to act on GABA receptors, to help with pain, or other excess nerve activation. However, those medications do not make up for a GABA deficiency.

On one episode of the Huberman Lab podcast, I heard that dopamine and glutemate are both released by some of the same mechanisms in the nervous system. (I can’t remember which episode, and I haven’t found any other reference to that phenomenon yet, but Dr. Andrew Huberman does his homework. He doesn’t share anything on his podcast that he hasn’t found scientific evidence for.)

I’ve also recently found references to an inverse relationship between glutemate and dopamine in certain parts of the brain. (Higher glutemate levels in those areas would mean lower dopamine levels, and vice versa.) But, I already lost track of the referring article.

The following article mentions restlessness as an effect of elevated glutemate. It also mentions increased pain sensation, and also ADHD-like symptoms as an effect of elevated glutemate levels.

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