Abstract Sphaeranthus senegalensis Vaill (Asteraceae) is used in traditional medicine as a remedy for rheumatic pains and other ailments. The anti-inflammatory and anti-nociceptive activity of the aqueous extract of the whole shoot of the plant was evaluated in mice and rats. Activity of the extract against egg-albumin induced hind paw oedema was measured to evaluate the anti-inflammatory activity while the anti-nociceptive potency was evaluated using three painful stimuli viz acetic acid induced abdominal constriction and hot plate test in mice, and the formalin test in rats. Results indicated that the extract possess remarkable dose dependent anti-inflammatory activities in rats. The extract also showed anti-nociceptive activities against acetic acid induced writhing, formalin and the hot plate pain models. The effects were significant ( P<0.05) when compared with the saline control group. The results suggest the presence of a potent anti-inflammatory and anti-nociceptive principle in the extract, which support the folkloric use of the plant in relieving rheumatic pains.