Allodynia – a painful to touch symptom of fibromyalgia

allodynia symptoms

Hypersensitivity to touch is one of the most common symptom in fibromyalgia patients. Commonly a pain symptom is followed by a damage to any part of the body. But in the case of fibromyalgia patients, the actual cause of the pain is difficult to identify.

The pain signals are randomly stimulated and in some cases it is also amplified making the individual experience more pain.

This kind of pain that is experienced when there is hypersensitivity to touch, is called as tactile allodynia where the term tactile denotes touching. There are also other types of allodynia available.

Fibromyalgia is also sometimes referred to be a psychosomatic disease as the cause for it is unclear. One group of people believe it that way and go for natural remedies.

The allodynia can be very difficult to handle for people who are new to fibromyalgia. But with the help of some expert advice from the people who already experience such symptoms, it becomes easier to understand the condition of allodynia and act accordingly.

Most of the people say that changing the dressing pattern and using comfortable night dress and bed sheets have proved to be very helpful for people who have hypersensitivity towards touch.

Common condition experienced with allodynia

People with allodynia also experience pain when their cloths touch their skin. This type of pain is very common in fibromyalgia patients as they are already exposed to lots of pain in their body.

When an individual gets in contact with someone or some object, they feel hypersensitive pain in their body part. This pain can either be a pain in joints or in muscles.

Allodynia is usually experienced either in one part of the body or in some specific area of the body based on the condition of the individual. This is also associated with the pain conditions like:

  • Migraine
  • Neuropathy
  • Neuralgia
  • Postherpetic

When people wear their shoes for a longer time, they will find it very disturbing. After they remove their shoes, the individual will experience severe pain in their leg region.

This can also be the outcome of allodynia. This is caused when too much of pressure is created in one part of the skin.

The symptom of allodynia is not something that is experienced constantly by the patients. It is also determined to be a seasonal symptoms and a come and go symptom.

What causes allodynia for fibromyalgia patients?

With the condition of fibromyalgia, the pain symptoms vary from one person to another based on their body and condition.

Some people will experience severe pain throughout the body without any reason and some people will experience sensitivity towards touch. The actual cause of fibromyalgia pain is not found yet.

There are researches going on to find out the actual cause of these strange pain symptoms in the body. We can however relate the cause of allodynia with that of the symptoms of pain in fibromyalgia patients.

The cause of allodynia can be due to the response of brain signals towards objects in the surrounding in the form of pain.

Nociceptors are the special nerves in the body that helps in sensing the information about the surroundings. They will send signals to the brain about the harmful things that a person can be exposed to from the surroundings.

In the case of fibromyalgia patients, these nociceptors take advantage of anything that is in the surrounding and consider them harmful and instruct the brain that all these sensations are painful. That is the reason why this condition is commonly seen in fibromyalgia patients.

This can also lead to situation where people will find it very difficult to sleep due to high intensity of pain that they experience in their body.

There can be several other symptoms experienced by such person which include depression, stress and anxiety issues. This can also be another reasons for amplifying the symptoms.

Effect of allodynia on day to day activities

The symptom of allodynia has a great effect on the day to day activities of an individual. The main focus is always on the clothes that the individual wear.

If the focus is on the clothes, then there is obviously an impact on the day to day work that the person do. They will always get an uneasy feeling and sensitivity even if they wear soft clothes that are usually common for everyone.

Apart from this people with the condition of fibromyalgia should be careful with this situation, if any of their day to day activity gives them more sensitivity or leads them to a situation to experience pain due to tactile allodynia, they have to be ready for it.

Some people find it even difficult to lift any object with their hand. This is also due to pain they experience when they touch and handle an object.

People have also tried using gloves to see if that provides a relief to them. It is not very helpful for everyone.

Some people find soft gloves very helpful and some people with high condition of allodynia even find gloves as a disturbance to their skin.

In day to day activity another discomfort people come across is when they don’t find it easy to sleep when they are in their bed.

The bed pillows and sheets that is used can also be another problem for people with allodynia. There are some soft materials available that can be used as a bed sheet.

These soft materials can provide a comfort zone for people who find it difficult to sleep with uncomfortable beds and sheets.

If a person with allodynia is not wearing the right dress during the night, it can also be another reason to experience more pain during the bed time.

In that case people will end up with sleeplessness. As sleep is very important for people who have fibromyalgia problem, the next day will be completely messed up.

If they don’t get proper sleep during their bed time, they will end up having drowsiness during day time. Those who find it difficult to drive due to drowsiness, park their car in a shade and have a nice sleep.

14 Comments

  • Can’t bare anyone to touch or hold my feet, skin on skin. Ask my husband to cut my nails but before he does have to wrap a thick towel around my feet to cushion his hands touching them, very strange but also very painful if he does.

  • When I try to wear a bra, it’s excruciating. I’ve tried all kinds and nothing works. Mostly I go without one. Also tags on clothing or if they are tight it’s a nightmare. Also, just simple hugs can trigger pain. Hopefully they will come up with a solution soon!

    • Can’t bare to have a hug off my husband and just tell him gently”. Also (could go on forever)) feel as though I have splinters of sharp glass underneath my big toes. Had my husband look but there’s nothing there!! Sure someone somewhere has a effagy of me and is sticking pins in various places. Today can’t walk at all as my knees and legs are burning so sitting here with packets
      of frozen vegetables on them.

    • I too have trouble with bras and any tags on my clothes have to be removed tight or not. The constant touching or poking on back of neck n shoulder area is painful. There are many days I really need a hug but being touched is unbearable.

  • My biggest problem is to have my Blood pressure taken with a blood pressure cuff, it is so painful it feels like I have immersed my arm in a vat of hot oil, also my arm ends up all bruised. I finally have just refused to get it taken that way and take a blood pressure wrist cuff with me so far I can still stand to have it taken that way. My problem is if I have to have an operation what will I do. I read that 69% of people with fibromyalgia have the same problem. Nothing worse than to feel pain with touch.

  • I have pain from my bra, but mostly in my ribs. It’s recently started within 6 months or so. I’ve tried getting a bigger one, but might as well not wear one at all with it being that little bit bigger. My shoulders hurt too,but ribs are so much worse.

    • I started feeling pain in my ribs and found it was the wire in the bra making it worse, I’ve now started wearing the Ines without wire, very soft, even gentle elastic, wider straps, I got mine from Asda, I think they were only £6 worth a try

  • My ribs hurt too.It may be due to the connective tissue.It’s horrendous when needing to be in hospital.I had 3 of my own pillows and 2 hospital’s just to be half comfortable in bed.The pain is sometimes excruciating with needles and blood pressure cuff😭

  • My biggest problem right now is my bed sheets. I’m down to the last one that’s soft and smooth. It is tearing on my husband’s side and we need to get a replacement or two. We’ve tried so many already and had to return them.
    Can anyone recommend a brand of 100% pima cotton sateen sheet? I will gladly try them . . My clothes are another story. I mostly have trouble with my capris. The most sensitive pain is in my thighs when the fabric touches them. I found Monostat powder gel for this and just recently Gold Bond makes a roll on friction product. These help for an hour or two, and then have to apply more.
    But, the sheets are my biggest problem right now . . I would appreciate any help anyone can offer . . I look forward to my sleep at night to get away from the pain of fibro and allodynia . .:(

    • I’ve started using brushed cotton/flanalet, (sorry for spelling) as even the cold on cotton sheets hurt, but these don’t feel cold and soft to sleep on

        • Microfiber sheets help me feel cooler than regular sheets!! I’m always burning up even with the thermostat set at 66 degrees

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