Allodynia is defined as the experience of ordinarily non painful stimuli as painful. It is a common symptom associated with Migraine; However, most patients are unsure of how to describe or even explain this specific symptom. Patients with allodynia often report increased skin sensitivity during hot showers and experience pain to very light touch for example placing their head on a pillow, brushing their hair, wearing earrings or even wearing certain hairstyles.
Allodynia occurs in up to two-thirds of people diagnosed with Migraines. The prevalence of cutaneous ( skin) allodynia is approximately 65%, although some estimate it to be even higher. It is more common in Migraineurs who experience frequent headache days per month (>15) and can be associated with increase morbidity.
This symptom usually occurs one to two hours prior to a migraine attack and can be a predictor of headache severity and progression. Individuals who are diagnosed with episodic migraine and experience allodynia commonly transition to chronic migraine patients.
Allodynia is a part of Migraine attacks and can be improved or even prevented. It is imperative to understand this symptom and speak with your healthcare provider about early intervention which include pharmacologic and non-pharmacologic therapies. Patients should monitor headache frequency, use trigger identification and implement early treatment strategies to optimize care and minimize symptoms. If you or anyone you know have experience similar symptoms, please contact The Manhattan Center for Headache and Neurology for further evaluation and treatment options.
By: Jordan Shankle, PA