Allodynia, Greek for ‘other pain’, occurs when pain is felt and is caused by something that does not usually cause pain like a sheet or pulling on a sock. This painful response is often unexpected.
About 15 to 50 percent of patients with neuropathic pain experience Allodynia. Allodynia is classified based on the modality that elicits the pain sensation; sensory modalities include touch (tactile allodynia), pressure and pinprick (mechanical allodynia) as well as both hot and cold (thermal allodynia).
There has been limited research into treatments, however, some studies show pharmacological treatment may relieve symptoms. In other words, there are some medications available that can help reduce the neuropathic pain in some people. The type of medications prescribed will vary depending on the diagnosis. Your treating doctor will discuss specific medications for your particular condition.
In addition psychological treaments have been shown to alter allodynic phenomena in patients with peripheral nerve injury.
Electrical or magnetic stimulation techniques for neuropathic pain after spinal cord injury might have a beneficial effect in neuropathic pain and the associated dysaesthesia and allodynia. However more research is needed to establish the effects of such treatments.
Current recommendations include a combination of treatments that may lessen symptoms and help to increase functionality and quality of life. These treatments may involve multiple forms of treatment, including: pharmacological treatment, supplements, dietary changes, biofeedback and hypnotherapy. For massage and other related therapy it is recommended to speak with a medical provider before hand as these therapies may worsen symptoms.
Many people also benefit from mental health counseling, cognitive behavioral therapy and support groups to help them cope with and accept the changes imposed by their illness.
International Association for the Study of Pain, 2015, IASP Taxonomy - IASP. [online] Available at: http://www.iasp-pain.org/Education/Content.aspx?ItemNumber=1698&navItemNumber=576%202011#Allodynia [Accessed 8 Oct. 2015].
Jensen, T.S. & Finnerup, N.B. 2014, "Allodynia and hyperalgesia in neuropathic pain: clinical manifestations and mechanisms", The Lancet. Neurology, vol. 13, no. 9, pp. 924.