Hypersensitivity to Touch

Some people with postural orthostatic tachycardia syndrome (POTS) develop allodynia, pain resulting from a stimulus that is not typically pain provoking.  In my daughter's case, light touch of the skin on her legs makes her jump and withdraw.  Something as light as a sheet of paper touching her legs causes her pain.  A physical therapist gave us a protocol to use to decrease this hypersensitivity and we hope that it might help you as well.

Step 1. Your child:Hypersensitivity

  • Use lotion to gently rub each hypersensitive section for 2 minutes each. My daughter gets hypersensitive on both legs in their entirety. This means two minutes rubbing the lower left leg, two minutes rubbing the upper left leg, two minutes rubbing the lower right leg, and two minutes rubbing the upper right leg. After several days, when this no longer causes discomfort, move to the next step.
  • Use a soft pillowcase to rub each area for 2 minutes. Do this daily until it no longer hurts.
  • Use a soft towel to rub each area for 2 minutes. When the towel no longer hurts, then you move to step 2.

Step 2. The caregiver:

  • After the child has completed all of the steps above (it will take a week or more), then it is time for someone else to touch the sensitive areas. You will repeat the steps above with your hands on your child’s body.
  • Use lotion to rub each hypersensitive area... until after several days it no longer hurts.
  • Use pillowcase...
  • Use towel...

My daughter tends to get hypersensitive when her POTS symptoms are flaring. This regimen hurts as she works through it, but we have had good luck with it reducing her pain reaction to light touch in her legs moving forward. It might help. Give it a try!