When It Hurts to Be Touched

August 5, 2014 2:47 PM

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Our sense of touch is one of our most basic and fundamental aspects of the human experience. We use our ability to feel as an integral tool to discriminate and better understand our environment, almost without thinking about it, because we do it all day long. Likewise, being touched by others is a critical part of human communication, whether it is through a handshake, a hug, or a pat on the back. Human contact can be considered a key component of positive communication, and it can boost a sense of general well-being.

Unfortunately, living with chronic pain can interfere with your ability to touch, feel, hold, or be held by others. One of the most challenging examples of this occurs when we develop extreme sensitivities to touch from things that aren't usually painful. The medical term for this is allodynia and i...

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