Some headache and migraine sufferers develop sensitivity of the scalp from all the pain that they experience. This means that things that normally would not cause pain or discomfort, start to cause problems. Wearing a tight ponytail would normally cause no discomfort, but in migraine sufferers who have developed a highly sensitive scalp, wearing a tight ponytail can cause discomfort and pain.
It actually has a name – ‘ponytail headache syndrome’, according to Dr Elliot Shevel, Medical Director of The Headache Clinic, and South Africa’s internationally recognized Migraine expert and pioneer in the field of Migraine Surgery.
Other signs of scalp hypersensitivity may be discomfort with combing or brushing the hair, shaving, showering, or wearing glasses or earrings – things that are not normally painful.
Dr Shevel says that if one does suffer from scalp hypersensitivity – the medical term is cutaneous allodynia – then treating the cause for the overload of pain signals to the brain should come first – i.e. treating the headaches. When the original source of the most significant contributor to the pain is successfully treated, the allodynia subsides along with it.
At The Headache Clinic, the emphasis is upon diagnosing the original source of the pain, and then directing treatment in a focused manner at the origin of the pain. In most patients this can be achieved without the use of drugs, with their often unpleasant or harmful side-effects.