You scratch my back... but only right there, please
November 24, 2010 12:55 PM   Subscribe

Help me figure out if I am alone in having 'hot spots' on my back, neck and feet where I prefer to be scratched.

This is kind of a hard question to phrase, but I really want to know if anyone has these sensations or if I’m just weird!

I have, I guess you’d call them sensitive spots in different areas of my body. The most prominent is on my back. It’s on my spine, in the centre of my back, in between my shoulder blades, and it just feels really good to be scratched or touched there, I guess it’s how a dog feels when you scratch that particular point on their back and they wag their tail.

Basically if anyone touches me on another part of my back, I feel it by relating it to how far away they are from the ‘centre’ point. I have the same thing in the centre of my feet, the centre back of my neck, and the middle of each palm. The back and feet are the most sensitive areas though. If I'm scratched anywhere else on my back, I'm not that bothered about it (although I like back massages, so it seems like more of a skin thing than a muscle thing).

With each ‘spot’, if I touch anywhere else around it I relate that touch to where the sensitive spot is, almost like the spot is the bullseye on a darts board. Each spot is not very big, probably a couple of cm wide.

Anyway I’ve asked my boyfriend about this who was the only one I wanted to describe it to, as I thought people would laugh. He thinks I’m mad and doesn’t have anything like this. So I actually registered to ask this question because it’s been bugging me for years! I’ve looked up reflexology maps and acupuncture maps but I can’t find anything like this.

So my question is, does anyone else experience anything like this? Is there a reason for it, like more nerve endings gathering in one place or something?

I am female, late 20s, if that helps.
posted by Encipher to Human Relations (17 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
Um, yes. I have this too. I always assumed most people did.
posted by SkylitDrawl at 12:59 PM on November 24, 2010

when i get my back scratched by my husband, no matter where he starts, at some point i'm going to yell out "the bra line!" because that's the best way i've found to describe that in the space between my shoulder blades is the place that MUST.BE.SCRATCHED.NOW!
posted by nadawi at 1:00 PM on November 24, 2010 [3 favorites]

My boyfriend has something like that on his back. He says "Scratch my spot!" and I know exactly where he means.
posted by apricot at 1:20 PM on November 24, 2010

I have very specific spots under each shoulder blade.
posted by Evangeline at 1:34 PM on November 24, 2010

If they feel knotty and painful normally, but better once rubbed or kneaded, then maybe what you are describing is trigger points.
posted by Susan PG at 1:43 PM on November 24, 2010

I have a spot like that too, on my back just to the right of my spine, sort of shoulder blade territory.
posted by number9dream at 2:02 PM on November 24, 2010

Forty years ago I mentioned this to my doctor and he said something like, "Oh yeah, that's [a or the] Blah-blah spot." I assumed it was not unheard of, but not common, and well-known to medicine. Less than a year ago, I mentioned it to a dermatologist. He did not seem familiar with the phenomenon and found it uninteresting. Was not concerned.
Mine is on my left shoulder blade. It becomes active when I undress at night, and occasionally at other times. I wish I didn't have it, although having it scratched give me great pleasure.
I have never thought to canvass people as to its incidence. Good idea!
posted by feelinggood at 2:35 PM on November 24, 2010

There's a spot next to my right shoulder blade that my husband calls my "Off" switch. So, yeah.
posted by workerant at 2:40 PM on November 24, 2010

I get this fungus on my back called tinea versicolor which, when it's bad (usually during the summer or if I'm hot), gets itchy in very specific, pin-prick spots. It's not all that noticeable visually, but I can definitely tell when the right spots are being scratched.
posted by PhoBWanKenobi at 3:29 PM on November 24, 2010

(Oh, and I've had small patches of it on me for years at a time in the same spot before I got treated, and they weren't especially gross looking--just like a slightly different-colored spot of skin).
posted by PhoBWanKenobi at 3:32 PM on November 24, 2010

"It’s on my spine, in the centre of my back, in between my shoulder blades, and it just feels really good to be scratched or touched there"

I itch there too. I always figured it was because I can't reach that part of my back well enough to give it a proper scrubbing in the shower (so dead skill cells build up) nor can I absent-mindedly scratch it throughout the day when it itches. So the itchiness builds up until my husband can get it for me.
posted by Jacqueline at 6:04 PM on November 24, 2010

I have it, too. I'm surprised there are people who don't.
posted by SMPA at 6:12 PM on November 24, 2010

i find myself curious if the bra is partially related, as most of the responders here are female. i mean, yes a couple guys and i'm sure there's lots of reasons -but it strikes me that it is basically exactly on my bra line...
posted by nadawi at 7:04 PM on November 24, 2010

About 15 years ago my then dermatologist told me that about ten percent of people have a special spot on their back that behaves this way (and, like feelinggood reported, there was a name for it). Mine's on the right side at the bra line; when without either a back scratcher or my husband, I sidle up to corners and door frames to seek relief.
posted by carmicha at 7:48 PM on November 24, 2010

Mine's on the left side, an inch or two below my shoulder blade. There's a corresponding one on the right side, but it's not as "strong." They're probably both "bra line"-area, but (re nadawi) though I'm female, I'm not a bra-wearer.
posted by soviet sleepover at 8:47 PM on November 24, 2010

Just realised I never said thanks for this! Very interesting answers. I wonder what the spot is called. If I ever meet a dermatologist it will be my first question.
posted by Encipher at 9:09 AM on February 18, 2011

Your post made me hit the Google some more. Check this out: Notalgia paresthetica.
posted by carmicha at 4:57 AM on February 21, 2011

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