Doc, it hurts when I do this
October 7, 2008 5:52 PM   Subscribe

I'm tearing myself apart, but only on one side. Why and how can I stop it?

I've noticed that I am twisting and curling myself into painful stress positions, but only on the right side of my body. My right hand gets rolled under my wrist. Usually, I find myself pressing it against a table or some other solid object. Similarly, I will wrap my right leg around any available pole or table leg, putting enough tension on it that my knee starts to ache after a few minutes.

As soon as I notice one of these behaviors, I consciously shift position to something more evenly balanced, but as soon as I stop paying attention, the limbs start curling in.
posted by anonymous to Health & Fitness (4 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
The Alexander Technique is an excellent remedy for these sorts of "automatic" bodily responses, because it teaches a superior level of bodily awareness. Apparently its effectiveness is very well documented among professional musicians and athletes. This is one website although there are probably hundreds out there:
posted by Weng at 6:06 PM on October 7, 2008 [1 favorite]

you might want to see an orthopedist to rule out any physiological reasons for this. they can refer you to a physical therapist, who can help you train your body to relax.
posted by thinkingwoman at 7:38 PM on October 7, 2008

I am -so- not a doctor, but I study neurological disorders at an undergraduate level in school.
What you're describing sounds to me like a mild form of dystonia. If that's really what it is, you shouldn't mess around with it. With some dystonias (maybe all dystonias-- I don't know because I'm not a doctor) early intervention can improve prognosis dramatically.

Get thee to a real M.D.

Good luck.
posted by palmcorder_yajna at 7:40 PM on October 7, 2008

Doctor doctor doctor doctor.

It may be nothing, in which case great! But it may well not be nothing. Go to a doctor yesterday, preferably a neurologist.
posted by dirtynumbangelboy at 12:30 AM on October 8, 2008

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