Does anyone experience weak hands after laughing hard?
March 17, 2005 11:38 PM   Subscribe

Every once in a while, after I laugh long and hard, I lose strength in my hands and even a little in my arms. Does that sound familiar to anyone?

I do have narcolepsy, and I am aware of cataplexy, but weak hands after laughing hard is the only experience I have related to cataplexy and I never fall asleep when that happens. I am just wondering if it is a common (maybe normal) experince and not just another symptom.
posted by jessicool to Health & Fitness (7 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
It happens to me, too. Usually when I'm being tickled, held down or other 'rough' horseplay and I can't move to break free and it take a few minutes to get my strength back. It seems like I should be able to move, but my arms and sometimes legs just won't. Is that what you mean? I bet someone will come along with the scientific name soon.
posted by dual_action at 6:09 AM on March 18, 2005

Happens to me when my kids get me laughing. I remember it happening when I was a kid, getting tickled. More of an all-over upper-body weakness though. Bodies are strange.
posted by kokogiak at 7:01 AM on March 18, 2005

Hyperventilating can cause numbness in your arms, legs, or face. That may be what's going on.
posted by expialidocious at 8:58 AM on March 18, 2005

Response by poster: That's exactly what I mean, dual_action! Now that you mention it, I only remember having that feeling when I am playing around and laughing- not just from laughing at something without any physical contact. But I guess I wouldn't know if my hands were getting weak if I wasn't trying to use them. I think this calls for a little experimentation.
posted by jessicool at 9:36 AM on March 18, 2005

Doesn't the phrase "weak with laughter" ring any bells? I think this is a normal thing.
posted by small_ruminant at 10:42 AM on March 18, 2005

I get a feeling of muscle fatigue & the inability to do anything requiring even minor strength after laughing hard. I think it's wonderful to be rendered useless by joy.
posted by spaghetti at 1:43 PM on March 18, 2005

I wonder if it could be connected to an adrenaline rush and the subsequent come down? I have Addison's disease (adrenal dysfunction), and sometimes during or immediately after an adrenaline rush, my arms and hands (and legs) get really weak and it takes about 15 minutes for strength to return. This is probably because my adrenal levels don't quite come back to "normal" but stay quite low for a while.
posted by tristeza at 6:40 PM on March 19, 2005

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