48 year old with ? re: Proprioception

by Kim M.
(Virginia Beach, VA)

I am a 48 year female with ADHD. I have a problem that I have been trying to explain to physicians for years and it wasn't until recently that a physical therapist suggested that I might have a proprioception disorder. The main symptom that is really getting worse and I can't seem to stop is: a part of my body is ALWAYS clenched and/or pushing against something.


Relaxing in my recliner my ankles are crossed - sounds relaxing right? no! My ankles are PUSHING each other in a tensed manner. OR some part of my body is tensed.

Driving my car - my hands are clenched on the wheel (I don't get stressed by driving, so that isn't the issue)and/or my left leg is PUSHING into the car door

Sitting at my desk at work my legs are constantly uncomfortable and I find that they are PUSHING into each other or the desk or down on the floor

When I catch myself doing this I make a concerted effort to relax myself and 10 minutes later I'll find myself doing something else. Is there anything I can do?

Other symptoms are:

*I'm very uncoordinated - always have been - I can't do simple dance steps or aerobic exercises (yoga has been my saving grace)

*I fall a lot- I misjudge steps going up & down - trip over anything on the ground - results: sprained my right ankle 4 times - tripped in the middle of a street, fell and dislocated my right shoulder in May - spaced out which step I was on going down our stairs & broke my right wrist, etc..... all of this in the last 4 years

*I bump into things that have not moved in years - as result I have bruises all year round

*I pick at things


my teeth, etc.

I think I have other sensory issues:

* I am extremely irritated by chewing sounds - smacking - popping - crunching -slurping (I'm constantly fussing at my husband & kids)

* horribly sensitive to many smells

* cannot handle tight things - it is so bad I cannot wear a bra anymore so I wear a camisole with barely any support - I have a drawer full of bras that i thought would be okay, but I can't handle any band around my chest - panty hose - knee highs - I buy super queen size with no support because I can't handle the waistbands or elastic around my calves AND they come off when the office closes! I love the summer!

* I really don't like to be touched unless I initiate it (I'm okay w/handshakes & hugs) & I HATE being tickled - it seems painful to me - needless to say that this "touching sensitivity" part of my weirdness is upsetting to my husband
and he has always thought it was about "him". After reading "too loud, too bright, too fast, too tight" I have realized that this all might be an actual "symptom" of sensory defensiveness, which makes me feel better to know it might be something that I can work on.

In summary, I have a plethora of issues, all of which increase my ADD symptoms, because I hyperfocus on these things even if I am medicated (its a little better when I am medicated, but not completely)

The one thing that bothers me the most is the constant physical tension - clenching, picking & pushing on things. I have also noticed that I am getting fearful of walking on sidewalks and streets AND going up and down stairs.

Does anyone have any suggestions for reducing/eliminating this constant muscle tension?

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May 20, 2014
Magnesium's role
by: Anonymous

Magnesium helps alleviate proprioception/coordination problems in 3 ways:
- a muscle cell that lacks magnesium can't relax
- better delivery of sensory (including pain - you probably have a lot of pain you don't even recognise as such) information to your brain
- better processing of information in the brain (this includes visual information)
Magnesium Oxide can give you diarrhea before you absorb a useful amount (I don't know why it is put in supplements)

Jan 06, 2013
this is me too!!
by: Jen

Thank-you for putting into words what I feel. I was telling my BFF of 25yrs the other day, Im feeling like gravity is pulling me to the ground. I hurt in different places all night, thus tossing and turning. My neck and back are especially bad at night, with an occasional bout of restless legs thrown in.

I never thought of a heavy blanket and will look for one, makes sense because I really like the heavy ones they put on you for xrays.

Thanks for sharing.
Maybe I'll get some real sleep...

Aug 17, 2012
by: Esther

Have you researched Omega 3 and Magnesium to improve brain stress. And brain balancing which evens out left and right brain frequencies. I have it too.

Feb 01, 2010
Help for you
by: Joanna

Please look into an intervention called the Sensory Learning Program. It can help you coordinate your senses and learn new ways of being in your body. The website is www.sensorylearning.com I think it would be helpful.

Jan 20, 2010
I can relate!
by: Anonymous

Hello! I am 41 and have similar issues all my life--perhaps a little milder. These issues run in my family and now my daughter has more severe manifestations of Sensory processing disorder. I have always had a need to clench, which I never could understand and I just thought I was weird--what a relief to know somebody else has experienced this! When I experience emotions like love or anger I need to do something with my oral muscles, and if I try I can switch to other, less obvious muscles. I bite my lip and tongue a lot, which is less noticeable. I also can't sit and relax without rubbing my ankles or feet together! And I'm horribly uncoordinated, and it's always been a major source of insecurity. Sigh! Nice to hear somebody can relate!

Jan 05, 2009
What I do
by: DJ

I have the same issues. My "clenching" is usually at night, and I'll wake up with some part of my body - shoulder, leg, etc. just locked. I use a 30 lb weighted blanket that I got from DreamCatcher. That really helps. Plus, I work out about 2 hrs each day. Then my muscles are too tired to clench!

Jan 02, 2009
by: Anonymous

It is clear you have sensory issues and the best thing to do is see an Occupational Therapist.

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