let's start at the very beginning

Wednesday, 22 November 2006

Poor proprioception

Proprioception: The neurological sense that allows one to know not only where one is in space, but also the position and location of each individual part and joint.
There's a term to describe my uncanny clumsiness. Admittedly I was never a talented athlete, though I was very fit. But with ME and POTS, I've graduated to a staggering new level of uncoordination.

If there's a doorway, my shoulder and hip will hit it on the way through. If there's an ottoman within striking distance, I'll stub my toe.

I lie too close to the edge of the bed and almost fall off when rolling over.
I'm ultra-careful getting out of bed in the dark lest I knee-cap myself on the bedside table. I tip water down my chin, apply lipstick to my nostrils.

It's a problem using stairs because I don't always judge correctly where to place my feet. In unfamiliar surroundings, without a walking stick to stabilise myself when I start to lose balance, I trip and fall.

I walked straight into my mum's hulking black exercise-bike which is the most visible hazard you could imagine, but is unwisely placed too close to the entrance of her office. Wherever I live or stay needs to be set up with no tripping hazards, as if I were 104.

There's a test a physio can perform on you to see what your proprioception is like. I forget what the test involved, but the physio told me I was great to do tests on, I showed up every kind of pathology. That's me: helpful to physios since the dawn of time.


  1. I just did a google search on poor proprioception and it brought up this, it's a brilliant and humourous explanation! I have Fibromyalgia and ME/CFS and am constantly bumping into stuff. My other half has Dyspraxia which means he does the same, crockery doesn't last too long in our house!

  2. Anonymous27/10/12

    I too just googled poor proprioception (diagnosed with it by an OT when I was a kid) and have since been diagnosed with Ehlers Danlos Syndrome (by Great Ormond Street aged 16), Dyspraxia (whilst at school) and just today been diagnosed with Chronic Fatigue Syndrome. Totally know the feeling of if there is an obstacle, no matter how wide the possible berth other people could give it I will ALWAYS make contact with it somehow!


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