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cant move??

when I first became ill I used to wake up during the night or morning in literally unable to move which was frightening and also painful. I have not had that for a few months but I had the same this morning and more painful, I can be lying in any position and sometimes it feels like I have been holding my breath. Again I have told my gp and neurologist about this but they just write it down, it makes me totally drained and even unable to speak. does this sound familiar to anyone please?

7 Replies

Hi hannalaura,

Yes, your explanation sounded very familiar to me. It used to terrify me, and on one occasion I screamed out loud, and my husband lying next to me asleep, jumped awake and was at that point, equally terrified. Funny now, but at the time, it wasn't. When I told my GP, I was very fortunate to tell somebody who was listening, and who explained this to me. He told me that it's a spasm of the muscles in the back, which have been very tense all day from the pain I was in, and so at night when lying down, the muscles go into spasm, as a way of dealing with the amount of tension during the day. I was given a very low dose of the tranquilliser diazepam which I had to take at night. Over time, it did ease off, and it now only happens to me occasionally. The diazepam broke the habit at night, of causing the muscles to spasm, so after a couple of weeks I didn't need them. I hope this helps you to know you aren't alone. And, I hope you'll find a doctor who will listen to you, and do something about it. It can be so very tiring, when you're already tired from the pain during the day. Good Luck. Take Care.


just another question for you please, is there a particular part of you that is always in some kind of pain? with me my its my left arm, always feels cold and numb aswell, apart from my feet and legs which tingle and feel stiff.


thankyou so much for that explanation, I often feel like Im going insane:(( that all makes sense, I too have shouted out at night and bite my tongue aswell, painful.

thank god for this forum.



Yes, I do always have pain in one particular part of me, and that's my spine. As it goes into spasm if the pain is particularly horrific in the daytime, I do find that in the night that is the part worst affected, and it makes my limbs go stiff and numb/tingly. If I try to move, it gets worse, making it even more difficult to move. I've often had to ask my husband to help me to turn over, or help me to get up and out of bed. I have felt such a fraud when I do this, and then when I'm up, I can move, as it looks like I just want him to get me out of bed, like a baby! Ridiculous really, but fortunately, we usually end up laughing about it. (it's a laugh or cry moment).

I still think you should try and speak to a different doctor, and ask what they think is causing this effect with you. It could be something entirely different to me, and could need further tests. I do hope it eases up for you, and you can get on with your life. Take Care.


thankyou, again. I know I often feel like a fraud.


Hi hannalaura, Don't know if this is the same as you but I"set" when I have been in one position for too long. My muscles just stiffen up so I can't move and when I get out of a chair, I shuffle along and feel very old! The worst is waking up in the middle of the night having to physically lift my head off the pillow and turn my head. So painful. Like you no one seems interested in this symptom but I have read online that it's called "gelling". This was the description. It's a stiffness in the joints that develops after holding a position (kneeling, crouching) that puts strain on the joints. It is especially noticeable after sitting in positions that require bending of the joints, such as sitting cross-legged or holding a book up while lying in bed for more than fifteen or twenty minutes without changing position.Is this how you feel? I find it eases off a bit when I move but then I stiffen up again when I use my muscles too much. I try and do what I can. Sometimes hard to get the balance but keep battling through.

Don't feel like a fraud, it's a real symptom. Just cos the doctors haven't come up for an explanation yet, it shouldn't be ignored. Take care.


thankyou hedwig, I only get this after sleeping, it does sound similar yes seems more painful lately, and need help to turn over:((

best wishes x


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