Saturday, 21 January 2012

Jumping Feet (aka: Clonus)

A re-read of some of the HSP pages brings forward a few words that I've not really looked at. Today's word is clonus.

A quick review indicates that clonus is also known as "jumping feet". This sparked off my interest as I recall having "jumping feet" when I was much younger, at junior school, I think. Interestingly there is also myoclonus. Definitions of each are:

Clonus: A form of movement marked by contractions and relaxations of a muscle, occurring in rapid succession, after forcible extension or flexion of a part.

Myoclonus:  A rapid involuntary nonrhythmic spasm that can occur spontaneously at rest, in response to sensory stimulation, or with voluntary movements.

I'm interested to note the similarity of the descriptions between clonus  and myoclonus.

Some links:

The description of clonus on the SP foundation website is: Clonus is an uncontrollable, repetitive jerking of muscles that makes the foot jump rapidly up and down. It occurs when the foot is in a position that causes a disruption of the signals from the brain, leading to an automatic stretch reflex.

This latter description accords with my childhood experience where I was able to make my foot jump up and down when in a sitting position. I cant remember what I did to get it started, but I suppose that because I was able to start this off at will then it makes it forced rather than involuntary.

Saturday, 7 January 2012

I actually have two "conditions"...

I had a very interesting discussion over Christmas, and its made me realise that I actually have two separate conditions. One is HSP, and the other is one known as "Getting Older".

I've started to spot grey hairs appearing, and I don't associate these with HSP at all. I need to consider if the various things that I've been noticing and commenting on in the context of possible symptoms of HSP are really such symptoms or if they are just as a result of getting older.

For example, I commented last year about getting my speedometer working on my bike as a measure of leg muscle change. When my speedo was last working (a year or two ago) my cycle-to-work average was 13.7mph. Should I get it working again and find the average to be slower, would that be due to HSP starting to affect my muscles, or would that be because I'm a year or two older and just a little bit less fit. I had similarly thought about finding ways of measuring my flexibility.

Conclusion: I should not be so quick to assume that all changes below the waist are HSP, which ought to end up with me in a more positive mind-frame (presumably with a lower likelihood of depression....)