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Uncontrollable Urge to Stretch! (Page 1)

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Hi..I'm not real sure where to put this but heres my situation.

Started about 6-7 months ago. I am constantly stretching my arms, neck and back. And when I say constantly, I mean after I do it i'll feel better for about 10 seconds and do it again. Its getting worse and worse. It feels sort of like a habit that I should break, but i'm worried that it might be something more. Any input?

Just some info:

i am a smoker (i know..I know)
i work nights so my sleep is very unnatural during the week, which also means i'm a coffee drinker.
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First Helper 48ntakingcharge
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replied June 7th, 2006
Need to Stretch??
I also have been stretching a lot, so I see where you are coming from. I asked my doctor about it, and he said that that happens when you do not get enough excercise....I hope this helps.
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replied June 8th, 2006
I see..Yeah I don't get much excercise. That would make sense, thanks!
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replied June 8th, 2006
Extremely eHealthy
It might be some form of ocd, .Topher.
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replied January 16th, 2008
I also have this weird need to strech only this has been going for years and it is getting worse. I am afraid to go to the doctor because it is sooooo weird. When I was a kid it was my toes. now it is my entire body..mostly my legs. I don't know how to explain it but it is anywhere a body part is attached...ie inbetween fingers, toes, legs, arms neck and now even the sides of my mouth feel tight. so i am constantly opening my mouth as far as I can to strech my face. so weird...it is getting worse and I dont know what to do. I fear that the Doctor will think i am weird Crying or Very sad
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replied March 12th, 2012
Like you, I also have been stretching for years, and it has taken on a full body approach. Yes, even my jaw and overall facial structure. I'm not sure how much your doctor could actually help you out, because unless they are naturopathic doctors, they might as well give you pills to ease the soreness, but he/she might also believe you (and I) have some sort of mental affliction to which they might aid only for the purpose of "normalizing" you.
You stretch because it makes you feel good, am I right? so what i've learned is to incorporate muscle strengthening exercises in my stretching workouts. Either by using kettlebells or resistance bands has helped me to balance my body more accurately than just purely stretching.
You're not weird, nor should you feel so asking your doctor. Your doctor needs to understand that we as an ever-evolving species is continually adapting to new changes we put our bodies through, so if he can't help, or doesn't know how to, I'd suggest going to see a Chiropractor.
I also know what you mean about stretching your face. When I do those facial exercises< i feel like i am broadening my face and my jaw is affected because i've noticed my teeth shifting, ever so slightly, as if they too are allowing me to develop more cubic space inside the mouth.
I just don't know what you might mean that "it's getting worse".
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replied January 21st, 2008
Supporter
Not weird at all - just a little unusual but the doc will have seen a lot worse, believe me! It sounds like OCD or some sort of tic which could be neurological in origin.

A doctor can help you control this. Go along and have a chat - you will not be judged!
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replied May 30th, 2009
response to streching inquiry
as our bodies unfurl to there limit in height, length and mass, we feel the urge to strech and bend in new ways so that pressure can not escape but more be repositioned or lessened basically by making the container or our body larger. It is good, if your body is always growing it will be less likely be taken down by any opposing force of nature such as pathogens( bacteria, viruses, and structual deficiencies, conditions or malformations, another key important factor in all this is your diet, you need protein for building blocks to repair damaged and build new muscle mass, carbodhydrates from starches such as bread n what not for long lasting energy, sugar for fast and easily harnessed energy and last but not least vitamins and minerals such as b vitamins from watermelons to harness the energy of starches and sugars, well good luck Smile
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replied June 11th, 2009
I need anyones help!!!
I really don't think it has anything to do with the response from peacefullwarrior. I too am having this problem. It happens so much worse at night...have to stretch everything from my neck down to my toes. I can't sleep. I feel like I constantly am having to stretch. It's even starting to happen during to day. The thing is, I'm 32 years old. My body quit growing a long time ago. And I do get exercise...daily. It first started after I had my daughter..9 years ago. Everyone told me it sounded like RLS..but it's getting worse. It's not just my legs and ankles and toes, again, it's everything. I really need help with this. I feel like I'm losing it. I'm not really sleeping (even with over the counter sleep aides). I'm exhausted. I need help and answers. Oh, and I don't want to go to the DR cause I just know they will try to send me to a neurologist and I can not afford that. Anything will help. Thank you!
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replied October 25th, 2011
I just started a couple months ago where I wake up every 20 min or so while sleeping and HAVE to stretch... its mostly my legs but its my whole body too.=( if you get any answers, id appreciate hearing about it. its NOT OCD, its a physical urge, not a mental one. and its not restless leg disorder, its the whole body. Its not from not getting exercise, I was beginning to think it was too much exercising. I try to see if its worse when i miss a day of exercising. UGH
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replied November 21st, 2012
If it's a sleeping thing, it could be Periodic Limb Movement Disorder. It's a night thing that has to do with sleeping. That might be what you have. Hope this helps! Smile
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replied September 3rd, 2013
Long time since you wrote this but maybe my two cents won't hurt.
I think peaceful warrior is on the right track. But the reply from devine emissary on Mach 12th 2012 is easier to understand.
I believe, that for whatever reason, your body has/is become/ing more in tune (or rather you are becoming more aware of whatyour body has always known) with itself.
Or more simply, your mind and your body are...working better together.
I won't go all la de da on you because that turns some people off, and also I don't really know very much myself.
But! I think it is a good thing. YOur body 'know' how it should be, and wanting to stretch and improve your posture is maybe one of the easiest or earliest signs of your own awareness of yourself improving.

I only say this becuase after attending an intensive meditation course I experienced similar things (and still do). I found them bizarre and a little scary to begin with...felt like I was in the exorcist. BUt now I am very glad of it. If I make myself concious of it I can improve my posture very quickly for example.

Anyhow, Good luck.

Donn
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replied July 6th, 2009
RLD restless leg disorder. look it up.
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replied January 30th, 2010
i have the same thig all of you are talking about it started when i was little i was o retalin for a while i thought that was it but i wasnt it stops for a while then comes back it feels like a cannot get relief from the stretching and popping of joints i try everything but nothing works if anyone on this page want to compare what we do in our daily lives maybe we ca figure out what is cuaseing this discomfort overselfs.
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replied February 16th, 2010
can't stop stretching!! ahhhh!
I am also experiencing this problem. Although I have always "cracked" my neck and stretched often, lately (within the last 4-5 weeks) I CANNOT go more than 5-10 seconds without feeling a huge urge to stretch, specifically my neck and shoulders. It is driving me crazy. I also can not sleep, watch tv, or do any activity that would cause someone to sit in one position for any length of time. I am beginning to think it has to be an OCD, and that maybe I need to see a doctor! I think it may be more of a mental thing simply because when I am busy or in the middle of doing something, I forget about it. It isn't until the day winds down, when I'm in the car, or trying to relax and rest when it starts to get unbearable.Any thoughts or help???
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replied February 17th, 2010
that is NOT OCD... OCD is characterized by intrusive thoughts that are motivating the compulsion. unless you are having some disturbing thought that is making you want to stretch, it ain't OCD.

it could be a tic or something. or maybe you're deficient in a vitamin?

have you started or stopped a medication recently? I know that the more you crack your joints, the more you want to--something to do with your ligaments, I believe.
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replied April 26th, 2010
I have the same problem!
I am having the same problem. Mine is more concentrated on my neck, though. It began when I was about 12 years old and I needed to crack my knuckles and shoulders. When I was 14, I once went to a Tae Kwon Do class and when I threw a kick, I felt a strong pain in my neck and had to lay down. The instructor said I had a lot of knots in my spine. A week later, a friend fainted and when I was helping carry her to a car, she fell over to my side and all the weight came on my shoulders and I heard a loud crack and I got sharp pain in my neck. As the years have gone by, my need to crack my neck has increased; specifically the right back side. The only other thing that relieves this urge is taking a strong object (such as a remote) and jamming it in there to press on that specific nerve. The relief is instantaneous but as soon as I stop, the urge returns. I know my condition is stress related because this urge is always worse when I am nervous or stressed.

I can''t take this anymore. It''s embarrassing looking like the crazy person who keeps bending his neck forward to crack it every 10 seconds. I went to a neck specialist and the best he could tell me was that I needed to exercise more often because the muscles in the neck get weak and tense up to keep the head in position which is why I feel like my neck is stiff. I disagree with him because exercise only exacerbates it. The day after working out or even on the same day my neck feels stiffer. I don''t know if it helps but I am also a nail and cheek biter. I pretty much crack every joint in my body for relief. I am currently 22 years old and my neck no longer cracks as much anymore. No matter how hard I try to crack it, most of the time it just won''t crack anymore. This means that the urge gets worse so I am forced to force stretch it forward to stretch out the specific tendon, nerve or muscle in my neck that''s driving me crazy. Can anyone out there help me with this. I am seriously going crazy and I feel that it has gotten worse.

Oh, and I tried marijuana for the first time with the hopes that it will help, and I don''t know if it''s me, but it seems like my urge has only gotten worse since then.
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replied September 9th, 2012
urge to stretch
I'm also suffering this urge to stretch since I was around 30 (now I'm 49). At first it was only in the upper legs, but now, it's the whole body: legs, back, neck, shoulders, hips, feet. I stretch several times every day and this takes much time of my day. I feel I'm different of the rest of the world and I've lost my wish to have fun with friends for that reason. Some days I feel better (cause I don't work and have plenty of time to dedicate myself), but others I feel bad and tired since I wake up in the morning. I also have cramps, mostly in my feet, which I also must stretch several times everyday. The only solution I've found is to stretch, though bathing in warm water also loosens the tightness.

My doctor says its myofascial pain syndrome. That's when you feel a tightness in some muscles and you press them with a tennis ball or whatever that is hard till they loosen. But that's not definitive. The tightness comes back hours or days later.

Another doctor said I have FM, but I must say he didn't spend much time for the diagnosis.

The thing is I need this extra time to stretch, in other case, tightness turns so unbearable it affects my mind with stress and tiredness and it worsens everyday.

I'm quite sedentary, though I like (and need) to practice some sport everyday, but I've noticed that the stronger the sport I practice, the worse I feel the next day. The best sports: aqua gym, swimming, yoga, stretching, pilates, and similars.

These days I've tried a new massage, which starts by releasing the muscle fascias. This hurts a lot till the massager gets the fascias to loosen. But the relief is immediate.

I therefore think it's the muscle fascia which tightens. The fascia is the tissue surrounding the muscles, which it's interconnected throughout the whole body. That's why when you press one trigger point, you feel a response in another part of the body.

When I got my fascias released after the massage, I felt better and could feel my muscles relaxed. But, differently as before, my muscles had no tone (I stopped walking middle distances because of the pain and tightness). With tightened fascias it seemed I had muscle tension, but with released fascias my muscles were soft and unfit.

Of course the fascial massage is not the definitive solution (unless you can afford at least 2 massages a month).

The question is: why happens this with the fascias (if this is the origin of the symptoms). I' ve read it has something to do with posture, and you have to find the original trigger points to loosen, but how. Ordinary people, including my own family think there is nothing wrong with me (and I have doctors in my family, but they've never listened to me).

Another factor to take into account (at least in my case) is fluid retention: maybe thats the factor number one, which causes low drainage of tissues, poorly oxygenated muscles, cramps, etc.

And not to forget my scoliosis: most of my sensations of tightness and pain concentrate on the right part of my body.

I've also tried with cannabis: I also felt worse the first days and couldn't think of anything else but to stretch. I let my mind under the effects of cannabis drive my body cause I felt so clear the need to stretch. And it helped a lot. I was so astonished of this effect I had to search for it in google and found it helps proprioception of your body: that is, you become aware of your body as joint to your mind, there is no separation mind/body (so to say).

I became then interested in this aspect (which I found at first esoteric to me, but now it's real and essential) and found that meditation also helps (it helps everybody, to know better themselves, and of course, in my case).

In conclusion, I've found I NEED to stretch several times a day, practice some sports mainly in warm water, sometimes stretch under the effects of marihuana, get some massage to help maintain healthy fascias when I can, BUT...

if other people who practice less sport, who have scoliosis, who have fluid retention, etc., don't feel the same need to stretch, then the reason must be another one: vitamin need, poisoning, ...?

The worse of all these is the time I've been loosing trying to rest of all this tightness and pain, with no help from ordinary doctors, spent a lot of money in massages and other alternative therapies, to not know who can help you (chiropraxis, acupuncture, others), the lack of empathy from your friends and family (a friend who is a new psychologist even said it was histeria OMG), that I'm now so unfit, and feel tired very easily, because I feel I have no muscles, but fascias.

Hope it helps someone.

Carmen
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replied September 9th, 2012
Sorry for my very looooong post above, but even so I forgot to say I have high arches in my feet (cavo feet) (maybe the origin of a wrong posture, which is the origin of trigger points, which are the origin of MPS, RLS and FM, which is the origin of confusion, not acceptance, which sets you in the fringe of depression)

Carmen
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replied May 4th, 2010
I have the same thing as all of you I don''t think it''s OCD. I can actually relate with the guy that jabs a remote in his neck to try relieve the pain. I have been doing slot of research and I honestly thing we are either suffering from tmj and or fibromyalgia I know it sounds crazy but research it and reply to this post again I''m interested in hearing what u think.
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replied November 13th, 2012
I checked into both TMJ and Fibromyaglia, but I don't think that's it. I also went to a Rheumatologist and asked about both but she didn't think I had either. Fibromyalgia is usually associated with pain, not just the stretching thing. And TMJ is in your face/head area. I've looked into Restless Legs Syndrome and Periodic Limb Movement Disorder but they're both sleeping disorders. Neither fits what I have, but it can't hurt to put it up anyway.
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replied May 4th, 2010
I have the same thing as all of you I don''t think it''s OCD. I can actually relate with the guy that jabs a remote in his neck to try relieve the pain. I have been doing slot of research and I honestly thing we are either suffering from tmj and or fibromyalgia I know it sounds crazy but research it and reply to this post again I''m interested in hearing what u think.
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replied May 4th, 2010
Well, I did look at Fibromyalgia and TMJ and I think I should clarify again that what I have is not pain. It is an intense urge to stretch or crack that part of my neck. Although, I did go to a new doctor last week and he told me that what I'm doing is making my neck hypermobil. He told me of an exercise that I should do that will correct this problem. It's very difficult to describe how to do it, so I will try and record a youtube video and post the link here. Hopefully it will help someone. The doctor did say it's not a quick fix, that it will slowly but surely, correct the problem, so I'm crossing my fingers!

Good luck everyone!
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replied September 17th, 2011
i have been having the streching urge fo some years now i just thouhgt i was weird, i get it in my neck, arms,fingers,wrists well u might aswell say everything Sad it is doing my brain. i now have tendinitos im wondering if this stretching has bought it on. im in soo much pain. i just need help Sad
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replied May 7th, 2010
But you don''t have any kind of muscle tension that causes that urge because I feel the urge to crack my neck as well but it''s the tension that makes me want to crack it and I am also worried about overstreatching so if you could post that vid that would be great. Lmk
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replied May 7th, 2010
But you don''t have any kind of muscle tension that causes that urge because I feel the urge to crack my neck as well but it''s the tension that makes me want to crack it and I am also worried about overstreatching so if you could post that vid that would be great. Lmk
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replied July 4th, 2010
For about 3 and a half years, Ive gotten that same urge to incontrably crack akd stretch my back. When i'm exersizing i get the urge to crack it even me. There is no pain, just the weird tension. I cant tell if its all in my head or real tension, but its very irritating and causes me so mch discomfort. Also laying down on my bed at night makes it worse. Ot gets so bad. Jeed to stand up and crack it as hard as I can. I don't believe its OCD. Ive struggled woth OCD since i was young and its not a compulsive response. There is no negative mental stimulus attatched to it, and i dont feel as something bad will happen if i dont so its not OCD. Please help.
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replied August 23rd, 2010
OCD? Don't think so.
Wow. It's great to read this. Have had it for 2 years. Wrists.. Sometimes neck. Forearm. Hand. It goes on for hours at a time. It's driving me nuts. I'm gonna ask my neurologist about it. Wish there was a medication.
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