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When I sit with my legs crossed or knees bent I get very light headed

I’ve noticed that sometimes (but not always) when I sit with my legs crossed or knees bent (like for instance today I was on my bed, cross-legged folding laundry), I get extremely light headed and feel like I might faint. I have to go lie horizontally for a while for the symptoms to subside. I know this is typically taken to be a sign of low blood pressure, but it doesn’t seem to be triggered when I go from sitting or lying down to standing. Being cross-legged or having my knees bent is definitely a trigger, though sometimes it just happens for no reason at all. From what I’ve read, I think it can also be related to MV? I’m currently on 75mg of Topirimate, working up to 100mg, but have had symptoms of feeling faint off and on since before starting medication. Does this happen to anyone else? Is it typical of a VM patient?

Hi Rhea

I have had the faintness symptom really intense before and it seems to last days… I remember posting a similar question on here - did you see the post? I would lay with my legs elevated for hours on end to try and get some relief! It didn’t
y really matter what I was doing.

I think it is a common VM symptom. I was told my chronic migraine was of a basilar kind and that can cause faintness.
Its common… people use “lightheaded” and other words to describe it.

:+1:t3:

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Title was a bit vague. The Category is called ‘Symptoms’, so a more specific title will help people better understand what is being talked about in the Topic. I edited for you.

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Unless you’ve been diagnosed with Basiliar-type migraine you should find feeling faint or losing consciousness is not a common MAV symptom. It is a diagnostic symptom with Basiliar migraine however. As you state you were experiencing this before Topiramate I don’t suppose it’s a drug side effect? Not sure what’s causing it but try looking at it from another angle. As you are folding the laundry lying on the bed I assume you are pretty acute (family went off Sunday and left you in bed, eh?) therefore your balance is currently much affected by the MAV. So as you are sitting cross-legged you have reduced the amount of physical contact your body/skin has with the mattress, much less than if you were lying legs fully extended. Now to maintain your balance your brain uses input from your eyes, ears, and something called proprioception which amounts to all other inputs, in simplest terms such as ankles, feet, muscles and skin. You have acute MAV, brain finds balancing difficult using false signals from ears/eyes so relies more on proprioception so by becoming cross-legged you are, unintentionally, reducing your brain’s input by proprioception. Therefore brain struggles to maintain balance result being you feel light headed and feint. By lying down full length you both restore more contact and your brain can start using other inputs because the human body uses different inputs for balance lying down than sitting up anyway. This could be your answer. Helen

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Thank you! Im still getting used to navigating the forum and your comment is really helpful in more ways than one!

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When I would crouch for a few minutes in a squatting position and then get up I often felt like I was going to faint and would have to quickly drop to the floor or fall onto a bed/couch. It still happens once in a while, but not nearly as much as when my MAV was really bad. So maybe not the same as you describe, but similar.

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This is called postural (orthostatic) hypotension:

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In my case I injured my ear and once the MAV phase came on (6 months afterwards), I became much much more sensitive to certain extreme positions. Going on haunches could increase my dizziness for days, especially for the next 48 hours.

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same with me and i do beleive it is postural (orthostatic) hypotension. I have had this even priort to MAV when i wake up from suddenly sleeping.

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That’s a serious medical condition. Have you been diagnosed with that? Symptoms do look on paper not dissimilar to MAV but it also looks as if it should be easy to diagnose which is something. Helen

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naah it has not bothered me much so i have ignored it…as a workaround if i get up slowly i have no issues.

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Yeah actually I have had it all my life now that I think about it. And the only time I actually feinted from it was when I was about 15 years old. I got up fast off the couch and tried to get to the laundry room. I woke up in a doorway with a nasty bruise on my shoulder with my dad hovering over me wondering what the hell happened.

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I’ve scared the crap out of my husband more than once doing that. When I’m prone and a doctor or therapist tells me to get up slowly, I listen. Falling as dead weight in a bathroom or exam room hurts. Lots of corners and hard surfaces to hit on the way down.

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I always remember when I told people I would lose my balance and be so dizzy I couldn’t walk to the bathroom and they would say ‘Oh, just crawl’. To crawl you have to have enough balance to get down and up again in the first place. Getting from one position to the other made crawling a non starter, Any position, other than normal sit, stand or lie would do it for me for ages. Seemed rather as if brain couldn’t cope with any changes from the norm. Always assumed it was because the changed position meant the brain had to rethink input links. A lower horizon, bent spine (we do apparently use the spine in balancing), more pressure on nape of neck pushes an already struggling system too far. If changing from one pair of flat shoes into another could make me dizzier which it did for years, anything could. I did read somewhere crawling on all fours, baby like, was supposed to help the brain relearn. I did try it for a while but then forgot. Helen

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Hopefully not down the local restaurant :wink:

You know it’s just incredible what this condition can end up requiring one to do :man_facepalming:t3:

Well I suppose it’s not so bad as long as you don’t get seen doing it or at least only by those that truly understand.

I almost had to check out the word beginning with “R” in a dictionary. Couldn’t for a moment remember… you know I haven’t been in a restaurant (main trigger) since December 2014, that’s 4.5 years. So there’s no danger of that. As you say

or, in this case, not do. I avoided supermarkets for over two years entirely too but back there now. Helen

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Yes absolutely. I was lucky. Only had to fight my instinct to remain at home for a few months. Some people have it/have had it much harder. I’m sure it’s justified but lack of exposure to the outside world is very likely to make things worse.

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I certainly agree it is incredible what this condition makes us do.

I do only avoid restaurants. I don’t avoid going outside or being in the real world. I’m not suggesting anybody avoids the outside world. Far from it. Neurologist told me I had to walk outside every day to keep fit and avoid decompensation.

However, I’m a very firm believer in Trigger Avoidance as a huge part of the prevention package. I know my own body and even now my brain wouldn’t cope with an extended period of time under artificial lights in a restaurant. I’m talking a gang of people (family) and extended time, two hours minimum, as this is the only time I’m ever likely to be in a restaurant. I’d probably be fine outside or in high summer (no artificial lighting). In fact I’ve been to a Baby Naming Ceremony with 50+ people, and a meal in a village hall in natural Summer light and I was fine. It’s the winter that’s the problem with me and restaurants and that’s when the big gatherings always occur in my life. I could do a quick coffee (except I don’t drink coffee) so avoidance isn’t a big issue. Restaurants barely feature in my life anyway so it’s not a big deal. Helen

I

Theraspecs! They make artificial light tolerable, if pink. A quiet restaurant without screens becomes possible again. (No sports bars.) There is no way I could work or shop without them. Though, a drawback I didn’t see coming was picking up a nickname at work - Hollywood.

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crossed legged can easily cause postural orthostatic hypertension.

see also below statistic that most people with POTS also are migraineurs

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