Friday, October 14, 2011

Lamictal 200 mgs: Bruxism is Back?

In a previous post, I wrote about how lamictal has affected my muscle tone.  I'm no longer stiff after working out, and my muscles in general are looser.  In the same post I wrote that my bruxism had improved a lot on lamictal -- I no longer seemed to grind my teeth at night, and my jaw wasn't clenched when I woke up in the morning.  This was pretty great, since I've ground my teeth my whole life.

In recent days, it seems like the bruxism is returning.  My jaw isn't clenched when I wake up, but the muscles there are a bit sore.  I'm not sure whether this is a side effect wearing off or not.  I certainly hope not.

So I'm currently testing a theory: that the jaw pain is actually related to stiffness in my neck.  I've been noticing for a few weeks now that my neck has been stiff in a way that once landed me in physical therapy, where I got a lecture about proper sitting posture while working at a computer (or playing a keyboard instrument, which was the real issue at the time).

Ironically, I think this problem arose because I was trying to be more ergonomically correct.  Generally, I'd been working on the couch with my laptop.  A few weeks ago, when I started using my sun lamp in the mornings, it was easier to set it up on my studio table than to prop it up next to me on the couch.  And anyway, using an ergonomically designed external keyboard should be better for me, right?

I now think I was wrong.
The United States Occupational Safety and Health Administration has several pages on its website devoted to the proper setup of computer workstations.  I may have a decent external keyboard, but the rest of my set-up sucks.  If I put my laptop at a level that allows me to see the screen without bending my neck forward, my forearms, wrists, and hands aren't on a level.  And my chair -- I won't even start with my chair.

Since making the switch to what I thought was a better work station, my neck has stiffened up, and my carpal tunnel has actually gotten worse.  So I'm back to working on the couch.  I'll keep you posted as to whether it helps the bruxism.

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