Muscle twitching


Also called muscle fasciculation.

Involves small muscle contractions.

Stimulation or damage to a nerve may cause muscle fibers to twitch.

Most muscle twitches are unnoticed.

In some cases muscle twitches may indicate a nervous system condition.

Minor muscle twitching is usually the result of lifestyle-related causes.

More severe muscle twitching, however, is often the result of a serious condition.

Common causes of muscle twitching include:

Can occur after physical activity because lactic acid accumulates in the muscles used during exercise, and most often affects the arms, legs, and back.

Muscle twitches that can affect any muscle can be caused caused by stress and anxiety, ref2242ed to as “nervous ticks.”

Consuming too much caffeine and other stimulants.

Nutritional deficiencies include vitamin D, vitamin B, and calcium deficiencies can cause muscle spasms, particularly in the eyelids, calves, and hands.

Muscle contraction and twitching, especially in the body’s larger muscles of the legs, arms, and torso can occur with dehydration.

Nicotine can cause muscle twitching, especially in the legs.

When the eyelid or the surface of the eye is irritated, muscle spasms can occur.

Corticosteroids, estrogens can cause twitching in the the hands, arms, or legs.

These common causes of muscle spasms are usually minor and easily resolve, after a couple of days.

Some muscle spasms can be triggered by more serious causes related to problems with the nervous system, which includes the brain and spinal cord.

Damage to the nerves connected to muscles can lead to twitching.

Some serious conditions that can trigger muscle twitches include:

Muscular dystrophies

Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis

Spinal muscular atrophy damages the motor nerve cells in the spinal cord, affecting the control of muscle movement. It can cause the tongue to twitch.

Isaac’s syndrome with spasms most often occuring in the arm and leg muscles.

Evaluation includes:

blood tests to evaluate electrolyte levels and thyroid function

an MRI scan

a CT scan

electromyography to assess the health of the muscles and the nerve cells that control them

Treatment for muscle twitching is not usually required as the spasms tend to subside without treatment within a few days.

Drugs utilized for persistent symptoms include: corticosteroids, muscle relaxants, such as carisoprodol and cyclobenzaprine, neuromuscular blockers, such as incobotulinumtoxin A and rimabotulinumtoxin B.

Lowering risk of muscle twitching:

Eating a balanced diet with fresh fruits and vegetables, whole grains, and protein.

Adequate sleep

Managing stress

Limited caffeine intake

Eliminate smoking

Switch medications

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