Muscle Twitching

Involuntary body muscle twitches (fasciculations) of the head, feet, legs, arms, hands or fingers

    Information on Involuntary Muscle Twitches (Fasciculations)

    Select a Topic

    1. What is Muscle Twitching?
    2. Muscle Twitching in Children?
    3. What Causes Muscle Twitching?
    4. How to Manage Muscle Twitching

    What is Muscle Twitching?

    Muscle twitches are small involuntary movements involving small areas of muscle or muscle fibers. These twitches often go unnoticed, and when you do feel them, they tend to feel worse and more noticeable than they actually are. Twitches, also known as fasciculations, can occur in the arms, feet, fingers, hands, head, legs, stomach, and other parts of the body. Twitches can also occur in the eye muscles.

    Muscle twitches are usually harmless and are more of an irritation than a cause for concern. In most cases they disappear shortly after they appear or when the underlying cause is seen too. In some rare cases, however, muscle twitching can be a sign of a neurological disorder.

    Muscle Twitching in Children

    When your child is suffering from muscle twitching it can be a very uncomfortable and nerve-wrecking for you as a parent. However, knowing the exact cause of muscle twitching can be extremely beneficial in making sure your child gets the right treatment. Although it isn’t common for a child’s muscles to twitch involuntarily, it does happen. Children can also suffer from benign and diet deficient twitches just like an adult.

    Dehydration is another cause of muscle twitching, especially if your child suffered from the stomach flu which rapidly depletes the nutrients in his/her body. However, other more disturbing causes of muscle twitching in children include Epilepsy, Tourette syndrome, and Muscular Dystrophy. It is imperative to see your pediatrician immediately if you notice muscle wasting on your child or they show any signs of weakness.

    What Causes Muscle Twitching?

    Causes of muscle twitching include:

    • Pregnancy
    • Stress or anxiety
    • Excessive caffeine
    • Hypothyroidism
    • Bug bites or stings
    • Mono
    • Parkinson's Disease
    • Side-effects of certain drugs or medication (such as diuretics, corticosteroids, or estrogens)
    • Dehydration
    • Lack of certain vitamins and minerals, often a magnesium deficiency
    • Lack of sleep and fatigue
    • Benign twitches (twitches without known cause often affecting eyelids, calf and thumbs)
    • Genetics
    • Withdrawals from certain medications (particularly benzodiazepines)
    • Benign fasciculation syndrome
    • Multiple Sclerosis
    • Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS or Lou Gehrig’s disease)
    • Damage to the nerve that leads to a muscle
    • Muscular dystrophy
    • Spinal muscular atrophy
    • Weak muscles (myopathy)

    How to Manage Muscle Twitching

    • Cut down on your caffeine by drinking less tea and coffee. Opt for fruit juice and plenty of water instead.
    • Learn to relax and de-stress. Try deep breathing and muscle relaxation techniques to help you relax after a long day. Yoga and Pilates are also great.
    • Make exercise an essential part of your daily routine, 30 minutes of moderate exercise can go a long way in reducing stress and encouraging healthy sleep.
    • Make sure you are eating enough magnesium. Magnesium rich foods include green vegetables such as spinach and broccoli, as well as beans, peas, nuts, and seeds.
    • Ensure that you are getting enough good quality sleep and try to stick to a good sleep routine. If you suffer from insomnia, then take the necessary steps to resolve it, or help manage it.
    • Massage therapy is also a great tool to help to manage and relieve muscle twitches.
    • If muscle twitching persists, or becomes severe then it is always s good idea to get a professional opinion from your health care provider.