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 Babies & 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:
- Stress or anxiety
- Excessive caffeine
- Bug Bites or Stings
- Parkinson's Disease
- Side-effects of certain drugs or medication (such as diuretics, corticosteroids, or estrogens)
- 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)
- 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)
Help for Muscle Twitching
Muscle twitching can be quite a bothersome problem, which may seem difficult to address. Luckily, there are a wide range of herbal and homeopathic ingredients that can help ease muscle twitching and bring you much needed relieve from this troublesome symptom.
Hyoscyamus is an excellent herb to relieve muscle twitching. Its powerful antispasmodic properties make it ideal for soothing nervous irritations and it is often used to treat tics, twitches and Tourette’s syndrome and Parkinson’s disease.
The homeopathic ingredient Zinc met is also highly recommended as it aids in the absorption of minerals such as magnesium, helps to soothe the nervous system, and relieves muscle spasms, twitches and fidgety movements, especially those related to exhaustion and stress. Cina is also excellent for relieving twitching and muscle spasms while Chamomilla is very soothing and can help to relive underlying stress and restlessness.
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, 30min 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.