Learn about nerves in the body that cause twitching in the feet, legs, arms, hands and fingers.
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What is Twitching?
Twitching is a bothersome problem that involves involuntary muscle movements or fibrillations of small areas of muscle, muscle fibers or nerves. In most cases twitches go unnoticed, and when you do feel them, they tend to feel worse and more noticeable than they actually are. The most common areas of the body in which muscle twitches occur include the eyelids, calf muscles, arms, fingers, hands, head, feet, and legs.
Muscle twitches, also referred to as myoclonus, are generally harmless and tend to be 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, body twitching can be a sign of a neurological disorder.
What Causes Twitching?
Causes of body twitches can include:
- Lack of sleep and fatigue
- Stress or anxiety
- Benign twitches (twitches without known cause often affecting eyelids, calf and thumbs)
- Excessive caffeine
- Side-effects of certain drugs or medication (such as diuretics, corticosteroids, or estrogens)
- Withdrawals from certain medications (particularly benzodiazepines)
- Lack of certain vitamins and minerals, often a Magnesium deficiency
- 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)
More Information on Twitching
Tips for managing twitching
- Cut down on your caffeine by drinking less tea and coffee. Opt for fruit juice and plenty of water instead.
- Lean 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.
- Products such as TremorSoothe can help relieve occasional twitches and tremors
- If muscle twitching persists, or becomes severe then it is always s good idea to get a professional opinion from your health care provider.