Muscle twitching, Muscle tremors, Fasciculation or colloquial too Muscle twitching occur in different strengths and can either involve clearly visible movements or go unnoticed optically. Sometimes they are symptoms of an illness; but they can also represent a disease in themselves. A differentiated diagnosis is therefore imperative for frequent muscle twitching.
Doctors usually understand the term muscle twitching to mean involuntary contractions of the muscles. Many different muscle groups can be affected.
Doctors usually understand the term muscle twitching to mean involuntary contractions of the muscles. Many different muscle groups can be affected, including the facial muscles or those of the limbs.
The twitches can take place rhythmically and regularly as well as once or at irregular intervals. How often and how intensely the muscle twitching occurs depends on the individual cause. If the contractions produce clearly visible movements, doctors speak of myoclonus; if there is no actual movement, the twitches are called fasciculations.
Muscle twitching does not always have to have a pathological cause. The so-called jerking of the limbs to sleep, which occurs in around 70% of the population, is considered a medically harmless phenomenon.
Muscle twitching can be caused by harmless and natural causes. For example, strong stress or an emotional imbalance can cause temporary twitching of individual muscle parts.
Under certain circumstances, however, the muscle contractions can also be due to a pathological disorder. Neurological problems in particular can manifest themselves through involuntary muscle twitching. Poisoning, such as those caused by heavy metals or alcohol, often causes noticeable muscle twitching.
Epileptics often suffer from sometimes strong muscle contractions; however, their occurrence always depends on the exact type of epilepsy. In certain circumstances, excessive muscle twitching can also be caused by inflammation of the brain. Frequent muscle twitching should be examined medically to rule out a dangerous illness.
If the muscle twitches are noticeably frequent and / or severe, it is advisable to consult a doctor. With the help of special examination methods, specialists can find out whether the contractions have a pathological cause and where exactly this is.
In a detailed conversation, the frequency, intensity and possible other symptoms are first discussed. This is followed by a comprehensive examination of the patient. If no trigger for the muscle twitching can be determined in this way, the doctor can order an EEG to measure brain activity or an EMG to measure muscle activity.
In this way it can be determined whether there is epilepsy, for example. It can also be diagnosed whether the causes of the muscle twitching are nervous or muscular in nature.
Muscle twitching leads to an inner stress experience for many people. In particularly severe cases, fear and panic occur because the organism takes an uncontrollable action that leads to excessive demands. Although the muscle twitching is not noticed by outsiders in most cases, the person affected believes that the other person perceives the twitching and that he is being observed.
There is often a feeling of weakness. The experience of stress often increases, especially when dealing with superiors. Restlessness, hectic pace or nervousness set in.In this state, the error rate in performing tasks increases. Forgetfulness kicks in and blood pressure rises. In severe cases, people with a cardiovascular problem can have a heart attack.
The muscle twitching is a sign of a deficiency in the organism. If this is not followed up sufficiently, further complaints occur or the muscle twitching increases. If the affected muscle is shut down by an operation, damage to the nerves can occur during the operation.
These cause pain or a feeling of numbness in the affected area. Additional muscle fibers can be injured or an allergic reaction can occur as a result of your procedure. The muscle twitching attracts immediate attention from the person concerned. His mind starts to spin and he is distracted.
An occasional muscle twitch is quite natural and not a reason to see a doctor. With regular muscle twitching, however, a visit to the doctor is unavoidable in order to rule out diseases. If the muscle twitching is accompanied by pain, a visit to the doctor should not be long in coming, as a possible nerve disease could be the trigger. A neurologist should then be consulted.
He will first want to find out how often and under what conditions a muscle twitch occurs. The medical history will also be important to him. Pre-existing conditions that were associated with a nerve injury are of great importance for the neurologist when looking for the cause. These include, for example, epilepsy or other complaints such as burning muscles, painful muscles or fever. But not only a nerve disease can be behind frequent muscle twitching. Drugs can also trigger unexplained muscle twitches. To rule out this, the neurologist will take an accurate record of the drugs the patient is taking.
Once the diagnosis has been made, the treating specialist can initiate appropriate therapy. For example, if epilepsy has been identified as the cause of the muscle twitching, drug therapy is initiated in most cases to prevent the symptoms from breaking out. An operation on the affected brain region is also possible in individual cases. Encephalitis must urgently be treated with medication to avoid a life-threatening condition.
The severe nerve disease amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, or ALS for short, may be accompanied by severe muscle twitching. Comprehensive treatment, including physiotherapy and occupational therapy, is required here in order to keep the incurable disease within tolerable limits for as long as possible. If the specialist determines after a comprehensive examination that the muscle twitching is not due to any pathological causes, a change in individual living conditions can be recommended, among other things.
Reducing stressors and eating a balanced diet can help improve well-being and reduce muscle twitching. If the muscle twitching is accompanied by painful cramps, an adequate magnesium intake should also be ensured. If necessary, the doctor can prescribe appropriate preparations and give helpful tips.
The prospects for muscle twitching depend heavily on the severity of the symptom itself. In many cases the patient's life is only slightly affected by the muscle twitching. However, a strong muscle twitch can negatively affect certain activities, so that the quality of life is greatly reduced by the symptom. As a rule, this symptom should always be seen by a doctor if it persists.
As a result of the muscle twitching, the patient often suffers from additional stress and panic attacks. It is not uncommon for outsiders to be unable to assess the disease correctly, as it appears to them to be a physical or mental handicap. This can lead to teasing and bullying, especially among children. In these cases it is necessary to see a psychologist.
The muscle twitching often leads to accidents or errors in the operation of devices, machines or vehicles. The muscles themselves can feel numb for a period of time.
In most cases, the treatment takes the form of physiotherapy with medical support. It usually leads to success and can also prevent cramps and other consequential damage. The symptom can often be limited by the intake of magnesium and does not lead to any further complaints or complications.
Since muscle twitching can be a symptom of many diseases or can occur naturally, prevention in the strict sense is not possible. A healthy lifestyle naturally supports well-being and can also prevent possible diseases. If conspicuously frequent and / or severe muscle twitches are found that persist over a long period of time, a doctor should be consulted as soon as possible. If there is actually an underlying disease, it can generally be treated better if diagnosed early.
A variety of measures can be taken to alleviate the symptoms of benign muscle twitching. One of the most common causes is excessive stress as well as mental illness. It is important to compensate for this as quickly as possible in order to reduce the cortisol values.
Relaxation exercises such as autogenic training as well as yoga or Qi Gong can help. Walks, listening to soft music and sports such as swimming or running also help relax nerves and muscles. Anyone who is open to alternative healing methods could also try Bach flower therapy. Special combination preparations are available. Plant extracts prepared homeopathically also promise support. Sleep behavior should also be checked. Lack of sleep creates stress in the body and cortisol levels remain elevated. Sleep rituals and a pleasant sleeping atmosphere help to find peace and to get that important night's sleep.
If the uncontrolled muscle twitching is concealing a magnesium deficiency, help can be provided quickly. On the one hand, pharmacies offer over-the-counter capsules or powder as dietary supplements - these are based on easily absorbable magnesium citrate - and on the other hand, foods rich in magnesium can be incorporated into the menu: these include spinach, beans, oat flakes and nuts. So-called "magnesium robbers" - such as white flour - should be avoided. The consumption of alcohol or drugs can also cause neural disorders. Excess caffeine can also have detrimental effects. These substances should be avoided in the presence of muscle twitching.