A muscle twitch is a small, involuntary movement that involves muscle fibers or small areas of muscles. In most cases, a muscle twitch is completely unnoticeable.
When you do feel them, they actually feel much worse and even more noticeable than they really are.
Muscle twitches are also referred to as fasciculations and can occur in your feet, hands, fingers, toes, legs, arms, stomach, head, and other parts of your body. In addition, twitches can happen in the muscles around your eyes.
In most cases, muscle twitches are harmless and are typically more of an irritation than a reason to be worried.
For the most part, they will completely clear up shortly after they occur or when the underlying cause for them is pointed out.
There are a few rare cases in which a muscle twitch can be a sign or symptom of a more serious neurological disorder.
Children and Muscle Twitching
If your child is dealing with muscle twitching, it can be very uncomfortable for them and distressing for you as the parent.
However, understanding the cause of the muscle twitching is very crucial in ensuring that your child is able to obtain the correct treatment.
While it’s not very common for a child to experience involuntary muscle twitching, it can and does happen.
In addition, children can possibly suffer from twitches that are caused by a deficiency in their diet and benign muscle twitches just like an adult.
Another possible cause of muscle twitches is dehydration. This is especially the case if your child has had the stomach flu, as it can rapidly deplete the nutrients in his or her body. On the other hand, there are some more severe causes of muscle twitching, including the following:
- Tourette’s Syndrome
- Muscular dystrophy
If you notice that your child is experiencing muscle twitching and/or weakness, it is critical that you see your child’s physician immediately.
Causes of Muscle Twitching
As previously mentioned, most of the time, muscle twitching is not cause for alarm. In some cases, it can indicate a much more serious, dangerous condition- but for the most part, they are benign. Muscle twitches have a variety of causes, including the following:
- Bug bites/stings
- Excessive caffeine consumption
- Side effects of specific medications
- Parkinson’s disease
- Fatigue/lack of sleep
- Vitamin/mineral deficiency
- Withdrawals from specific medications
- Multiple sclerosis
- Benign twitches
- Benign fasciculation syndrome
- Damage to the nerve leading to a muscle
- Muscular weakness
- Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, also known as Lou Gehrig’s disease
- Spinal muscular atrophy
Steps for Stopping Muscle Twitching
If you experience muscle twitches on a regular basis, you should know that there are some things you can do to stop the twitches. You do not have to suffer from these uncomfortable feelings- just follow the below steps:
Step Number 1
Give it a few days to see if the twitching clears up on its own. In most cases, muscle twitching will not require any treatment at all. Most of the time, muscle twitches will come and go over a span of a few days and then completely disappear just as quickly and mysteriously as they started.
Step Number 2
Since dehydration is one of the most common causes of muscle twitching, make sure you’re drinking plenty of fluids. Be sure that you’re adding more water and other non-caffeinated beverages.
Step Number 3
Allow yourself the time you need to rest and relax, as anxiety and stress are often triggers for muscle twitching. Do whatever you need to do to unwind from your day: Go for a walk, practice some yoga or Pilates, take the time to work out, curl up with a good book, or take the time to watch a favorite television show or movie.
Step Number 4
Since caffeine can contribute to dehydration and feeling anxious, try to cut back on your caffeine consumption. Limit the amount of caffeinated beverages you have in your diet.
Step Number 5
If the twitches are affecting the muscles in your eyes, try to get some extra sleep or consider using lubricating eye drops.
Step Number 6
Both calcium and magnesium are critical in maintaining healthy neurological functioning and muscle control.
If you are experiencing muscle twitches, make sure that you’re getting plenty of both in your diet- even if that means adding a supplement.
You should be getting somewhere around 200 milligrams of magnesium and 400 milligrams of calcium each day.
Step Number 7
Take the time to speak with your physician regarding the medications you are taking and find out if any of them have muscle twitches as a side effect.
If you find out that the medications are the reason for your twitches, speak with your physician about some possible alternative treatments.
Warnings about Muscle Twitching
While it is very rare, in some cases, muscle twitching can be a sign or symptom of ALS, or Lou Gehrig’s disease or muscular dystrophy.
If you experience muscle twitching for more than one week and it is accompanied by other signs and symptoms, take the time to speak with your physician about them.
If the twitching is affecting your eyes at all, speak with your physician if they are completely closing your eye, if your upper eyelid is drooping, if the twitching is involving other areas of your face or if you experience swelling, redness, or any discharge.
Tips for Managing Your Muscle Twitches
Following are a few tips for managing your muscle twitches:
- Cut back on caffeine consumption and instead choose plenty of water and fruit juices.
- Learn ways that you can de-stress and relax with muscle relaxation and deep breathing techniques after a long, tough day. Both Pilates and yoga are great ways to stretch and decompress.
- Keep in mind that taking thirty minutes to do some moderate exercise can do wonders for reducing your stress levels and encouraging you to get adequate rest and sleep.
- Be sure that you’re consuming enough magnesium in our daily diet. Be sure to include green veggies such as broccoli and spinach, seeds, nuts, beans, and peas.
- Make sure that you’re getting plenty of sleep and do your best to practice good sleep habits. If you deal with the condition of insomnia, do what you need to in order to manage or resolve it.
- Massage therapy can help to relieve and manage your muscle twitching.