Muscle Twitching Causes
Muscle twitching causes have many possibilities. Generally speaking, muscle twitching results from involuntary muscle contractions--cramps and spasms that cannot relax. Muscle twitches are relatively common and often go unnoticed. While some twitching is normal and usually benign, muscle twitching can signify a serious nervous system disorder. Here are some of the most common causes of twitching muscles.
Normal Benign Causes
Diet Deficiencies. Certain diet deficiencies can cause twitching muscles. The most common deficiencies include a loss of sodium, potassium, magnesium, Vitamin D, calcium, and a number of B vitamins.
Drug Side Effects. Many different medicines can cause muscle twitching. These include diuretics, high blood pressure pills, asthma medications, and certain medicines used to treat Alzheimer’s disease and Parkinson’s disease.
Drug Overdose. Drug overdose, particularly caffeine, is often responsible for muscle twitching. High levels of alcohol, narcotics, barbiturates, and anti-anxiety medications can also cause muscles to spasm.
Injury. Muscle contractions can also occur after injuries, such as broken bones. And injury to the muscle alone can cause it to cramp, spasm, or twitch uncontrollably.
Exercise. Exercise is a common cause of muscle twitching. Vigorous activity, whether sports or simply unaccustomed activities, can cause muscle fatigue or cramps. This can occur during the activity, or hours later.
Rest. Even rest can cause muscle twitches, particularly in older adults. Muscle fatigue from sitting or lying down for extended periods, especially in awkward positions, can cause painful cramps.
Anxiety. Anxiety is another common cause of twitching muscles. Anti-anxiety medication used to treat the condition can also contribute to involuntary muscle contractions.
Nervous System Conditions
Weak Muscles. Weak muscles, or myopathy, can cause cramps and twitching. People with this condition have deteriorating muscles that result in dysfunction, weakness, and atrophy.
Nerve Damage. If injury or damage occurs to a nerve that leads to a muscle, the result can be involuntary muscle contractions.
Lou Gehrig’s Disease. Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), commonly known as Lou Gehrig’s disease, is another cause of muscle twitching. ALS is a progressive and fatal neurological disease that attacks the nerve cells responsible for controlling muscles.
Spinal Muscular Atrophy. Spinal muscular atrophy is a collection of muscle diseases. This genetic condition causes muscle weakness, involuntary twitching, and respiratory problems.
Muscular Dystrophy. Muscular dystrophy is another inherited condition that cause muscles to twitch, shrink, and weaken. While the condition can affect adults, it is most common in children.