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Muscle twitches


Muscle Twitches
Do you get regular muscle twitches? Which muscles are twitching? What causes muscles to twitch? Is it normal to get muscle twitches? How can you stop muscles from twitching?. These are just some of the questions that I will be answering in this article.

What are muscle twitches?

Muscle twitches also known as fasciculation’s are where the nerve fibre of your muscle contracts and relaxes involuntarily at a rapid pace. Usually this will be caused by a single motor unit nerve and will affect just a few fibres associated with that motor unit.

What causes our muscles to twitch?

There can be a number of reasons that cause you to have a muscle twitch, although not enough research has been done to exactly pinpoint the actual causes. However here are some things that may not help:

  • Drinking too much caffeine
  • Stress and anxiety
  • Fatigue from exercise
  • Fatigue in general
  • Lack of sleep
  • Eye strain
  • Lack of minerals in the diet, causing an electrolyte imbalance
  • Medication – some have side effects that cause muscle twitches, seek medical advice if unsure
  • Food allergies
  • Nervous system disorder
  • Pinched nerve
  • Various diseases

Which muscles are the most common to twitch?

Muscle twitches can happen to almost any muscle, but the most common are:

  • Eye lids and under eyes
  • Arms (biceps, triceps and forearms)
  • Back
  • Ribcage area
  • Stomach
  • Thighs (quads)
  • Calves
  • Feet

Is it normal to get muscle twitches?

Whether muscle twitches are normal can be up for debate, in as such should our bodies be doing it or not? Anyway, regardless it is quite common and most if not everyone gets muscle twitches, some more than others.

Are muscle twitches bad for you?

Most are not. Many people suffer no ill effects from a muscle twitch. Most of the muscle twitches you can physically see with your own eyes fluttering away are generally harmless. There is one type that may however not be so good to get and that is called a fibrillation. Fibrillation isn’t visible, you can’t see the muscle twitching, but is usually a stronger contraction that you can definitely feel. If you suspect this is happening to you, seek medical advice.

Fasciculation type twitches that are often visible and more of an annoyance shouldn’t however cause you alarm. They can last just a few seconds or even a few hours, although some twitches can occur on and off for several days, but it may be advisable to seek medical advice if it goes on for much longer periods or constantly.

How can I stop my muscles from twitching?

The following is a general list of things you can do to reduce your chances and occurrence from getting muscle twitches. However even if you do all you can, you may not be able to completely stop them happening.

  • Reduce your caffeine intake
  • Get good quality sleep
  • Get more magnesium in your diet (avocado, banana, beans, dark chocolate, leafy green vegetables, legumes,¬†nuts, whole grains)
  • Get more potassium. (avocado, banana, broccoli, natural yogurt, spinach, squash, sweet potato)
  • Drink more water – staying hydrated helps keep your muscles healthy
  • Warm up, cooling down and stretching a muscle before and after your workout can help
  • Massage or even just moving can release tension in the muscle
  • De-stress, as stress depletes your body of magnesium
  • Get more Vitamin D, needed for a healthy neuromuscular system
  • Exercise (but do not over train, as this will do the opposite)

Finally

Seek medical advice if you keep getting twitches that go on for long periods of time, get them very often or have weakness, numbness or muscle loss. It might be something as simple as a food allergy, but worth seeking advice to make sure it isn’t another underlying issue.

More severe muscle contraction will cause a spasm or even a cramp over a larger area. Read more about cramps here.