Hey Guys, have you felt that a particular portion of your body is hard and tight? You don’t need to afraid of, its common among many people’s & it is just a minor, involuntary muscle contraction which is known as Muscle Twitching.
Muscle twitches are not that serious, but the twitches in the arm or legs can be uncomfortable and affect your daily work. Today in this article I am going to bring you some basic information regarding treatments, causes of muscle twitching, etc… Ok without further adieu let’s get into the content.
Muscle Twitching and causes
Though Muscle twitching is common, it is a little bit alarming. You can deal with a problem only if you get root causes of the problems. Here are the causes of muscle twitching,
- Poor nutrition
- Intense Exercise
- High Caffeine and alcohol intake
- Poor sleep
Now let us see in detail about these causes and how to deal with them,
1.) Poor nutrition and lack electrolytes
The three main Electrolytes Calcium, potassium, and magnesium are necessary for an ideal man to maintain healthy muscle function.
Let see how these nutrients play their role in our body,
The major reason for the muscle contractions and twitching is due to lack of calcium and magnesium. Calcium and magnesium are the major nutrients that help in muscle contractions and nerve signaling. These nutrients can be found in plant-based foods.
Potassium also plays a role in muscle functioning and nerve operation. Lack of this electrolyte leads to muscle twitching and cramps.
Other than the electrolytes the vitamins like Vitamin D also plays an important role in the muscular functions and nerve impulse transmission. They don’t directly help in the muscle functions but they help the bones to absorb more calcium. Vitamin D can be gain from various foods and also from the sunlight.
Any imbalance in this nutrition and electrolyte combination may lead to muscle twitching. The imbalance is caused due to some medications like blood pressure medications and unbalanced diet plans.
We suggest you drink Mineral Drink which is enriched in nutrients like calcium, potassium, magnesium, and vitamin D. It is also advisable to take nutrients like Zinc.
Not only for muscle twitching almost half of the health problems caused by dehydration. The energy fluids in our body are depleted by the way of sweat, urine, vomit and other means and this can result in dehydration. It affects the entire body from and external to the cellular level and also the mental state.
Our blood contains 80% of the water. Dehydration reduces the flow of blood to the working muscles. Thus it reduces the oxygen and other nutrients supply to the muscles thus it results in malfunction of the muscles. They cannot do complete contractions and relaxation and this leads to muscle twitching.
Dehydration not only reduces the water level in our body it also reduces the potassium, calcium and other important electrocutes we have seen their importance lack of them leads to Muscle damage.
Muscles twitching in the eyes are caused mostly due to Dehydration. Sometimes they also cause long use of computers or dust irritation.
Muscle twitching is regarded as a good sign for effective workouts or Exercises but excessive twitching is problematic. The reason is during the workout we use heavy weights this makes the muscles to fatigued and over-worked.
A lot of the important nutrients are lost through the sweats, as we seen earlier lack of these electrocutes can lead to muscle twitches.
During workouts, muscle twitching is more often felt in the minor muscles like biceps, calves, and shoulder. Sometimes thighs muscles are twitched due to long-distance run or strain on the muscles.
Observation says that lactic acid segregates in the process of exercise and this leads to muscle twitches. Due to insane workouts body get into dehydration this reduces the supply of oxygen. Thus lactic acid is produced as this can be converted into energy without the need for oxygen. But the lactic acid cannot be used easily this leads to muscle twitching and pain. Some other problems like nausea and weakness.
4.) Caffeine and alcohol
Luckily our body is clever enough to give signs; muscle twitching is also one of those signs. Too much intake of Caffeine can leads to small involuntary tension in muscle fibres of the body.
Caffeine is Diuretic in nature so high intake of the Caffeine leads to Dehydration. And rest we seen earlier.
Caffeine doesn’t stop there. It also blocks the absorption of the certain nutrients and the important electrocutes we see earlier. And the result is muscle twitching.
5.) Poor sleep
As said before muscle twitches during the exercise are a good sign, but the cause for it due to lack of sleep. If your sleep can give relaxation time for the muscles then the muscle twitches will not happen.
Chemical signals are sent by the brain through the nerves to the body part. This is known as neurotransmission and done by the neurotransmitters in the brain and nervous system. Poor sleep reduces the efficiency of Neurotransmitters. The lack of communication between the muscles and the brain leads to muscle twitching.
Mental Stress is also the reason for muscle twitching. When we stress the body prepares to fight the danger. Thus the brain commends our nervous system to defend, as a result of this even we fight with stress our muscles are contracted like we are fighting against a bear because our nerve impulses are responsible for the muscle control. Thus our mental stress leads to stress and pain muscle fibers and by the time it results in muscle twitching.
As we seen earlier medicines used for the blood pressure (BP) like antidepressants, also result in muscle twitching. The stimulating effects in the antidepressants can cause involuntary contractions of muscle fibers and lead to muscle twitching. People get this side effect because they use the medication without the prescription of the doctors, whilst blood pressure medication is the major cause of muscle twitching.
If you are afraid, that your medication is the reason for the muscle contractions then you can consult with your GP for the change of medication. It is important to consult a doctor before changing your medication.
Nicotine the chemical component induced into the body by smoking also causes muscle twitching as the nicotine is a stimulant. If you are a chain smoker the muscle twitches can concur for you. You can get your doctor’s advice to come out of the smoking habit. You can also the NHS website for tips.
Other Reasons for Muscle twitching:
Although muscle twitches are common and often harmless problems, they may also be the symptoms for a serious condition like kidney and/0r nerve deficiency. Here are some serious disorders that can muscle twitches,
‣ Multiple Sclerosis –
This is a condition when the brain and spinal cords are gets affected. AS a result of this it creates the symptoms across the body, like imbalance, non-sensation, immobility, and poor vision, and Muscular Dystrophy – over time it weakens the muscle and leads to muscle twitching.
‣ Isaac’s Syndrome –
This Syndrome is rare in nature; it creates the condition of muscle twitching, cramps, and stiffness.
Muscle Twitching: Causes of Muscle Twitching and how to relieve them
‣ Pinched spinal nerve –
This caused when the tissues around the necks put a lot of pressure around the nerve. It may occur in the back, shoulders, legs, hands, and other areas of the body, and result in pain, tingling, numbness, and weakness of the muscles.
‣ Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis’ –
It is a group of neurological diseases. It rarely occurs and affects mainly the nerve cells and causes muscle twitches.
‣ Lupus –
Lupus is an autoimmune system created by the body; it has severe effects in the joints, kidneys, brains, and skin. It happens when the body’s immune system attacks the part of the body.
Muscle Twitching Causes of Muscle Twitching and how to relieve them
‣ Benign fasciculation syndrome –
It is a neurological disorder that causes muscle twitches in parts like eye, hands, fingers, feet, and legs.
‣ Dystonia –
It is also a neurological disorder in which the signals from the brains are not received correctly. It causes painful muscle spasms and twitches.
‣ Motor neuron disease –
This is a group of diseases affecting the nerves and spinal cords. Due to this the signal of the brains is not properly reached to the muscles. This leads to weakness and stiffness in the muscles.
Treating and preventing muscle twitches:
Address your diet
As we have seen earlier nutrients and electrolytes play a major role in the causes of muscle twitches. Thus a balanced containing all the nutrients will help to relax the muscle.
You should take calcium-rich foods like Sweet potatoes, dairy products, tofu, and Potassium rich products like salmon and broccoli. Spinach and bananas contain a high level of magnesium.
Avoid using packed or processed goods like biscuits and jars of sauce because they contain less nutrition. You can look at nutrition pages for more information.
Drinking water is the ultimate solution for muscle twitching. Though you take more nutrients they are transferred to muscles through blood, dehydration will lead to waste of the nutrients, particularly when exercising.
Doctors recommend that we should drink nearly 8 to 9 glasses of water a day, even more, if the weather is hot or you do intense work or exercise. Though it looks an easy lot of us struggle to drink this amount of water daily. You can drink water by mixing it with other flavors. Make them yourself don’t use packed juices.
Reduce your caffeine and alcohol intake
As we have seen earlier caffeine and alcohol intake is one of the main reasons for muscle twitching, cutting down the caffeine and alcohol intake will get any muscle twitches under control.
Instead of giving up caffeine and alcohol altogether, you can try using non-caffeinated varieties and low alcohol combined drinks. You can also replace them with alternatives like Herbal teas and Bambu. Bamboo is not only caffeine-free it is also good in potassium which is the main element for muscle functions.
Managing your stress will have a good effect on controlling nerve impulses and as a result, it will reduce the muscle twitches. You can try meditation, exercise, yoga, or other breathing techniques to manage your stress.
In addition to these herbal remedies and massage can be good factors to reduce stress. Massage does not only relieve you from stress it also eases your muscles and soothes it. It increases the blood flow in them.
Try Gentle Exercises
If the muscle twitches are caused due to insane workouts then you should practice some gentle relaxation and stretching exercises. At least you can reduce the time or intensity of the workouts.
It is important to give some cool time and relaxation time for the muscles after the workouts. Start with warm-up and end with stretching.
What is the difference between muscle cramps and twitching?
Often the terms muscle twitches and muscle cramps are used synonymously. But there is a slight difference between them. Cramps are strong, painful, and involuntary contractions of the whole muscle whereas twitches are not painful and occur mostly in muscle fibers than the muscle whole muscle.
Twitches normally last for few minutes or a few days in any part of the body. If the twitches last longer, then it is an indication of health problems. You should consult the doctor. Usually, they are not that serious.
When should I see the doctor about muscle twitching?
It is better to consult the doctor if you are experiencing muscle twitches for more than 2 weeks and also if you feel the twitches for more than one place. You can also contact your doctor if you feel it is caused by bad medication.
During the consultation, your doctor will discuss the possible causes for your muscle twitching as we have seen earlier. If the reason cannot be found out then it is better to refer yourself to a specialist.
I hope you got the information you were searching for. If you have any further doubts please share them in the comment section below. Thank you!
- Mayo Clinic Staff. (2016, January 21). Eye twitching: Causes
- Mayo Clinic Staff. (2014, November 27). Muscular dystrophy: Treatments and drugs
- Muscle twitching anxiety symptoms