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Muscle Twitching: Is It A Health Risk?

Updated on October 8, 2012

What Is Muscle Twitching

Muscle twitching is the sudden and fine movements of a small area of muscles in the body. It is caused by minor muscle contractions and relaxation simultaneously. It may happen suddenly for a few seconds and it may be experienced for a few days. In most cases, it disappears suddenly just as fast as it had appeared. You may have experienced this before because almost everyone experiences muscle twitching one way or another.

When muscles start to twitch, it is most often visible especially to the person having it but there are times where it is not noticeable. When smaller muscles are twitching, the twitches may not be noticeable for other people but the person having it will definitely feel the twitch.

Which Body Parts Are Most Commonly Affected?

The eyelids and the muscles at the side of the mouth are probably the most common facial muscles that are affected by muscle twitching. On other parts of the body, the muscles around the biceps, the inner thighs, the fingers, the toes, and the calves may be more prone to muscle twitches. Other parts of the body and facial muscles may also be affected, it is just that the mentioned parts are more prone to twitches.

In Healthy People, What Causes Muscle Twitching?

Lack of magnesium is the main cause of muscle twitches but there are other factors that should be considered.

  • Lack of other essential vitamins and minerals
  • Stressful lifestyle
  • Poor eating habits
  • Lack of sleep and rest
  • Muscle fatigue
  • Excessive exercise
  • Caffeine overdose
  • Certain medications
  • Excessive drinking
  • Stress
  • Anxiety
  • Nervousness

Should It Be A Cause For Health Concern?

Muscle twitching is usually not a cause for concern. In fact, even the healthiest individuals can experience it sometime in their lives. It becomes a cause for concern though when the person who has it continues to experience it for months. If the muscle twitching is accompanied by other discomfort and by loss of muscle (muscle wasting), muscle weakness, and loss of sensation in the affected area then it is time to seek medical help.

When Is It A Health Risk?

Muscle twitching is usually benign and is not a cause for concern but sometimes, it can be a symptom of an underlying health problem and should not be neglected. The problem usually involves the nervous system, the spine, or it can be a symptom of a neurological disease.

Severe muscle twitching is most often associated with serious and chronic medical condition such as epilepsy, muscular dystrophy, amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), multiple sclerosis (MS), Lyme disease, or spinal injury. There may be other causes but these are the more well known causes of severe muscle twitching.

People who are recovering from a very serious illness, injury, or accident may also experience chronic and severe muscle twitching due to the weakening of muscles and nerves in the face or body.

Can You Get Rid Of Muscle Twitching?

For the benign case of muscle twitching, the easiest way to get rid of it is to keep the body hydrated throughout the day and eating foods that are rich in magnesium. Relaxing and having the right amount of sleep and rest may also help.

For severe muscle twitching, it is best to consult a doctor to help prevent a severe health problem to take effect, if it’s possible.

For twitches that happen due to a serious illness or injury or accident, it is best to continue the medication and therapy that the doctor has prescribed. Ignoring a serious health problem will not help in getting rid of the muscle twitches and may pose a more serious health risk in the future.


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    • BeatsMe profile imageAUTHOR


      3 years ago

      Hi Barleysinger, thanks for sharing your story with us. Hope you can find ways to relieve the problems you are now facing.

      Good luck and wish you to get well soon.

    • profile image


      3 years ago

      You forgot this can be a result of the neurological side of autoimmune/autoinnflamitory diseases with bodywide effects.

      A huge number of folks have related issues for another reason ... the synergestic relationship we have with the microbes of the gut, being harmed by everything from antibiotics, to polysorbate-80, triclosan, Ronoudup/Glyphosphate, "2-4,d) and other badly thought out human creations.

      Gut biota have genomic crossover results, ie they can reset the natural state of genetic switches that run everything in the body.

      Pro inflammatory states are common crossover with gut flora/genomic diseases. Look into the research into polysorbate-80 in mice.

      If the body gets into a proinflammatory state, the everything from metabolic disorder and obseity to muscle loss will occur, no matter what you try (unless you are able to correct the underlying problem which could be many things, but often in this era ... especially if it comes with digestive changes, exhaustion, poor immunity, bodywide pain ... is related to the destruction of normal gut flora.

      Gut dysbiosis (screwing up the microbes in the small intestine) which is extremely common due to our continual use of (unnecessary) biocidal cleaning products/soaps (triclosan in soaps & in plastic items - is now found in out blood and breast milk and all water samples), biocidal pesticides and herbicides on everything like the ecologically endemic Roundup/Glyphosphate on all our food is now in the rain, and 'conditioners' like polysorbate-80 for the convenience of the food industry do a lot of harm to the gut mucosa and villi and put the body into a proinflammatory state).

      Any of these things can upset the delicate balance of the villi/microvilli, the gut mucosa and the gut biota that regulates so many body processes, which in turn ruins the lymphatic system, causing autoimmune conditions, pain and swelling (with soft doughy flesh). The use of "conditioners" like polysorbate-80 in processed food is huge and does create risks for everything from metabolic disorder to autoimmune and autoinnflamitory disorders. Glyphosphate/Roundup is in such large use it is in breast milk and rain and tap water. Triclosan is in a vast array of products (unregulated, though it is a pestcide that is a known danger to human health)) as it was put in everything as an advertising gimmick to create anti-bacteria hysteria to sell products people do not need.

      Nobody yet has been able to explain how I went from a body builder lifting 450lbs with a single leg (at lots of reps), huge muscles, picking up the fridge (while it was full) to move it over), picking up my dads entire oak work bench with all the tools on the shelves, carrying my wife with one arm for hours ... in under a year. It was 15 years ago that I went from carrying her around the house (she was disabled) with one arm for hours and forgetting to put her down - to not being able to lift her no matter what position we started in. I am still losing muscle. I never stopping using my muscles, and kept pushing because life demanded it... so the muscles just ripped. We depend on wood for heat and winters are COLD so I have to chop wood - and that results a long period healing (longer that I have before the next winter). I just don't heal right, or put on muscle any more. I am always exhausted, always in pain, and doing too much work leaves me in that "hit by a truck, from the day after big workout" state for 9 months. My testosterone is supposed to be fine but I do not make muscle. It is autumn / nearly winter here in Oz and my right shoulder and arm are still a mess from chopping wood last winter.

    • BeatsMe profile imageAUTHOR


      6 years ago

      Hello Steve, thanks for offering your support for dystonia sufferers. Good luck.

    • profile image

      Steve Zarren 

      6 years ago


      I am a former sufferer of dystonia and want to offer you my support if you are still struggling with this awful disorder.

      I have put many years of my life into helping dystonia sufferers find relief, and through my efforts was able to get a medical study done at Johns Hopkins Medical Center with the program that helped me.

      It is my pleasure and privilege to work full time in helping dystonia sufferers find relief and get educated

      on the health fundamentals that I have discovered that can make a huge difference on improving one's health.

      I have been effective in helping dozens of dystonia sufferers find relief and have worked with those in

      over 20 countries and 47 states. Please feel free to call me if you would like to learn more about my work

      and how I have been helping others. There is nothing more enjoyable than seeing those I work with find the relief and hope as I received many years ago.

      Remember - I Care,

      Steve Zarren


    • BeatsMe profile imageAUTHOR


      6 years ago

      Hi Nell, thanks for sharing. Sorry you and your family have to deal with this disease. I've read about Parkinsons' disease and it's quite a difficult problem to deal with. Best of luck and hope all is well with you. :)

      Hi Josepher, thanks for sharing and I'm glad your experience about it had quite matched my description of muscle twitches. :D

      Hi James Peters, thanks for coming by and for the support. :)

      Hi DzyMsLizzy, thanks for sharing. Yes, it can be annoying and quite scary if it takes a long time to stop. Thanks also for the support. :)

    • DzyMsLizzy profile image

      Liz Elias 

      6 years ago from Oakley, CA

      I've had this off and on...very occasionally, throughout my life, usually, as you point out, the muscles around the eyes. It is annoying!

      Magnesium, eh? Now, where'd I put that chocolate bar? ;-)

      Very interesting and useful information, and so voted.

    • James Peters profile image

      James Timothy Peters 

      6 years ago from Hammond, Indiana

      This a GREAT and INFORMATIVE HUB, Write On!

      Thumbs Up & More

    • Josepher profile image

      Joseph Webster 

      6 years ago from Texas

      Great hub! I used to get muscle twitches when I wasn't drinking enough water, wasn't sleeping enough, and had a poor diet. A multivitamin helps a lot, as well as not being over-stressed. Thanks for a good bit of info to those still having muscle twitches.

    • Nell Rose profile image

      Nell Rose 

      6 years ago from England

      Hi BeatsMe, My dad started out with muscle twitching, and he ended up with parkinsons disease, so this is really useful, voted up and shared, nell

    • BeatsMe profile imageAUTHOR


      6 years ago

      Hi Quicksand, thank you for sharing and for reading. :)

    • quicksand profile image


      6 years ago

      Well, years ago I used to experience muscle twitching after several hours in the pool or sea, and even after a long walk or run. I am not sure if this happens now.


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