Muscle twitches are occasional contractions that can happen to anybody. You can do something on your laptop and sense your eyelids twitch a little bit. Or you can feel a slight leg muscle movement while you are sitting. Since your body is full of muscles, you can sense it anywhere. But there is no need to worry.
All the little twitches are small indications of your lifestyle. Whether it is diet or exhaustion, these involuntary movements are just symptoms that you may have some minor issues. Usually, a muscle twitch is not a problem but rather an annoyance.
From time to time, you may feel this muscle contraction. Are you twitching all the time? What to do about it? If you feel frustrated by this, read this article. You may find the reasons and ways to prevent and treat this unpleasant occurrence.
Why Do Our Muscles Twitch
It is not pleasant to feel movements in your body that are out of your control. These twitches are there to inform you about an irregularity in your organism. Some of the causes of muscle twitches are:
- Poor diet: If you lack certain nutrients, you may lower the efficiency of electrolytes in your body and even not have enough of them. Electrolytes control the normal function of muscles. Not getting enough certain nutrients can negatively affect muscle function. Eat more calcium-rich (salmon, kale), potassium-rich (broccoli) and magnesium-rich (banana, spinach) foods.
- Dehydration: Water is essential for muscle function. Dehydration hampers blood flow to the muscles.
- Nicotine: Tobacco products like cigarettes can cause involuntary contractions. They often happen in the leg area.
- Caffeine: Too much coffee and other stimulants and your body will let you know. Large caffeine intake can cause slight irritation of your muscle fibers.
- Reaction to certain medication: Antidepressants and other types of medication can cause trouble. They can cause the release of too much serotonin in the brain. This can make you twitch. Corticosteroids and estrogen pills can have similar side effects.
- Sleep deprivation: When you don’t sleep, the mind is tired. The brain may sometimes send extra chemical signals that cause twitching.
- Stress: Like with many other conditions, stress can be the main cause. Stress raises the levels of hormones that prompt us to behave defensively and prepare the body to fight against some danger. This can cause nerves to behave chaotically and send some twitching impulses to the muscles.
- Physical exertion: If you have put your body under too much physical pressure. The build-up of lactic acid in the muscles may cause twitching.
Can We Prevent or Treat Twitches?
As you inspect the above causes of twitching, you may realize that some are preventable.
Here are the things that you should consider doing to prevent twitching:
- Eating healthy and moderately: Add vitamins, minerals and other nutrients to your everyday meals. Eat fresh vegetables, fruits, whole grains, and proteins and you can replenish your electrolytes and allow them to work properly.
- Reduce stress: This is easier said than done. You can always try some stress-relief exercises and techniques. Yoga, meditation, breathing techniques, or a relaxing walk may help. It would also be good to enrich your life with passions and interests. Make some time for yourself.
- Look into your medications: Check with your healthcare provider to see if twitching can be a side effect of your prescription medications. If that is the case, maybe you can change them.
- Avoid nicotine: This substance may cause a great deal of twitching. You should quit smoking. It doesn’t only affect your nervous system. It also harms your lungs and your health in general.
- Limit caffeine: Try to reduce caffeine intake. Switch from black and green tea to herbal tea and try to drink less coffee.
- Sleep: Try to get at least 7 hours of sleep and focus on regulating your biorhythm. If you don’t have a regular sleep schedule, you will feel tired even though you sleep long enough.
Are Muscle Twitch and Muscle Cramp the Same?
No, they are not. You should know the difference between the two. Both are out of our control but there is a distinction.
A twitch is a short-term contraction that may happen once or repeatedly. You should not feel any pain. Just an uncomfortable minor movement of the muscle that you can’t do anything about.
A cramp, sometimes called muscle spasm, is a muscle contraction that usually lasts longer. The spasm can be unexpected and painful. Some people experience leg cramps during sleep.
Should You Be Worried?
Most of the time, muscle twitches happen and have no effect on your daily life. You may not even notice them. However, there are more serious causes of this occurrence. They often have to do with the nervous system – brain and spinal cord. Some of the more serious causes are:
- Pinched spinal nerve: Often happens as a result of a herniated disk. You may feel muscle twitches but also numbness or tingling in the foot or lower part of the leg.
- Muscular dystrophy: This disease is often hereditary. It makes your muscles gradually weaker. They can cause twitches mostly in the upper body area, face, neck, and shoulders. It can be the side effect of another disease
- Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis: A rare condition where your nerve cells degrade over time. Also known as Lou Gehrig’s disease or ALS.
- Isaac’s syndrome: This condition causes the nerves to stimulate muscle fibers. The twitches and spasms are often felt in the arms and legs.
- Multiple sclerosis: A condition that causes the central nervous system to gradually weaken. In the early stages of this disease, a person may feel muscle twitches, spasms and
If you notice that you are twitching all the time – what to do next is obvious. You should talk to your doctor. Depending on the symptoms and the doctor’s opinion, maybe run some tests. Most of the time, there is no need to worry. But it is good to be cautious!
So, Can We Stop Twitching?
Probably yes. With a little tweak in your daily routines and habits, you should feel some progress. Usually, twitches are signals from your brain. It tells you that you are fatigued or stressed. Sometimes substances like caffeine and tobacco are irritating your nervous system.
In rare cases, these twitches may be the body’s way to inform you of a serious condition. Even then, if you discover it in time, there are ways to treat it. It is important to take care of yourself as much as you can and keep your nervous system healthy. Eat well, sleep well and relax when you can. A minor twitch here and there will not do you harm.