i An Essential Guide to Muscle Twitching and Spasm
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Although muscle twitch and spasm are both involuntary muscle contractions, they are not completed related regarding their conditions and causes. Muscle twitch usually affects a single muscle while muscle spasm is characterized by cramps in large and multiple muscle tissues. Here’s your guide to muscle twitching and spasm, what causes them and their possible treatments.

What is Muscle Twitching?

Muscle twitching which is also known as Muscle Fasciculation is a small and involuntary muscle contractions and relaxation in the body. Our muscles are composed of fibres which are controlled by different nerves. When any of these nerves get damaged, they lead muscle fibres to twitch.

Muscle twitches are usually harmless and most of the time you won’t be even able to notice them. However, certain kind of muscle twitch should be cured as early as possible under specialized medical guidance.

Muscle twitches are usually harmless and most of the time you won’t be even able to notice them. However, certain kind of muscle twitch should be cured as early as possible under specialized medical guidance.

muscle-cramps-pain

What is Muscle Spasm?

Muscle Spasms are involuntary muscle (one or more muscle) contractions which occur when a muscle is torn. Usually during a muscle spasm, your muscles cramp up involuntarily and stay the same for a small duration because they are not capable of loosening up.

Muscle spasms can take place in any muscle of the body including thighs, arms, hands, lower back and abdomen. Muscle spasms are often referred as Charley horses – distinctively when they are in the calf muscle.

What are the common causes of Muscle Twitching and Muscle Spasm?

Following are the possible causes of Muscle Twitching and Spasms –

  • Twitching can happen as a result of building up of large amounts of lactic acid in the muscles usually after heavy physical activities. Muscle twitching in arms, back and thighs are quite often after a heavy workout session. One of the very common reasons that lead to muscle spasm is insufficient stretching before training sessions.muscle-twitching-in-thighs
  • Stress and anxiety are two other reasons that can cause muscles to twitch. Twitches caused due to stress usually affect eyelids, thumbs, or calf. This kind of twitches doesn’t last for more than a few days.
  • People who don’t drink enough water throughout the day are more likely to feel muscle spasm than those who do. Dehydration can also lead to twitching especially in larger muscle groups like legs and torso.
  • Deficiency of magnesium, potassium, calcium and vitamins B and D are often linked to the cause of muscle spasm or cramps.
  • Inefficient blood circulation and putting too much stress on the leg muscles are two very common causes of muscle twitching in thighs.
  • Consuming too much of caffeine, amphetamines, or other stimulants on a daily basis can also lead to muscle twitching all over the body.
  • Side effects of certain drugs like diuretics, corticosteroids or estrogens pills can set off muscle spasms in arms, legs, or back.
  • Cigarettes and other tobacco products contain a substance – Nicotine. This substance can trigger muscle twitching in larger muscles like legs or torso.
  • Sleep disorders and muscle fatigue are also among the common causes of muscle twitching.

Rare causes of Muscle Twitching and Spasms

Following causes of Muscle Twitching and Spasm which makes it necessary to meet your doctor ASAP –

  • Muscle twitching in neck, hips, or shoulders can be caused by Muscular dystrophies (group of inherited diseases which over the period damages and weakens the muscles)
  • Another cause of muscle twitch that needs urgent medical care is Lou Gehrig’s disease or widely known as ALS. A person affected by ALS loses control of voluntary muscles. Unluckily, there has been no cure of ALS yet.
  • Rare causes of muscle spasm include conditions like hypothyroidism and kidney failure along with brain damage due to head injuries and Parkinson’s disease that can cause irregular rigidity in muscles.

Possible Muscle Twitching Treatment

Although muscle twitching is not always avoidable, you can still put in your effort to cut down the risk. Follow these few things:

  • Prioritize sleep – Getting adequate sleep benefits in two ways – Firstly, it will give enough time for your body to recover and CNS (Central Nervous System) to rest. And secondly, it will relax and freshen up your mind and hence decrease the levels of anxiety.
  • Reduce stress – Some of the finest ways to reduce stress include – Yoga and Meditation. Moreover, you can also consult a professional therapist to help you in managing stress.
  • Eat healthy foods – For the most part, prefer fresh fruits and vegetables. Say no to sugary sodas and soft drinks. Get your carbohydrates from whole grain foods like – Quinoa, Oats, Whole-grain bread, etc. You should also consume an adequate amount of protein from sources like eggs and chicken.
  • Restrict your caffeine consumption – Getting in too much caffeine day in day out leads to muscle twitching. Hence, avoid or limit the intake of beverages and foods that contain high quantities of caffeine.
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Possible Muscle Spasm Treatment

  • Stretch your muscles both pre and post workout – Time and again, it is advised to perform proper stretching routine both before and after the workout. Do dynamic warm-up stretching and static cool-down stretching before and after workout respectively to prevent muscles from strained or pulled.
  • Maintain a proper posture – Needless to say, being slouched on the couch for long hours can damage your neck and shoulder muscles. And once the inflammation starts to set in, the problem can get worse. For instance, back spasms are very often caused due to rounding of the spine and it leads to acute pain in lower back and overall rigidity in muscles.
  • Apply heat compressor or a cold pack to cure muscle spasm – Applying ice packs several times a day on the affected muscle will reduce the blood flow and hence decrease the inflammation and swelling. Apart from ice packs, heat compressor can also be used to relax the muscles. Get yourself a warm towel or a heating pad and gently massage it on the areas where you get frequent spasms.
  • Keep yourself hydratedDehydration is a very common cause that leads to cramps and spasms. Drink ample amount of water every day, especially people who indulge themselves in a strenuous workout and sweat heavily. Decide your daily water intake based on your body size and make sure that you drink enough water whenever you are thirsty.
Tags : muscle crampmuscle spasmsmuscle twitch
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