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Muscle twitching

Muscle fasciculation; Fasciculations of muscle

Muscle twitches are fine movements of a small area of muscle.

Images

Deep anterior muscles
Superficial anterior muscles
Tendons and muscles
Lower leg muscles

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Considerations

Muscle twitching is caused by minor muscle contractions in the area, or uncontrollable twitching of a muscle group that is served by a single motor nerve fiber.

Muscle twitches are minor and often go unnoticed. Some are common and normal. Others are signs of a nervous system disorder.

Causes

Causes may include:

Nervous system conditions that can cause muscle twitching include:

Symptoms of a nervous system disorder include:

Home Care

No treatment is needed for benign muscle twitching in most cases. In other cases, treating an underlying medical cause may improve symptoms.

When to Contact a Medical Professional

Call your health care provider if you have long-term or persistent muscle twitches or if twitching occurs with weakness or loss of muscle.

What to Expect at Your Office Visit

Your provider will take a medical history and perform a physical exam.

Medical history questions may include:

Tests depend on the suspected cause, and may include:

Related Information

Muscle cramps

References

Deluca GC, Griggs RC. Approach to the patient with neurologic disease. In: Goldman L, Schafer AI, eds. Goldman-Cecil Medicine. 26th ed. Philadelphia, PA: Elsevier; 2020:chap 368.

Hall JE, Hall ME. Contraction of skeletal muscle. In: Hall JE, Hall ME, eds. Guyton and Hall Textbook of Medical Physiology. 14th ed. Philadelphia, PA: Elsevier; 2021:chap 6.

Weissenborn K, Lockwood AH. Toxic and metabolic encephalopathies. In: Daroff RB, Jankovic J, Mazziotta JC, Pomeroy SL, eds. Bradley's Neurology in Clinical Practice. 7th ed. Philadelphia, PA: Elsevier; 2016:chap 84.

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Review Date: 2/4/2020  

Reviewed By: Amit M. Shelat, DO, FACP, FAAN, Attending Neurologist and Assistant Professor of Clinical Neurology, Stony Brook University School of Medicine, Stony Brook, NY. Review provided by VeriMed Healthcare Network. Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Medical Director, Brenda Conaway, Editorial Director, and the A.D.A.M. Editorial team.

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