Many people have an occasional muscle twitch somewhere on their body. They can range from mildly annoying to a persistent aggravation and pain that can nearly drive one mad. Many times the twitching goes away on its own in a short time, but in other cases it can continue on for months or years.
Causes and Development
In some cases the twitching
may be due to simple muscle fatigue
, eye strain, stress, drug reactions, and even caffeine
. In other cases, it could indicate a disease or situation requiring serious attention.
Twitching generally occurs as a result of an overwrought nervous system
unloading impulses. It is most common during rest from stress and strain. Facial twitching in adults, accompanied by rather severe facial pain, is the result of a facial neuralgia
Signs and SymptomsTwitching
occurs when a muscle contracts and releases suddenly and involuntarily. Slight twitches
are obvious to the person experiencing them, but they are not usually noticeable to others. It is very common for muscles to twitch
involuntarily from fatigue
after strenuous exercise. Many people experience twitching and jerking of several muscle groups when falling asleep. Twitching eyelid muscles are common.Parkinson's disease
can involve twitching and grimacing, though many other symptoms predominate. Similarly, in Huntington's chorea, the focus is not only on the display of characteristic involuntary muscle
movements, but on the psychological states of apathy, irritability and mania that are experienced with this illness.
Diagnosis and Tests
An excess of toxic heavy metals in the body such as mercury, aluminum, lead, cadmium and copper
can lead to neurological irritation, and twitching
. A hair mineral analysis can determine individual toxic heavy-metal levels.
Treatment and Prevention
Some people have found relief in treating their twitching
with mineral supplements (such as potassium
), hot packs, massage, or drinking a few glasses of tonic water for the quinine. Others have resorted to Botox injections which can be painful, expensive and offer only temporary relief, not to mention the possible bruising
and drooping limp muscles from the Botulinum toxin. In some severe cases, surgery has been the chosen recourse sought.
Neuromuscular function and muscle control require the minerals magnesium
. A deficiency could be causing tics, trembling
. The B-vitamins reduce stress-triggered trembling by calming the nervous system
. Vitamin B12
is often poorly absorbed through the intestinal tract and should be taken in a sublingual form. Calcium is also important for muscle growth and contraction and for the prevention of muscle cramps
Herbs are excellent for treating nervous system problems of all kinds. Chamomile, hops, lady's slipper, passion flower, skullcap, wood betony, St. John's wort or valerian in tea or tincture form provide a sedative
effect on the nervous system. For tea, add 1 cup of boiling water to 1 tsp. of herbs or take 20 drops of herbal tincture in liquid daily.
is associated with other signs of a nervous system
disorder, it can be more serious. In this case, a neurologist can best secure the diagnosis.