Muscle twitches are fine movements of a small area of muscle.
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.
Nervous system conditions that can cause muscle twitching include:
Symptoms of a nervous system disorder include:
No treatment is usually needed for benign muscle twitching.
Call your health care provider if you have long-term or persistent muscle twitches or if twitching occurs with weakness or loss of muscle.
Your health care provider will take a medical history and perform a physical examination.
Medical history questions may include:
Tests depend on the suspected cause, and may include:
Muscle fasciculation; Fasciculations of muscle
Chinnery PF. Muscle diseases. In: Goldman L, Schafer AI, eds. Goldman's Cecil Medicine. 24th ed. Philadelphia, PA: Saunders Elsevier; 2011:chap 429.
Griggs RC, Jozefowicz RF, Aminoff MJ. Approach to the patient with neurologic disease. In: Goldman L, Schafer AI, eds. Goldman's Cecil Medicine. 24th ed. Philadelphia, PA: Saunders Elsevier; 2011:chap 403.
Updated by: Joseph V. Campellone, M.D., Division of Neurology, Cooper University Hospital, Camden, NJ. Review provided by VeriMed Healthcare Network. Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Isla Ogilvie, PhD, and the A.D.A.M. Editorial team.
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