Muscle fasciculation; Fasciculations of muscle
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.
Causes may include:
Nervous system conditions that can cause muscle twitching include:
Symptoms of a nervous system disorder include:
No treatment is needed for benign muscle twitching in most cases. In other cases, treating an underlying medical cause may improve symptoms.
Contact your health care provider if you have long-term or persistent muscle twitches or if twitching occurs with weakness or loss of muscle.
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:
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: Jankovic J, Mazziotta JC, Pomeroy SL, Newman NJ, eds. Bradley and Daroff's Neurology in Clinical Practice. 8th ed. Philadelphia, PA: Elsevier; 2022:chap 84.BACK TO TOP
Review Date: 1/23/2022
Reviewed By: Joseph V. Campellone, MD, Department of Neurology, Cooper Medical School at Rowan University, Camden, NJ. 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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