The experience of muscle twitching is described differently by different people. Some say it as a 'thumping sensation on the skin surface' and others may feel it as 'worms crawling under the skin'. Medically, it is termed as fasciculations. It results from involuntary contraction of any muscle group in the body. Muscle twitching may occur in small muscles like that of eyelid, upper lip and behind the ears. Even bigger muscles like facial muscles, neck muscles, back muscles, calf muscles can also undergo this kind of contraction. Sometimes, the intensity of twitching is quite less and is hardly noticeable. On the other hand, intense, non stop muscle twitching becomes a bothersome condition.
The causes behind twitching muscles may or may not be a serious issue. Some of the most commonly found causes that lead to occasional twitching of the muscles are as follows:
- Excessive exercising often causes muscle twitching in legs.
- Stress and anxiety
- Deficiency of calcium and magnesium
- Side effects of medicines like diuretics, corticosteroids, etc.
- Overdose of medicines
When there is constant muscle twitching all over body that continues for a long time, then it could be a symptom of some underlying health disorder. These medical conditions are:
- Weakness in muscles
- Damage in any specific nerve in the body that controls the muscle which is twitching.
- Spinal muscular atrophy, a degenerative disease of the muscles which is mostly hereditary.
- Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, a disease that affect the nerve cells of the central nervous system which is responsible for controlling the voluntary muscles of the body.
- Muscular dystrophy, a genetic disorder that causes weakening of the muscle tissues.
How to Stop Muscle Twitching
In general, muscle twitches do not require any medicinal treatment. It can be controlled with the help of a few simple measures at home and some lifestyle changes. They are as follows:
Hydrate the Body
When your body is dehydrated, electrolytes like potassium and sodium is lost. Deficiency of these substances causes electrolyte imbalance in the body which in turn adversely affect the normal coordination of the muscle group and they get contracted. Therefore, you have to increase fluid intake and restore the electrolyte balance in the body.
If you are under a lot of stress lately, then you have to control it in order to get rid of muscle twitching. You can try out various relaxation techniques like yoga, meditation, deep breathing to relax the mind and body. Once the tension is eased off, you will no longer have muscle twitching.
Most of the time, muscle twitching is an indication that the muscles are tired. So, you should sleep for at least 8-10 hours at night when you are bothered by this problem to provide adequate amount of rest to the muscles. Moreover, sleep is an excellent way to relax your mind and control mental stress.
Reduce Caffeine Intake
Coffee, tea, soda contain high amount caffeine which tend to dehydrate the body. Limit consumption of caffeinated beverages and you can prevent electrolytic imbalance in the body. Thus the chances of involuntary contraction of the muscle group is reduced.
Basically, massaging helps the muscles to relax and they stop twitching. You can dilute some lavender oil in a carrier oil like olive oil and use it for massaging the affected muscle. Moreover, the essential oil has an amazing relaxing effect on the muscles.
Take Nutritional Supplements
Deficiency of calcium and magnesium can cause twitches in the muscles. Therefore, you must take supplements of calcium and magnesium to make the muscles strong and healthy. It should be accompanied by vitamin D supplements which ensure better absorption of calcium in the body. It is advisable to consult a doctor to ascertain the dosage of these supplements.
Now, the remedial measure to stop muscle twitching is known to you. If these treatments do not show satisfying results or the spasms are accompanied by other symptoms, then it could be a symptom of a major health problem that requires proper medical treatment.