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Deep anterior muscles
Deep anterior muscles


Definition:

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



Alternative Names:

Muscle fasciculation; Fasciculations of muscle



Considerations:

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

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



Common Causes:
  • Diet deficiency
  • Drug overdose (caffeine)
  • Drug side effect (such as from diuretics, corticosteroids, or estrogens)
  • Exercise
  • Twitches not caused by disease or disorders (benign twitches)
    • Often affecting the eyelids, calf, or thumb
    • Normal and quite common, often triggered by stress or anxiety
    • Come and go, and do not last for more than a few days

Nervous system conditions that can cause muscle twitching:

Symptoms that suggest a nervous system disorder include:

  • Loss of, or change in sensation
  • Loss of muscle size (wasting)
  • Weakness


Home Care:

There is usually no treatment necessary for benign muscle twitching.



Call your health care provider if:

Call your health care provider if you have long-term or persistent muscle twitches.



What to expect at your health care provider's office:

Your health care provider will take a medical history and perform a physical examination.

Medical history questions may include:

  • When did you first notice the twitching?
  • How long does it last?
  • How often do you experience twitching?
  • What muscles are affected?
  • Is it always in the same location?
  • Are you pregnant?
  • What other symptoms do you have?

Diagnostic tests vary depending on the suspected cause. Tests may include:



Prevention:



References:

Barohn RJ. Muscle diseases. In: Goldman L, Ausiello D, eds. Cecil Medicine. 23rd ed. Philadelphia, Pa: Saunders Elsevier; 2007: chap 447.




Review Date: 11/13/2008
Reviewed By: David C. Dugdale, III, MD, Professor of Medicine, Division of General Medicine, Department of Medicine, University of Washington School of Medicine; and Daniel B. Hoch, PhD, MD, Assistant Professor of Neurology, Harvard Medical School, Department of Neurology, Massachusetts General Hospital. Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Medical Director, A.D.A.M., Inc.

The information provided herein should not be used during any medical emergency or for the diagnosis or treatment of any medical condition. A licensed medical professional should be consulted for diagnosis and treatment of any and all medical conditions. Call 911 for all medical emergencies. Links to other sites are provided for information only -- they do not constitute endorsements of those other sites. © 1997- A.D.A.M., Inc. Any duplication or distribution of the information contained herein is strictly prohibited.
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