Muscle twitches are fine movements of a small area of muscle.
Muscle fasciculation; Fasciculations 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.
When to Contact a Medical Professional
Call your health care provider if you have long-term or persistent muscle twitches or if twitching occurs with weakness or loss of muscle.
What to Expect at Your Office Visit
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:
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Selcen D. Muscle diseases. In: Goldman L, Schafer AI, eds. Goldman-Cecil Medicine. 25th ed. Philadelphia, PA: Elsevier Saunders; 2016:chap 421.
Weissenborn K, Lockwood AH. Toxic and metabolic encephalopathies. In: Daroff RB, Jankovic J, Mazziotta JC, Pomeroy SL, eds. Bradley's Neurology in Clinical Practice. 7th ed. Philadelphia, PA: Elsevier; 2016:chap 84.
Review Date: 2/27/2018
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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