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Muscle twitching all over your body

What is muscle twitching all over the body?

Muscle twitches are involuntary contractions of muscle fiberswhich in principle can occur in any muscle on the body. In principle there are muscle twitches with and without movement effect. One further subdivides:

  • Myoclonia (Twitching of whole muscles, usually with movement effect)

  • Fasciculations (Twitching of muscle fiber bundles)

  • Fibrillation (Twitching of the smallest muscle fibers)

Come for muscle twitches very many causes in question however, they are often harmless. However, they can be very annoying and many are disturbed by them, especially if they are diffuse all over the body.

Also read our general article on the topicMuscle twitching

causes

In terms of the causes, it is advisable to subdivide them according to the type of muscle twitching:

Myoclonia

Myoclonia are involuntary contractions of one or more muscles and can be viewed from the outside as short, twitching movements to be watched. Depending on the cause, those affected have little or no control over myoclonus.

Myoclonia can be harmless, especially if it occurs just before going to sleep (Sleepy myoclonus) or as a short "Shudder attacks”Occur.

Also Tic disordersare a common cause of myoclonus, i.e. habitual movement patterns that can no longer really be controlled by the person affected. While tics are not dangerous in themselves, they can be very stressful and stigmatizing. It is a severe neurological-psychiatric illness with pronounced tics Gille de la Tourette syndrome.

Another major cause of myoclonia are some Epilepsy syndromes. However, epilepsy is no uniform diseaseMany sub-forms are accompanied by completely different symptoms such as tingling, smacking or apathy. In principle, all possible neurological symptoms are conceivable; myoclonia only occurs in certain epilepsies. If the whole body twitches one speaks of one generalized tonic-clonic seizure or Grand mal seizure. Often, however, only individual muscles or muscle groups twitch, this is then called a partial seizure.

You can find out more about the topic here Symptoms of epilepsy

Fasciculations

With fasciculations, not the whole muscle twitches but only Muscle fiber bundles, i.e. parts of a muscle. Usually there is therefore no movement effect. Fasciculations too can appear all over the body, especially after physical exertion if they occur frequently and in the vast majority of cases are harmless, one also speaks of benign fasciculation syndrome. The rule of thumb is: kick less than 3 fasciculations in 10 seconds on they are harmless. They then often make up as Twitching in the eyelid or noticeable in the extremities. In addition to exercise, the main causes are stress, emotional imbalance or stimulants such as caffeine.

Be attentive especially if you have fasciculations of pronounced weakness and Breakdown of muscles be accompanied, this can be an indication of a Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) be and must be urgently to be clarified by a neurologist! Also rare neuromuscular diseases how poliomyelitis or Spinal muscular atrophy must then be taken into account.

Another cause are Medication howCholine esterase inhibitors, lithium or Methylphenidate (Ritalin) or also Electrolyte imbalances as a Magnesium or calcium deficiency.

Also a disc prolapseThe cervical spine in particular can lead to fasciculations all over the body, but is then usually caused by Pain, numbness, or paralysis accompanied.

 

Also read:You can recognize a magnesium deficiency by these symptoms

Fibrillation

Fibrillations are Twitches of the smallest muscle units and usually only visible on the tongue muscle. Their causes correspond to those of fasciculations.

Can muscle twitching be an indication of epilepsy?

Is epilepsy not a single disease but a Collective term for various epilepsy syndromesthat can also show themselves in the most varied of ways. All epilepsy syndromes have in common that they are caused by increased brain activity and always follow the same seizure pattern. However, this pattern is different for each syndrome.

The most impressive and therefore best-known seizures are certainly the so-called. Seizures, with Myoclonia all over the body go along, one speaks of Grand mal seizures. However there is also completely different types of seizures, some patients have short-term paralysis, automated hand or mouth movements or even just a tingling sensation. Muscle twitching can therefore be a symptom of epilepsy, but it is a very complex disease so that only an experienced neurologist can diagnose it.

For more information on the topic, also read our article on the topic epilepsy

Stress as a cause

A typical trigger for muscle twitching is stress, which is usually where it starts eyelid to twitch, but in principle it can every muscle in the body is affected be. The twitches are then absolutely harmless and disappear again after a few days, but are mostly used as disturbing felt

Can this also have psychosomatic causes?

Psychosomatic symptoms are symptoms for which no cause is found despite adequate diagnosticsthrough which they could be fully explained. In principle, can almost every symptom can also be psychosomatic, are typical for example Pain, tingling, numbness or just Muscle twitching. First, purely physical causes must be ruled out, only then can the diagnosis be made “psychosomatic”. It is important that the Symptoms should not be dismissed as "conceited"since she is a high load can represent for the patient. Psychosomatic symptoms must also be taken seriously and in the case of great suffering psychotherapeutic be treated.

 

Here is an overview of thepsychosomatic medicine

 

diagnosis

As with any symptom, the first and most important step is this detailed anamnesis, so the conversation with the doctor. Most of the information can already be obtained from this. A good description of the symptoms helps to decide which examinations and therapies are suitable.

Then a physical neurological exam carried out to determine additional symptoms and symptoms.

After that, depending on the patient further investigations performed, especially in the case of muscle twitching Electromyography (EMG). Here, thin needles are inserted into the affected muscle, with which the electrical activity of the muscle can be measured. The neurologist can then, if necessary, infer the disease from these measurements or, of course, identify a healthy muscle. Will be more of a Damage to the nerves, which supplies the muscle, should be another suspected Electroneurography (ENG) to be made. Here, short, harmless electrical impulses are sent into the nerves, which then lead to the contraction of the muscle and provide information about the condition of the nerves.

Sometimes there is also oneMRI examination necessary to rule out or diagnose serious illnesses. In the case of a herniated disc, of course, an MRI must be made of the corresponding section of the spine.

If the muscle twitching occurs acutely and with severe accompanying symptoms, one can also Computed Tomographybe necessary.

accompanying symptoms

Muscle twitches alone are usually not threatening but have a harmless cause such as benign fasciculation syndrome. However, kick warning sign on should the twitches of one Neurologists are examined. To these as "Red flags" These symptoms include in particular:

  • strong pain

  • neurological failures such as paralysis or impaired vision

  • severe dizziness

  • fever and unwanted weight loss

  • severe, novel headache

 

Even with symptoms that point to a epilepsy a doctor must be consulted. This is especially true for Loss of consciousness during the twitches andneurological failures.

Go with the muscle twitches Loss of strength and muscle wasting this can and should also be a first indication of an ALS to be clarified urgently.

Pain

Muscle twitching with pain is a must Clarification of the cause occur. One possible cause is a disc prolapsewho should have an MRI done. But also some Muscle disorders how Myositis or Myotonia can cause painful muscle twitching and require clarification.

Tingling all over

Through a irritated nerve muscle twitching activates the muscle, which then involuntarily contracts. tingle is a whole typical accompanying symptom, since many patients perceive nerve irritation as a tingling sensation.

Most of the time, there is a tingling sensation with a discreet nerve stimulation. If the nerve is damaged for a long time, pain is more likely to occur. You know this from a hand that has fallen asleep, for example. So there is nothing to worry about. If the tingling sensation and muscle twitching do not go away on their own, you should consult a doctor.

 

therapy

Of course, there is no uniform therapy for the symptom of muscle twitching, as these are judge the cause got to.

Are the twitches due to stress this should ideally be reduced, Relaxation techniques as the Progressive Muscle Relaxationor Autogenic trainingcan help with this. If there is an accompanying tension, that too Biofeedback technique a possibility.

Often the Supply of calcium or magnesium recommended in the form of powder or effervescent tablets. However, the benefit against muscle twitching is debatable, one clear effectiveness has not yet been proven. As long as you do not consume excessive amounts, you can not harm yourself, so it worth a try is. If there is of course a demonstrable deficiency, it should be compensated, but then through medical treatment!

At psychosomatic muscle twitching or Tic disorders should be a psychotherapy be considered.

Physiotherapy is also a general treatment option. Please read the article on our partner site Medon Physiotherapy for muscle twitching!

Is there a serious illness this must be treated accordingly. Especially with the Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis is the Prognosis with an average survival of 3-5 years unfortunately very bad. This is currently the only drug in Germany Riluzole approved, but only brings a moderate improvement.

Duration

Nothing can be said in general about the duration, as this depends on the cause. If there is a harmless cause, the twitching usually disappears after a short time. If there is another underlying disease, it must first be treated in order to improve.

Quality assurance through: | Last change: 03.04.2021