Muscle twitching in hand

Definition - What is a muscle twitch in the hand?

Muscle twitching is the involuntary contraction (contraction) of a muscle. Among medical professionals, Fasciculations spoken, if there are slight twitching visible under the skin.

In the case of repetitive twitching with movements, i.e. a tremor, one tremor spoken. Theoretically all muscles of the hand can be affected.

The intensity and duration of the twitches can vary widely. As a rule, they are harmless, go away on their own and cause no pain. In a few cases, however, they can also be the sign of a serious illness.

Causes of muscle twitching

In the majority of cases, the muscle twitching is not caused by any disease. For many people, e.g. Muscle twitching just before going to sleep. But even so, many people notice muscle twitching every now and then.

In stressful situations or other stressful events, muscle twitching, including the hand, can be more pronounced.

Another harmless cause of muscle twitching is magnesium deficiency. The calf muscles are particularly badly affected by a magnesium deficiency.

Read more about this under: Muscle twitching in the calf

Another cause of muscle twitching is stimulant substances like caffeine. But alcohol or drugs are also possible. In addition, muscle twitching can occur as a side effect of a drug.

Muscle twitching also occurs in the context of hypoglycaemia and overheating or hypothermia.

In amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), muscle twitching is a typical syndrome. They can appear anywhere in the body. However, ALS is very rare and is accompanied by other symptoms such as increasing weakness in the arms and legs. Over time there is an increasing worsening of the symptoms. It is based on the destruction of the nerve cells that supply the muscles.

Muscle twitching also occurs in the context of Tourette's syndrome. In Tourette's syndrome, there are other symptoms in addition to muscle twitching, such as vocalizations.

Can this be a reference to MS?

Multiple sclerosis (MS) causes inflammation of the nerves in the central nervous system. This usually does not cause muscle twitching.

Usually MS manifests itself in other symptoms. Inflammation of the eye nerves, which is accompanied by impaired vision and pain, is classic. Other symptoms are paralysis, sensory disorders and gait disorders.

Read more about this: Diagnosis of multiple sclerosis

Muscle twitching from stress

When the human body is under stress or psychologically stressful situations, the entire body is under increased basic tension. The basic tension of the muscles is also increased and twitching occurs more easily.

Another cause of muscle twitching under stress is that our brain transmits signals incorrectly when under pressure. Relief of stress and alleviation of muscle twitching can be achieved through relaxation techniques such as autogenic training or yoga.

You might also be interested in: Meditation

Is that dangerous?

Muscle twitching happens just like that in many people without a dangerous background. However, a disease can also be the cause. Therefore, a muscle twitch should definitely be clarified by a doctor if the muscle twitches occur very frequently, limit everyday life or if many twitches occur continuously without a break. Furthermore, a doctor should be consulted if the twitches are spread over several parts of the body and the twitches are very pronounced.

Muscle twitching in various places

They have Muscle twitching all over your body? Find out more here!

Thumb twitching

A completely harmless cause of a thumb twitch can be an overload of the thumb. The causes described above, such as stimulants, stress or medication, can also lead to a thumb twitch.

A tremor of the thumb combined with a tremor of the entire hand can also indicate Parkinson's. The hand tremors continuously. There is also a slowdown in movement and muscle stiffness.

Read more about this under: Twitches in the thumb

Muscle twitching in the ball of the hand

Here, too, there is usually a harmless cause. For example, overloading the muscles can trigger the twitches. If the twitching occurs very frequently and in other parts of the body, it can also be an amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS). But this is rarely the cause.

With ALS, muscle weakness, paralysis and muscle atrophy also develop in the course of the disease. Muscle atrophy is a regression of the muscles. The muscles in the hand are often affected, especially the thumb muscles.

Find out more symptoms of this disorder below: Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis

Muscle twitching in the fingers

Muscle twitching in the fingers is usually not dangerous. They can occur just like that or be triggered by stress. Stimulating substances can also cause twitching.

If the twitches are severe, persist for a long time and other symptoms occur, a doctor should be consulted, as a muscle twitch can also be a serious illness.

Concomitant symptoms

Harmless muscle twitches in the hands are usually not accompanied by other symptoms. Although they can be very uncomfortable, they usually do not cause pain. If the muscle twitching is severe, it can lead to a kind of sore muscles.

If a magnesium deficiency is the cause, it can also lead to fatigue, digestive problems (e.g. diarrhea) and headaches. In the case of serious illnesses such as Parkinson's or amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), in addition to muscle twitching, there are other symptoms typical of the disease. In addition, the muscle twitches or tremors are distributed over several parts of the body.

In Parkinson's disease, in addition to tremors, there are classically slowed movements, muscle stiffness and a small step. The cause is the death of cells in the brain that control movement.

In ALS, other symptoms are increasing muscle weakness, which in the course of the disease lead to paralysis. Furthermore, there is a breakdown of the muscles and painful muscle cramps. Swallowing and speaking disorders can also occur.

You might also be interested in: Aching

How can it be diagnosed?

When clarifying the cause with the doctor, information about the duration and intensity of the twitches is important. It is also important for the doctor to know which medication the person is taking and whether there are any other symptoms. This is followed by a neurological examination with testing of reflexes, coordination, balance and muscle strength. A blood sample is usually also taken.

Depending on the doctor's suspicion, further examinations, such as an MRI, may follow. If necessary, there will be a discussion about possible psychological factors.

Duration of muscle twitching

Harmless muscle twitches are usually short-lived and less pronounced. Plus, they don't happen that often. The twitching may be stronger under stress. In addition, there is often a connection between the stressful situations that triggered it and the extent of the twitching.

ALS has mild twitching that is common, of varying duration, and increases as the disease progresses. If the muscle twitches occur as part of stimulants, they correlate with the level of effectiveness of the substance. A tremor (permanent tremor), as in Parkinson's, lasts continuously and can hardly be influenced.

Therapy of muscle twitching in the hand

Therapy and treatment depend on the cause of the muscle twitching. Relaxation procedures and learning to deal with stress can help with stress. If there is strong psychological stress, psychotherapy is advisable.

Read more about this under: Psychotherapy

If there is a magnesium deficiency, taking additional magnesium and eating a balanced diet alleviates the symptoms. Magnesium can also be taken for muscle twitching due to other diseases. However, this should be discussed with the doctor.

Also, stimulant substances such as caffeine, drugs, and alcohol should be avoided regardless of the cause. If there is an underlying disease, the underlying disease is treated.

With Parkisnon, the drug L-Dopa helps to relieve the symptoms. Neuroleptics are prescribed for Tourette's syndrome. The therapy options for ALS are unfortunately very limited. The only drug that has a positive effect on the course of the disease is riluzole. In addition, the quality of life is improved with physiotherapy and occupational therapy.

You might also be interested in: Physiotherapy

Magnesium as a possible therapy option

Muscle twitching occurs with a magnesium deficiency. Classically, these occur in the calves. The symptoms range from muscle twitching to real cramps in which the muscles no longer relax by themselves. The muscle cramps occur at night or when exercising with excessive stress.

But also in the hand it can come to muscle twitching with a magnesium deficiency. The symptoms can be alleviated by taking additional magnesium in the form of tablets or powder.

Read more about this under: Magnesium

Can you prevent the muscle twitching in your hand?

Since the muscle twitches occur involuntarily by definition, we cannot deliberately influence the muscle twitches when they occur. Therefore, one should focus on preventing the muscle twitching. Relaxation techniques such as yoga or autogenic training can help here. Furthermore, stimulating substances should be avoided.

If the underlying disease is serious, the appropriate medication and therapy should be used. Although this usually cannot completely prevent the muscle twitching, the symptoms are significantly weakened.

You might find this helpful: Breathing Exercises to Relax - That Really Helps!

Recommendations from the editorial team

The following topics may also be of interest to you:

  • Muscle twitching all over your body
  • Twitches
  • Muscle twitching in the thumb
  • Muscle twitching
  • meditation
  • How can you reduce stress?