ZocdocAnswersWhat causes muscle twitching?

Question

What causes muscle twitching?

My leg muscles twitch. Different than restless leg syndrome. Just a little twill.

Answer

Muscle twitching is a common complaint. I would recommend that you have this evaluated by your primary care physician. He or she can help diagnose and potentially treat this. In addition, you may require the help of a neurologist (a brain and nerve expert) who can further assist with this problem. Muscle twitches are often a sign of either (a) nerve or (b) muscle problems. It is commonly a sign of nerve damage or inflammation or overactivity. One of the most first things to rule out is that there is no electrolyte abnormality in the blood that is causing this. For example, a classic cause of muscle twitching is a low blood level of potassium. This low potassium level causes the nerves to be "more excitable" and results in twitching. Many medicines or kidney problems can lead to this low potassium. Other electrolytes, like magnesium, can also cause this similar problem. There are other causes of nerve damage -- or neuropathy that should be ruled out. This include total body or systemic causes (like infections or hormonal problems) or local problems like nerve compression. Muscle problems -- muscle inflammation -- can also result in twitching. Your doctor can evaluate for this with blood tests. Talk to your doctor. This should be evaluated.

This answer is for general informational purposes only and is not a substitute for professional medical advice.

If you think you may have a medical emergency, call your doctor or (in the United States) 911 immediately. Always seek the advice of your doctor before starting or changing treatment. Medical professionals who provide responses to health-related questions are intended third party beneficiaries with certain rights under Zocdoc’s Terms of Service.