Medical questions & health advice by board certified doctors
"What causes muscle spasms?"
Different parts of my body seem to twitch a lot. Doesn't last very long but its really annoying and happens all the time. What causes this? What is the reason for muscle spasms?
Muscle spasms are extremely common, and almost everyone experiences a spasm at some time in their life. Normally our muscles alternately contract and relax during the movement of our limps. Similarly, the muscles that maintain our posture also contract and relax in such manner. A muscle spasm occurs when a muscle involuntarily (without our consciously willing it) contracts due to an inflammation that is triggered by an overstretched or torn muscle. In effect, the muscle cell runs out of energy and becomes hyperexcitable that leads to a forceful contraction. A spasm occurs suddenly, usually resolves quickly, and is often painful. There are a variety of causes of muscle spasms that depends on certain predisposing factors. Doing strenous exercise in a hot environment may trigger spasms in the large muscles that are required to do the work. Dehydration and insufficient supply of electrolytes (glucose, sodium, potassium, calcium and magnesium) from nutritional deficiency can cause the muscle to become irritable to trigger a spasm. Muscle spasms that often come and go may be related to stress or anxiety. Caffeine and certain medications may also cause the twitch. However, muscle twitching may also be associated with neurological disorders. Other potential causes include systemic diseases like diabetes, anemia, kidney disease, thyroid and hormonal problems. I would suggest that you seek an evaluation by a primary care physician if your muscle spasms recur.