8 Causes of Muscle Twitches and Spasms You Should Know About

Whether you’re a desk jockey or a hard-hitting athlete, twitches and spasms in your muscles can be quite alarming. If you’ve experienced these sudden, unexpected jerks before, know that you’re not alone; they are fairly common. Once in a while, we all experience a sudden and brief contraction of our muscles known as a “fibrillation” or “twitch.” These muscle spasms are usually harmless and subside on their own without any treatment within a few minutes.

However, when they recur frequently and affect different areas of your body, it is indicative of another underlying condition. In this blog post, we will cover 8 common causes of muscle twitches and spasms so that you will be better equipped next time this happens to you again.

1. Tension in Your Muscles Due to Stress

One of the most common causes of muscle twitches is stress. Your muscles react to this stress by contracting even when you’re not using them. This may result in stiffness, cramps, and muscle spasms. This happens when the muscles are overworked and stressed out, causing them to tense up and contract. The stress of everyday life can manifest in many ways, such as moving to a new city, caring for a sick loved one, or juggling several career and family commitments.

2. Repetitive Strain from Exercise

If you’re exercising regularly, you’re no doubt aware that muscle pain and soreness are normal side effects of a good workout. However, these symptoms can sometimes be indicative of a more serious condition, such as a strain or tear in the muscles. This could lead to muscle twitches and spasms as your body compensates for the strain. When you engage in high-intensity workouts, you increase your risk of contracting this condition since your muscles might not be ready for such stress.

3. Depression and Anxiety

When you experience a sudden muscle twitch, it may be indicative of a more serious condition such as anxiety or depression. For example, if you experience sudden muscle spasms accompanied by feelings of shakiness or a racing heartbeat, it’s a good idea to see a doctor.

These are symptoms of panic attacks that may begin without warning. This is because anxiety disorders often cause your muscles to tense up, which can lead to spasms. While many people experience muscle twitches when anxious, these spasms are more intense than normal.

4. Side Effect of Medication

Muscle twitches can also be a side effect of certain medications. Examples include blood pressure drugs, statins, antidepressants, and blood thinners. These side effects usually subside when you adjust your dosage or discontinue the medicine. If you experience muscle twitches that you believe are due to a medication you’re taking, your doctor could help you find an alternative. When you see a physician, they will ask you about your medical history, lifestyle, and current stressors. They will also examine your muscles to determine the cause of your twitches.

5. Restless Legs Syndrome (RLS)

Restless legs syndrome is a neurological disorder that typically causes tingling or cramping sensations in your legs. However, it could also affect your arms, abdomen, and other areas of your body. RLS is common in people over the age of 50, and it can also affect younger individuals. Your risk of contracting this condition increases when you are pregnant, have iron deficiency or have a kidney or liver disorder. RLS is often treated with iron supplements and the antidepressant clonazepam. Other treatments include wearing loose-fitting clothing, doing yoga, and avoiding caffeine.

6. Hyperthyroidism

An overactive thyroid, known as hyperthyroidism, can cause muscle twitches. This happens when your thyroid gland produces too much thyroid hormone. This excess hormone is normally converted into calcitonin, which is responsible for regulating calcium levels in your body.

However, if your thyroid gland is overactive, it could lead to abnormal calcium regulation in your muscles, causing them to spasm. Adults with an overactive thyroid are usually between the ages of 30 and 60. Fortunately, hyperthyroidism is easily treatable with medication.

7. Vitamin Deficiency

Vitamin deficiencies can cause a host of health issues, and muscle twitches are no exception. These deficiencies can be due to a poor diet, certain medical conditions, or even taking certain medications. Your doctor can help you determine if your muscle twitches are due to a vitamin deficiency. They can recommend vitamin supplements to correct the deficiency and help your muscles relax again.

8. Neurological Disorders

Some neurological disorders cause muscle spasms that could manifest as muscle twitches. For example, spinal cord lesions and multiple sclerosis could cause this condition. Your doctor can determine the cause of your muscle spasms and prescribe treatment if necessary.


Muscle twitches can have a variety of causes, from everyday stress to muscle strain from exercise. If you experience muscle twitches, try to relax and identify what caused the spasms in the first place. Taking deep breaths can help you relieve stress and relax your muscles. If you suspect your muscle twitches are due to a more serious condition, it is best to visit your doctor for diagnosis and treatment.

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