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South Valley Neurology

Neurologists located in Morgan Hill, CA

Sudden muscle twitching, also known as myoclonus or jerking, usually points to an underlying health problem. At South Valley Neurology, the team of expert neurologists works with people of all ages to diagnose and treat twitching. To schedule an appointment, please call our office number 669-207-0046.

Twitching Q & A

What is twitching?

Twitching, or myoclonus, refers to involuntary muscle movements or jerking. Sometimes, it involves a single muscle; other times, it involves an entire group of muscles.

A common type of twitching is having hiccups. Hiccups occur when a specific group of muscles spasm and then relax. More serious types of twitching can affect your ability to speak, eat, or walk.

What are the symptoms of twitching?

Common symptoms of twitching and jerking include muscle spasms that are:

  • Unpredictable
  • Sudden
  • Uncontrollable
  • Brief in duration
  • Irregular in frequency
  • Localized in one of the body

Often, twitching interferes with normal movements and the ability to work, speak, or eat.

What are some common causes of twitching?

Twitching occurs for a variety of reasons, including:

  • Infections
  • Stroke
  • Epilepsy
  • Parkinson’s disease
  • Alzheimer’s disease
  • Multiple system atrophy
  • Frontotemporal dementia

You might also experience twitching and jerking due to an autoimmune inflammatory condition like multiple sclerosis.

Who is at risk of experiencing twitching?

Twitching affects people of all ages, races, and genders. In most cases, it’s the result of an underlying neurological condition, but genetics may also play a role. Experts aren’t entirely sure why, but twitching, or myoclonus, tends to run in families.

How is twitching diagnosed?

To diagnose twitching and jerking, your South Valley Neurology provider conducts a physical and neurological exam. Afterward, they ask about your symptoms, including their severity, when they started, and if any particular activities make them worse.

If an exam doesn’t provide enough insight into your symptoms, your provider orders additional tests like an MRI or an electromyogram (EMG). An EMG measures the electrical impulses of your muscles to determine the source of your twitching.

If your provider suspects an underlying health problem is the source of your symptoms, they might also order lab tests like a blood panel or urinalysis.

How is twitching treated?

Treatment of twitching depends on the underlying cause and the severity of your symptoms. If your twitching is due to a chronic health problem, your provider works to reduce the severity and frequency of the muscle spasms. Usually, this includes a combination of prescription medication, surgery, or an alternative therapy like Botox®.

To explore the treatment options for twitching, call South Valley Neurology to request an appointment today.