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, call the office in San Jose, California, for pediatric care or the office in Morgan Hill, California, for teenagers and adults. You can also request an appointment online.
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.
Common symptoms of twitching and jerking include muscle spasms that are:
Often, twitching interferes with normal movements and the ability to work, speak, or eat.
Twitching occurs for a variety of reasons, including:
You might also experience twitching and jerking due to an autoimmune inflammatory condition like multiple sclerosis.
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.
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.
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 or request an appointment online today.