CALF TWITCHING

CALF TWITCHING

 

Our brain sends signals to our muscles for them to work properly. When something interrupts these signals, in any way, muscles start to be hyperactive as nothing is there to control them. This is not particular to a specific muscle, but can happen to any muscle, including your calf muscles, where you experience calf twitching.

Muscle twitching, in general, in medical field, is known as muscle fasciculations or myoclonus. These are muscle contractions that occur with you wanting them, also known as involuntary muscle contractions.

Myoclonus or fasciculations may either be physiologic or pathologic. Many muscle twitches, including calf twitching, might be physiological or because of some reason that is not serious, like benign fasciculations (which might be caused by stress, improper sleep, or low blood sugar), or restless leg syndrome. Pathologic causes include Huntington’s disease, amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, epilepsy, Alzheimer’s disease, or Lewy body dementia.

In this article, we will discuss some of the causes, including:

Further in this article, we will discuss about:

 

 

BENIGN FASICULATIONS

This term is used in medical field for a condition where you experience muscle twitching continuously and repetitively. This is a common condition, and is not usually associated with something serious (like a disorder of nervous system).

You may experience calf twitching for a number of benign or non-serious causes, some of which are:

  • Stress: stress or anxiety causes your muscles to become hyperactive because of all the pressure this anxiety and stress puts on your body including your nerves and muscles. Hormones and the blood flow get increased with anxiety, which makes your muscles more tense, which causes you to experience muscle twitching, including calf twitching.
  • Overexertion: exercising for longer periods than needed puts a lot of pressure on your muscles, make them exhausted like any other body part. This makes the muscles work in an unorganized fashion, which may result in twitching. Also, with more exertion, you lose a lot of electrolytes with profuse sweating. Electrolytes are important for your muscles to work in a better way. This makes you more prone to muscle twitching, including calf twitching.
  • Issues in sleeping or lack of it: when you sleep less, your neurotransmitters work less efficiently, causing your muscles to twitch. Neurotransmitters spread the message and signal to nerves, and nerves in turn go to muscles to give them the signal of contraction.
  • Vitamin and mineral deficiencies: calcium, magnesium, and vitamin D are some of the minerals and vitamin needed for your muscles to work properly. Calcium needs magnesium to be carried to your nerves, and needs vitamin d to be absorbed. If your body is deficient of any of the three mentioned things, you will experience muscle twitching, including calf twitching.
  • Medication overuse (any stimulant, including amphetamine).
  • Alcohol or caffeine intake in greater amounts.
  • Low blood sugar.
  • Dehydration.

 

RESTLESS LEG SYNDROME

This is a condition which results in you experiencing urges to move your legs, and these urges are irresistible.

Even though the cause of restless leg syndrome is not known, but it is believed it runs in the families. This is called primary restless leg syndrome, where you do not have any other underlying disease. But there are some cases where you might have kidney failure, peripheral neuropathy, spinal cord disorders or iron deficiency anemia, in this case leg or calf twitching is called secondary restless leg syndrome.

Symptoms of restless leg syndrome include:

  • Strong urges, often irresistible, to move your legs, particularly at rest.
  • Your symptoms improve once you move your leg.
  • Night muscle twitching- including calf twitching.
  • Symptoms worsen in evening.
  • Sensation of something crawling on your legs.

 

HUNTINGTON’S DISEASE

It is rare disease where your nerve cells in brain degenerate progressively. It is genetic disorder, and runs in families.

In this disorder your nerves lose their ability to work properly, hence muscles are in turn affected as well.

Symptoms may range from movement, to psychiatric and cognitive disorders. Symptoms include:

  • Muscle twitching also known as chorea. This twitching can occur in any muscle including calf twitching.
  • Muscle stiffness.
  • Distorted eye movements.
  • Posture instability.
  • Speech or swallowing difficulty.
  • Inability to concentrate or focus.
  • Irritability.
  • Insomnia.
  • Loss of energy.
  • Fatigue.

 

AMYOTROPHIC LATERAL SCLEROSIS

This is a disease that causes your brain and spinal cord nerve cells to degenerate with time. When nerve cells are damaged, you brain would not be able to send any signals to your muscles, resulting in your muscles losing control. This disease is not curable, and is managed by medicines.

Symptoms include:

  • Muscle twitching- in arm, legs (calf twitching), shoulder, or even tongue.
  • Muscle stiffness.
  • Slurred speech.
  • Inability to swallow properly.

 

EPILEPSY

In this disorder, you brain activity becomes abnormal, resulting in seizures.

These seizures may be absent where you only stare blankly for some seconds, but if it more severe form of seizures your arms and legs may twitch.

Symptoms include:

  • Blank staring.
  • Confusion that doesn’t last long.
  • Jerking movements.
  • Loss of consciousness.
  • Episodes of severe fear or anxiety.

 

ALZHEIMER’S DISEASE
 

It is a neurological disease that causes your brain to shrink, which in medical field is known as brain atrophy. In Alzheimer’s disease, your nerve cells in brain die, causing your muscles to work in an uncontrolled manner.

Symptoms of Alzheimer’s disease include:

  • Muscle twitching (including calf twitching).
  • Issues with remembering things (memory issues).
  • Not being able to make decisions.
  • Mood swings.
  • Insomnia or lack of sleep.

Alzheimer’s disease has no cure, but its symptoms are managed by treatment.

 

LEWY BODY DEMENTIA

In this disorder, small deposits of proteins are stacked up on your nerve cells. These small protein deposits are known as Lewy bodies. It causes dementia, a term used for inability to think, remember things, or make decisions.

Not only dementia, Lewy body dementia results in cognitive changes, and motor disorders (disorders where your movements are disturbed).

Symptoms of Lewy body dementia are:

  • Muscle twitching.
  • Visual hallucinations- condition where you see things that aren’t really present.
  • Hypotension.
  • Urinary incontinence (no control over your bladder).
  • Not being able to focus, confusion, or remember things.
  • Difficulties in sleeping.
  • Depression.
  • Apathy.

People who are above 60 years of age, who are men, and who have someone in family who has Parkinson’s disease or Lewy body dementia are at higher risk of getting Lewy body dementia.

 

DIAGNOSIS

Doctors start by taking a thorough history, where they ask you about your condition (when did it actually start, how long does it long for), about the medicines that you use, and other things.

To diagnose your condition, you doctor may request some tests including and EMG (or electromyography to check your muscle activity, EEG (electroencephalogram that monitors your brain activity), MRI, and blood tests.

 

TREATMENT

Because usually this calf twitching is caused by things that are non-serious reasons, you can usually prevent and improve your condition by following below mentioned things:

  • Hydrating your body.
  • Eating a balanced diet.
  • Not taking stimulants, or reducing the amount (including alcohol, caffeine, and drugs).
  • Quit smoking (subjected to if you are a smoker).
  • Exercising in limits, and not over-exhausting yourself.
  • Resting well.

In case the calf twitching you, experience is because of some drug, or something else that you do, it is better to stop taking it, or at least reduce the quantity.

But in case this calf twitching is because of an underlying disease, you doctor will diagnose the cause and treat it accordingly.

 

WHEN TO SEE A DOCTOR

If this calf twitching improves soon after starting, or does not bother you, it is nothing to worry about.

But there are certain issues that need to be kept in mind, as to when experienced or seen, you should rush to doctor. These points include:

  • Calf twitching that does not improve or get better with home remedies.
  • Calf twitching that stays for 2 or more weeks.
  • When with this twitching you see other symptoms as well, including: slurred speech, seizures, urinary incontinency (no bladder control), loss of consciousness, difficulty swallowing, not being able to sleep.

 

TAKEWAY

Calf twitching is a common symptom experienced by many people, and is usually because of benign causes including restless leg syndrome, overexertion, lack of sleep or insomnia, unbalanced diet, mineral and vitamin deficiency (vitamin D, calcium, magnesium), stress/anxiety, dehydration, low blood sugar).

Most of the times, this calf twitching improves soon, and does not disturb your daily activities. Some home remedies, and lifestyle modifications are enough for you to relieve yourself of this calf twitching.

But there are times when this calf twitching is because of underlying diseases (Alzheimer’s disease, Lewy body dementia, Huntington’s disease, epilepsy, amyotrophic lateral sclerosis). In this case you have to give attention to the symptoms that you might experience with this calf twitching (including calf twitching that last for 2 weeks or more, slurred speech, difficulty swallowing, seizures, loss of consciousness).

In this case you should visit your doctor, get yourself diagnosed and treated. Even though some of these diseases are incurable, but getting proper treatment will help you live a better life.

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Address: 393 University Avenue,Suite 200,Toronto ON MG5 2M2,CANADA

Email: info@MarsoClinic.com

Phone: +1(647)303 0740

All Rights Reserved © By MarsoClinic

Terms of Use