What are twitches?

Twitches are minor, uncontrolled, repetitive motions of a muscle. These motions are due to small contractions of the affected muscle. Twitches may occur in any muscle in the body, such as those in the thumb or calf.

Muscle Problems Spotlight

Facial tics are a type of twitch occurring in the facial muscles. Facial tics commonly affect the muscles of the eyes or mouth. Facial tics include repetitive mouth spasms, wrinkling of the nose, grimacing, clearing of the throat, blinking, and squinting of the eyes. Facial tics are common during childhood.

Twitches may be short-lived or permanent. There are many causes of twitches, which vary substantially in severity. Minor twitches may be the result of exercise or caffeine consumption. Some twitches may be the result of a neurological condition or traumatic brain injury. In some cases, the cause of twitches is not known.

Twitches may be a symptom of serious or life-threatening condition, such as a stroke or traumatic brain injury. Seek immediate medical care (call 911) if you have serious symptoms, such as numbness or weakness on one side of your body; a change in level of consciousness or alertness, such as passing out or unresponsiveness; or the worst headache of your life, as these can be signs of stroke.

Seek prompt medical care if your twitches are persistent or cause you concern.

SYMPTOMS

What other symptoms might occur with twitches?

Twitches may accompany other symptoms, which vary depending on the underlying disease, disorder or condition. Symptoms that frequently cause twitches may also involve other body systems.... Read more about twitchessymptoms

CAUSES

What causes twitches?

There are many causes of twitches, which vary greatly in severity. The location and duration of the twitch depends on the underlying cause.... Read more about twitchescauses

Medical Reviewer: All content has been reviewed by board-certified physicians under the direction of Rich Klasco, M.D., FACEP. Last Annual Review Date: May 2, 2011 Copyright: © Copyright 2011 Health Grades, Inc. All rights reserved. May not be reproduced or reprinted without permission from Health Grades, Inc. Use of this information is governed by the HealthGrades User Agreement.

This Article is Filed Under: Bones, Joints and Muscles


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