Although common, a muscle twitch in leg can be quite worrying. These strange twitches are not yet completely understood by doctors and medical professionals, although fasciculations as they are otherwise known, can actually happen in any muscle on the human body but tend to appear the most on the eyelids and also on the limbs. It is also considered to be a normal body function as long as there isn’t an underlying medical cause.
We know them to be a nerve fiber, or multiple nerve fibers, that have been irritated in some way but we are not sure what causes this. They don’t do anything or cause injury or damage therefore they have not been deeply studied.
There are a number of loosely recognized causes and among the most popular seem to be:
- Too much exercise
- Not enough sleep (usually for the eyelids)
- Magnesium deficiency
- Overuse of stimulants (such as caffeine)
- Poor circulation
- Overexertion of muscle groups
With muscle twitching in the legs, when the muscle is used such as standing up or taking a few steps, the symptom fades away by itself in most cases. If that doesn’t happen, or the muscle twitches for prolonged periods, it could be a sign of something else and that could be something more sinister.
Although muscle twitches are quite common, there are times where they could be symptomatic of a more serious medical condition.
A condition that affects the mass of muscle, this hereditary condition causes a loss of muscle over time and although the severity of the condition changes from patient to patient and cases to case, muscle twitching and weakness are main symptoms.
Involving seizures that can affect the entire body or just one part of it, epilepsy causes the muscle groups to spasm and twitch although usually in a more obvious way than a basic twitch.
Although poorly understood by medical professionals and sufferers alike, fibromyalgia is a condition that causes many symptoms, ones that often vary greatly between patient to patient. Chronic pain can be accompanied by muscle twitches in leg, chronic fatigue, weakness, spasms and more.
When clots form in the veins or arteries in the legs, a number of conditions and associated symptoms can occur, muscle twitching in legs being just one of them. Color changes and pain are often common, as are swelling, aching and pressure.
A blood clot needs urgent medical attention so if you notice any of the above symptoms accompany your muscle twitch, speak to a doctor immediately.
There are a number of other medical conditions that could cause this muscle twitch in leg. Lyme disease is one example of this, caused by a bacteria which passes on infections from tick bites. Multiple sclerosis is another condition that can often be accompanied by muscle twitching too. However, with multiple sclerosis, the symptoms are normally more severe and will come with a lot of numbness and blurred vision also.
Once you have consulted with a medical professional, there is an examination that can take place which will determine the cause of the muscle twitch in leg. An electromyogram is a machine which records the electrical activity of a muscle and in more serious cases, the reading would be abnormal.
Muscle Twitch in Leg – Home Remedies
For the less serious cases, there are a number of quick-fixes which can resolve a twitchy leg muscle.
Firstly, try standing up and moving around on the leg with the affected muscle. The increased circulation will often resume normal movement.
Secondly, try to elevate the legs. If moving around has done nothing or you have swelling and pain, lying down on your back with the legs above your head height (rest on pillows, for example) can help to alleviate the swelling. It also gives your muscles time to relax and repair.
Thirdly, try hot or cold compressions depending on the kind of pain and twitching you have. If you have a lot of pain and inflammation, a cold compress will help to relieve the symptoms. If you have loss of sensitivity or numbness with your muscle twitch, a hot compress or a hot water bottle will help to increase the blood circulation to the area and bring sensation back. If you are going to use a hot compress, make sure you do so safely by wrapping it up in a towel or blanket.
Last but certainly not least, try massaging the affected area. By compressing and rubbing the muscles (using hot or cold creams if necessary), you are increasing circulation, waking up the senses and nerve endings, and break down any adhesions that may have been causing the problem. Deep tissue massage is a great option if you have it but if not, giving your legs a good rub down with a bit of moisturizer will do the trick for a quick at-home fix.