Michele Watkins

Thumb muscle started to twitch

Hello two days ago my thumb muscle started to twitch when I relax my hand. Thought this must be due to some sort of nerve damage but when I googled this thinking maybe I could do some sort of exercise to stop it I was horrified to find out this could be a sign of motor nuron disease!! I am otherwise fit and healthy I exercise most days I have no loss of strength and the twitching disappears as soon as I grip something. Do you know what the cause of this could be. Am I worrying for nothing? Or should I visit the doctor? Am never going to google anything again!!!

26 May 2015

Thank you for contacting us, there certainly is a lot of information out there but when a proper diagnosis is being made by a health professional we both look at and take into account numerous factors including a thorough physical examination so please try not to worry about this too much.

  Muscle twitching at rest is not uncommon and this can be caused be a variety of things, rarely it can indicate a nervous system problem but this tends to be the exception.

  More commonly muscle twitches at rest such as you have been noticing with your thumb recently, can be associated with stress, anxiety, caffeine intake, exercise, with twitching being seen after exercise, lack of sleep, nutrient deficiencies, and side effects of some medications including oestrogens, it can also sometimes indicate an electrolyte imbalance such as low potassium but this tends to be less common as well.  As you can see there are many possible causes and this list is not exhaustive.

Benign twitches such as those caused by the above are very normal and quite common and they can tend to come and go over a period of days. It is only when twitches become more long term, lasting over a period of weeks, or are associated with a loss of sensation, muscle, and weakness in the limb affected then a visit to a Dr would be advised.

Answered by the Health at Hand nurses  

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