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Involuntary Jerking Movement
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Involuntary Jerking Movement

Hello. I have a question regarding something that I normally experience during the onset of sleeping, right before I fall asleep or during sleep but not limited to just this scenario, as I have had it happen a few times while awake. Last night, while just falling asleep I awoke and immediately jerked my head to the left, in such an extreme fashion that I was afraid that I might break my neck. I've had involuntary jerking movements like this before in my head and neck, as well as in my arms, upper torso and legs but they seem to be rare and do not happen in succession. But when it does, it's involuntary and a little scary. I also have shaking in my hands and sometimes in my neck and head, depending on which way I turn my head or hold my head up. It's not constant but is prevalent. I smoke and have been smoking for 12 years and have had history of some drug abuse and alcohol abuse in my teens. I'm not sure if this might have anything to do with it but am a little concerned. I appreciate any advice and medical opinion and thank you for your time.
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Avatar dr f tn
Hi there. These could be tics as also seen in tourette’s syndrome.  These movements could also be myoclonus which is a brief, involuntary twitching of a muscle or a group of muscles. the myoclonic twitches are caused by sudden contractions and can also result from brief lapses of contraction. the most common time for people to encounter them is while falling asleep ( hypnic jerk) but myoclonic jerks are also sign of a number of neurological disorders. these are one of the several signs of various nervous system disorders like multiple sclerosis, parkinson’s diease, alzheimer’s disease, serotonin toxicity and certain forms of epilepsy.
Treatment would include anticonvulsants after detailed evaluation by a neurologist.


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Avatar f tn
Ronin2010 I have constant involuntary jerking movements in my head, neck, back, stomach, arms. It is "chronic" and "has no cure"- really uplifting doctors. Anyhow, it is called spinal myoclonus. Look into that. I don't smoke. I don't think this is related to your smoking but I can only hope it is because then if you stop smoking it might/will go away. However NOTHING I do makes mine go away (have had for 7 years and it is getting worse). Good luck. Ask your nuerologist for an MRI, Cat Scan, EEG and to check for spinal myoclonus.
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