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random muscle contractions
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random muscle contractions

Hi Doctor,
I am an otherwise healthy 22yo male. For several days now I have had random muscle "twitches" all over my body - although I'm not sure if twitches is the proper term; what happens is one muscle just jerks and relaxes once, it's not like a repeateded twitching. This happens most frequently in my hands and legs, but also lower face, stomach, feet, arms - just about everywhere. It happens more or less constantly if I'm resting - every 30 secs or so. It's not debilitating or anything, just quite aggravating. I have not noticed any kind of loss of coordination or weakness; I have not been exercising an unusual amount nor have I changed my diet; I am on Atenolol for a minor heart issue (pSVT). Is this anything to be concerned about/will it pass? Or should I see someone?
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Avatar_n_tn
Muscle twitches as you describe seem to be more like 'myoclonic' twtiches rather than 'fasciculations'. Myoclonic twitches are fast contractions of a muscle that are usually irregular.

I cannot give you a formal medical opinion, as this site is purely educational, so you should followup with your doctor.

In general, myoclonic jerks are most commonly benign, and often occur on going to sleep, or waking from sleep, or when tired.

Sometimes it can be a sign of generalized forms of epilepsy - in this case the jerks usually start in the mid-teens, and there are assocaited convulsive or staring siezures by the late teen or early twenties. An EEG may be a helpful test.

Myoclonic jerks have a whole range of other causes, limiting me to be specific to your case. Examples include drug side effects (such as opiaites), and metabolic derangements

Good luck
7 Comments
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Avatar_n_tn
no, never taken any of that.

and to clarify my early post, while the twitches or jerks or whatever are noticable and annoying, they aren't particularly violent or strong.
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Avatar_n_tn
Out of curiousity, have you, in the past year, been treated with a fluoroquinolone-based antibiotic (levaquin, tequin, cipro, floxin, etc)? If so, you may be suffering from an adverse reaction to that drug. These reactions can come on long after you are treated, and cause long-lasting symptoms like you are experiencing. Very often those hurt think they have MS, or ALS, or fibromyalgia, or a host of other maladies. They spend thousands of dollars getting MRI, blood and other tests done. Doctors just don't know how to handle this affliction, or just refuse to believe it exists.
  
If you are suffering these weird symptoms, I suggest you check out the following sites:
www.medicationsense.com
www.fqvictims.org
http://health.groups.yahoo.com/group/quinolones
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Avatar_n_tn
My suggestion to you although Im not a Dr I would have a Nurologist check it out. I recently thought I had something that would pass muscle weakness and tingly/numbness the final symptom that made me decide to be checked out was incontinence. I let it go for a little while before having it checked out and they found my spinal cord was being compressed by a herniated disk. The sooner you are diagnosed the better the outcome will be for recovery. I thought that me being a generally healthy 24 year old male that nothing serious could be wrong with me but I was wrong dont make my mistake man.
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Avatar_n_tn
I have had 3 back surgeries so far, my first being when I was 21 and my last just last summer. I had a fusion from the bottom up 3 levels. I didn't have any leg pain in my right leg but now I have nerve damage confirmed by a neurologist in my right leg. I wake up in the morning all cramped up and have charlie horses for days on end. I was started on a new medication called lyrica and have not built up to the level that my Dr. said was needed to see results yet but in a day I will be there. (75mg twice a day)I hope it helps cause I lay in bed and twitch and turn all night while most people toss and turn. Glad this isn't happening on my face cause it would look crazy. Also been taking percocet for a few years now and that takes the edge off but was hoping after the surgery I would be able to quit taking it. Honestly in my case I kinda wish I hadn't had the surgery it really seems to have aged me and turned me into an old man at the tender ripe age of 37. Anyway that is my rant thanks for listening and good luck with your recoveries...
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Avatar_n_tn
Sounds like you've got symptoms not necessarily all from same source, most of which I can be of no help. I was curious that your muscle twitches are not repetitive but you mention something going on every 30 seconds when resting. Those twitches in some ways remind me of my Restless Leg Syndrome.  The every 30 seconds rythmic occurence remembles my experience with Periodic Limb Movement Disorder(PLMD), involving mostly my legs but also my arms, and at times, my head and torso. Before I was diagnosed, strange things would happen when I slept. Just one thing was if the leg contractions kicked in (pun not intended but it works)when laying on my back, my abdominal muscles contracted also and I would awaken as I lurched to a semisitting position, which forced me to exhale forcefully. You've may have already been evaluated for PLMD, if not, could help.
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Avatar_n_tn
Zornick,  I also have the muscle twitching problems that you mentioned and am also on Atenolol.  Twitching problems have been with me for almost 1 year.  Did you ever find the cause of your problems?
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