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Muscle Twitching/Joint Cracking

I'm a 26 year old male who's trying to figure out what exactly is happening to me. I'm hoping someone on this forum can be of some help. I have been having feelings of fatigue (and a single instance of cramping) in my right shoulder since last August, with increasing pains in my wrists and forearms in the late fall. I had all but assumed that these were caused by my nearly constant typing (I'm a journalist and screenwriter). For the past two months I've been experiencing muscle twitches. I first noticed them in my left thigh around Christmas and soon after the new year they spread all over my body. For awhile they were constant (20 or so an hour, some just one instance, others that would occur 10 or more straight times continuously).

I got quite scared that I had MS or ALS after googling the symptoms, but after seeing a pair of neurologists, that fear has retreated. I had a clean NCV and EMG. They didn't even suggest I had carpel tunnel, for which I had already begun wearing wrist splints and altering my typing angle. I'm scheduled for another EMG next week, but in the meantime the fatigue and twitching have mostly subsided.

In the past week, coinciding with a reduction in the amount of twitching I'm suffering, I've noticed that my joints are cracking and popping at an alarmingly consistent level. Ankles, knees, elbows, wrists, shoulders, you name it, they crack. For a 26 year old, this all seems increasingly weird. I generally feel like I'm in good health, but these various ailments have been driving me batty. Any ideas?
16 Responses
1093617 tn?1279302002
MEDICAL PROFESSIONAL
Thank you for your question. Although without being able to examine you, I can not offer you the specific advice on diagnosis and treatment that you need, but I would try to provide you some relevant information about your health concern.

Usually, muscle cramps are common in salt imbalance, circulatory problems, with certain medications, excessive cold temperature, whilst you are relaxed or resting, during or after exercise, or after sitting in an uncomfortable position and sometimes with nerve impingement. Most of the times, they are not related to any underlying disorder but needs checking out with a doctor to assess that your leg circulation and nerve supply are working appropriately. Meanwhile, I would suggest eat a diet rich in fruit and vegetables, vitamin E & zinc supplement, drink at least eight glasses of water in a day and avoid smoking. Hope this helps.
Avatar universal
Thanks for the advice. The one instance of cramping isn't the issue however; its the constant, if not painful joint cracking in almost all my joints. At my age it seems very uncommon and considering the other symptoms (fasciculations, occasional feelings of muscle twitching, carpel tunnelesque wrist and lower arm stiffness and occasional pain) I'm left wondering if they could be connected...
Avatar universal
Hi I am having exact same problem. I think its the tendons which are cracking but i don't really know. my doc says its tendons wear and tear. once a thread goes it doesn't grow back but apparently new ones grow. you have to see physiotherapist. to strengthen tendons. the other pains i have been seeing alternative therapist, she says certain ways that the way we live our lives causes energy blocks and wear and tear. so eat well and well im craving sunshine.
did you have a flu jab. I was wondering if my probs where related to flu jab.
yrs n.
2 Comments
Just wrote this lengthy reply and it’s gone . I had exact Same thing after flu jab. First it started with painful never mini electric shocks after the jab . The next day infact and then once that subsided I’ve got muscle twitching and popping joints which is very depressing as it alarms me.
Has anyone else had similar after flu jab?
Jabs are what caused a lot of my issues.
Avatar universal
What your explaining is exactly what I'm having go on. The twitching randomly started 2 years ago in my legs, and now occurs in my entire body. Extremely random but basically occurs all the time. I just turned 30, I'm in shape, and live a very active lifestyle. Have been puzzled as to what is going on. Recently my joins have also started popping, I am not affected physically by this, but having a joint pop with almost every movement seems weird. A specialist suggested I may have a form of Muscular Dystrophy called CMT. Haven't paid for the expensive testing to confirm yet. With this post being a few years old, have you had any luck diagnosing anything ? I've only had a flu shot once in my life, which did happen to be a few months before all of this started. Hadn't thought of that until I read this post.... hmm, any ideas?
Avatar universal
Exact same problem i'm going through at the moment, i'm 26 and having all of those symptoms described above, all started with a small back pain that went into shoulder etc, now i have twitches, mussel pains, aches, and constant joint cracking. Worried its some muscle wasting disease.
2 Comments
I have exactly the same problem and started the same way. I sudden pain around a small spot on my lower back. Then it spread to whole back. Then I noticed popping tendons around my hip, and cracking noises inside my lower spine area. The popping and cracking is not painful, but they are strange and making me nervous. I am a very active person and even at the moment, I am walking 5km everyday, playing several hours of tennis every week, playing Golf, going to Gym and do weights. The back pain only affects me when I bend my body. Now I started to have bizarre muscle twitching. This morning while I was in a meeting for an hour and half, my right side of Latissimus dorsi muscle was twitching so hard continuously so I had to hold it very hard with my hand all time as my colleague described that my body was dancing. It finally stopped but I did feel weak after the meeting, not sure if it was from being nervous or real muscle fatigue.
Other than these weird popping and twitching, I am feeling really good and just finished my 5km walking and called my friend for another tennis session tonight. It's just weird. I am keen to know if you got any better now since your comments is now more than 2 years ago.
Jason
I have exactly the same problem and started the same way. I sudden pain around a small spot on my lower back. Then it spread to whole back. Then I noticed popping tendons around my hip, and cracking noises inside my lower spine area. The popping and cracking is not painful, but they are strange and making me nervous. I am a very active person and even at the moment, I am walking 5km everyday, playing several hours of tennis every week, playing Golf, going to Gym and do weights. The back pain only affects me when I bend my body. Now I started to have bizarre muscle twitching. This morning while I was in a meeting for an hour and half, my right side of Latissimus dorsi muscle was twitching so hard continuously so I had to hold it very hard with my hand all time as my colleague described that my body was dancing. It finally stopped but I did feel weak after the meeting, not sure if it was from being nervous or real muscle fatigue.
Other than these weird popping and twitching, I am feeling really good and just finished my 5km walking and called my friend for another tennis session tonight. It's just weird. I am keen to know if you got any better now since your comments is now more than 2 years ago.
Jason
Avatar universal
I've been having similar symptoms. It first started about 4 weeks ago when I had constant muscle twitching on my left and between my thumb and index finger. This lasted about 2 weeks straight. Then after two weeks it stopped but I am now having random muscle fasciculations/ jolts sporadically thoughout my body. It has been 4 weeks straight and still has he to stop. I also recently noticed increased joint popping. Is this a sign of muscle wasting? I'm still able to run up my stairs and use both hands so Im not sure if it's just the start to a bigger problem or what. Let me know if I should be concerned or not.
Avatar universal
I have the same issue you all are describing. Wonder what kind of diet you had when this happened, any major life experience, activity changes or other chronic illness? I am a type 1 diabetic whose had a rough life experience when the twitches and then joint cracking set in. Been 1 full year with twitches and a few months joint cracking.
Avatar universal
I'm a healthy male in my mid 30's. I exercise 4 times a week. My muscle twitches began 12 months ago, I noticed them after feeling some strange numbness and discomfort in my wrists on my daily swims. It was combined with a general sense of constant fatigue. My joints started cracking about 6 months ago and are now cracking all over my body (fingers, toes, hips, neck, back, shoulders etc.) with most basic movements. I have also developed tinnitus.
Over the past 10 months I have had ANA blood tests (normal), Lyme disease test (normal - mind you it was just the basic NHS test), MRI - Brain scan (Normal), I have seen psychologists, had CBT, taken meditation classes, acupuncture, changed my diet, cut out alcohol and kept my exercise routine as constant as possible. But my symptoms just gradually worsen.

After the course of actions I have undertaken I have concluded that my condition is not mentally related, but I am at a total loss as to what it is. I only turn to online forums because after 10 months of taking the medical and some alternative medical paths I've still got no closure to an answer, which is depressing.

I am wondering if it's some sort of bacteria related illness from a month long course of antibiotics I took about 14months back (due to a foot infection). I've just started taking magnesium and gingko to see if that helps my symptoms. And I'm considering a 3 month course of pro-biotics (I say considering because they are expensive).

If anyone who has posted previously on this thread or some health professional knows more about these type of symptons please share your treatment experiences.
2 Comments
Were you able to get anything resolved?
34, quite active as well (hiking, running, gym 5 x week, and yoga). Tendinitis in both wrists (I wasn't able to peel a banana) and feet, and crunchiness in all the joints. Physiotherapy didn't help too much, but the GP suggested to take Glucosamine. I also started a vegan diet after seeing The Game Changers about faster recovery in vegan athletes. I reduced cardio and increased strength. I feel definitely less pain, although there is still some stiffness and crunchiness. I read a book called The Happy Gut, and it seems there is a good amount of food that can cause inflammation (including joint inflammation), it proposes a diet to follow to restore a healthy gut.  Doing more strength can increase muscle and strengthen tendons, whilst temporarily reducing high impact cardio reduce the impact of physical activity on the joints. It's not clear if glucosamine really helps, but some patients with arthritis swear it does. hope this helps.
Avatar universal
I suffer from the same symptoms, and it was caused by Avelox a flouroquinolone antibiotic I took 6 years ago.  
Avatar universal
I have the same symptoms, also started after an antibiotic treatment..from my research I believe it's related to some gut dysfunction..but i didn't find yet any remedies. Any of you have an update on this?
Avatar universal
I'm still having symptoms one year later. I have constant random jolts throughout my body. I am a physical therapist and anytime I do hands on my patient such as a massage my arms and hands feel like I have just done an hour workout. They feel very fatigued and it almost feels like I have arthritis. Anyone feel some of the same symptoms?
Avatar universal
It's been one year since the start of my initial symptoms. I still have random jolts throughout my body and my hands and arms feel very fatigued with any activity. My joints in my hands feel like if I have arthritis sometimes.
1 Comments
I have same symptoms. I have Charcot Marie Tooth Disease. It is the biggest neuromuscular disease no one has heard of.
Avatar universal
i have the same thing and i'm just 18 . it started a year or two ago  and now i just feel old as even playing a simple sport makes my ankles and muscles hurt after .Was wondering if any of you were vegetarians (since i am) ,so maybe it's some sort of deficiency .Need urgent answers :/
1 Comments
I had the same thing. I have Charcot Marie Tooth Disease. It the biggest neuromuscular disease no one has heard of. Google it.
Avatar universal
I’ve had the same symptoms plus many many more. Even neurological. Which messed me up and put me in a dark place. The more stuff I get tested for the more I think it’s related to the gut. I have had 4 rounds of antibiotics due to chronic sinusitis. And I feel that just tore my stomach up real good. Now I’m planning on doing a strict healthy diet with probiotics and supplements such as magnesium and curcumin. Good luck everyone. And anxiety makes everything worse so try to stay under control.
1 Comments
Hi there. Did you sort everything out? Mine started with sinus infection and then muscle twitching and now weakness and a constant cough. I’d be interested to hear your results of your diet. My anxiety is making everything ten times worse! Thanks
Avatar universal
I have the same joint cracking and fatigue symptoms. I am 26 years old, feeling like I'm 86. I have fibromyalgia, chronic pain, and bursitis from a car accident almost 4 years ago. All of my bloodwork and imaging has come back negative. No one can explain why my joints crack. I can pretty much crack any part of my body. It's weird. Let's not talk about anxiety...It makes me anxious. <3
Avatar universal
After quite a lengthy time of examination and testing, (7yrs) for multiple other diseases (MS, ALS, and others), I was officially diagnosed with Myastenia Gravis, which is considered a rare condition (so rare the spell check engine doesn't even recognize it). There are different forms and they are based off different antibodies and the severity of the disease varies from person to person -- There is different types (sero-negative, MuSK, a Lipid Associated tests include imaging bloodtests, respritory eval, neuro eval, nerve conduction studies, Endrophonium administration challenges, a drug challenge, an electrical test, and some others that would be necessary for evaluation. MG is associated with antibodies against AChR and MuSK but you should know that these are not always detectable by conventional assays, and the assay sensitivity will greatly affect the outcome of such a test. The duration of disease at the time the assay is performed influences results. (You can have normal AChR antibody levels during the early phase of symptoms and elevated AChR antibodies thereafter.) Associated factors may include any of the following pathologic antibodies on the postsynaptic membrane: Autoantibodies may also target other end-plate proteins (LRP4, rapsyn) and proteins involved in muscle contraction and excitation–contraction coupling (titin, myofibrillar proteins and RyR).

ACh: Acetylcholine;; ColQ: Collagen Q; LRP4: Lipoprotein-related protein receptor 4; MuSK: Muscle-Specific tyrosine kinase; RyR: Ryanodine receptor, ANA, AChR: Acetylcholine receptor; LRP4: Lipoprotein-related protein receptor 4; ; VGKC: Voltage-gated potassium channel, and other https://www.medscape.com/answers/1171206-92611/what-is-seronegative-myasthenia-gravis-mg

One should note, about 85% of those with MG have the autoantibodies, and test positive for postsynaptic nicotinic acetylcholine receptor but there are cases where none of the blood tests show antibodies, yet the treatment does abeit symptoms. Research is continues to find a biomarker for these MG seronegative subsets. https://www.aao.org/editors-choice/possible-biomarker-double-seronegative-myasthenia-

The popping in the case of MG results from laxity in muscles as they weaken, well it was in my case. As muscles weaken they are less able to stabilize joints and bones and this can also lead to pain and other injuries. A neurologist does the type of testing necessary to make a diagnosis, but you must find a doctor who has seen it before. Almost all cases have the vision changes though, and in some this stays localize to the eye muscles. In my case, the eye problems also led to severe headaches. The symptoms can come and go with severity based on time of day, exertion level, heat/cold exposure, stress level, and it is possible that MG can go in to periods of remission. It also does not always attack the same areas/muscles/muscle groups every time so the variety of symptoms and patient's vagueness in they description of a wide variety of symptoms are often misdiagnosed as "psychological" in origin by inexperienced primary physicians who have never seen a case. Some but not all of the symptoms you describe were what i noticed early on. You did not mention any headaches or vision changes, but that was part of what i was experiencing with fatigue.  Here is a good resource on MG, please note the symptom list is a "may include" and not necessarily an "must include" set of symptoms. https://www.ninds.nih.gov/disorders/patient-caregiver-education/fact-sheets/Myasthenia-gravis-fact-sheet

Also, on the other note - There are cases of some drugs affecting joints and junctions, and you should look into this and see if any of the drugs you were prescribed had that as a possible side effect. One of the more common ones known to cause ligaments to tighten is widely used https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/10663388  

I am now on medications that are very helpful and have greatly improved my quality of life. I hope you find answers for your illness.
1 Comments
for more information - contact BRAIN
P.O. Box 5801
Bethesda, MD 20824
800-352-9424
www.ninds.nih.gov
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