If you are experiencing twitching thumbs like me, chances are you are bit worried like I was when I first saw mine twitch. First, I was like ‘That’s weird?’ and quickly forgot about it. But when my thumb went jumping’ more often, I began to wonder, ‘Why is my thumb twitching?’ and started to question my sanity. It got me worried a bit and my head was filled with thoughts of my thumb springing to life and running away. Seriously, though, when you experience thumb twitching, you need to see a doctor at once if only to calm your nerves. Muscle twitches may signify different things. Some causes may be mild while others may be a bit serious.
Muscle twitching or muscle fasciculation is basically minor movements or contractions of small muscle groups. The twitching movements are uncontrollable which may indicate a problem within the nervous system or something less alarming. In most cases, though, these twitches are normal and often unnoticed. These twitches are not gender and age specific which means both men and women at any age may experience them. Muscle twitches are not confined to the thumb. Other body parts may experience twitching especially in the legs, face, neck and chest.
Why is My Thumb Twitching?
Stress and Anxiety these two are probably the most common causes of thumb twitching. Once a person experiences extreme stress and anxiety, the body releases hormones that may trigger muscle spasms and twitching. Though a bit tamed as compared to other causes down this list, these problems shouldn’t be left untreated as they may indicate something worse or may lead to more severe conditions.
Dehydration – lack of fluids in the body may trigger twitching as well. This is common in people, especially children, who are suffering from stomach flu.
Drugs – some medications may trigger muscle twitching. Corticosteroids, diuretics, estrogen and some stimulant are the common culprits of twitching.
Caffeine – people who love their coffee may experience thumb twitching if they drink too much. Caffeine overdose is somewhere along the lines of 200 to 300 milligrams a day depending on your age, weight and health. Aside from coffee, other sources of caffeine are tea, soda, dark chocolate and some energy drinks. Caffeine overdose may also cause breathing problems, hallucinations, chest pain, vomiting, irregular heartbeat and convulsions aside from uncontrollable movements of the muscles which may include thumb twitching.
Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS) – also called Lou Gehrig disease, ALS was named after the popular Olympic Gold Medal winning diver who unfortunately suffered from such this motor neurone disorder which caused nerve cells to die. Muscle twitching is one of the symptoms of ALS and is one reason why you need to have yourself checked by a doctor.
Carpal Tunnel Syndrome – this disorder is relatively new medical issue that earned the spotlight due to the prevalent use of computers and video game consoles. Twitching of the fingers is just one of the symptoms of CTS.
Repetitive Motion Injury – this is similar to Carpal Tunnel Syndrome in a way since both medical conditions may be the result of prolonged video game play.
Complex Regional Pain Syndrome – CRPS is a chronic systemic medical condition that counts muscle twitching as one of its minor symptoms. If you indeed have CRPS, it is vital to get treatment as soon as possible.
Isaac’s Syndrome – an autoimmune disorder that affects the nerves causing some to experience twitching
Multiple Sclerosis – MS is a complex autoimmune disease affecting the brain and spine which causes poor vision, loss of balance and muscle control, and numbness. Twitching is one of the earlier signs of MS.
Myopathy – muscle diseases or myopathy is characterized by weak muscles, inflammation, spasms and twitching. In some cases, paralysis may also result from this disease.
Nutritional Deficiencies – the lack of some nutrients may cause muscle twitching. Vitamins D, B6, B12 and some minerals such as calcium and magnesium are all essential for a healthy body and the lack of any of them may trigger different ailments.
Parkinson’s Disease – this medical condition affects the central nervous system and causes one to slowly deteriorate in terms of body functions, motor skills and the ability to talk properly.
Seizure – if you’re experiencing a seizure, thumb twitching should be the least of your concern. However, it may come in handy to know that twitching may be a sign of stroke and seizure.
There are other minor and complicated conditions that may result in thumb twitching. Some of those not yet mentioned are lack of sleep, fatigue, lack of exercise and incorrect way of exercising, alcohol consumption, smoking, bug bites, genetics, pregnancy, epilepsy, hypothyroidism, Muscular Dystrophy, and Tourette syndrome.
How to Diagnose Thumb Twitching
After days of wondering why is my thumb twitching, I finally got the nerve to approach a medical professional. He quickly explained that many people disregard or ignore muscle twitching which he stressed shouldn’t be the case. Though most cases he has handled turned out to be normal and went away in a matter of time, others signified something else. To fully understand thumb twitching, doctors may perform a variety of tests such as:
- Blood Test
- Nerve Conduction Test
- Magnetic Resonance Imaging or MRI
- Specialized Urine Test
- Spinal Tap
How I Treated Thumb Twitching
After finding the answer to why is my thumb twitching, the next step I took was to find ways to stop it. Unfortunately (or fortunately, depending on how you look at it), thumb twitching is such a common thing that there’s no way to treat it at home although some believe that herbal and homeopathic medicine may help. What can be and should be done it to treat the underlying causes of the twitching. This is especially true if the twitching occurs often and in cases that it won’t stop after a day or two.
One solution to thumb twitching is to have a better understanding of what a healthy lifestyle is. My doctor advised me to refrain from getting too stressed and have a happier disposition in life. Though he sounded more like a shrink that time, I knew he was right. Another advice I got was to exercise regularly and to do some relaxation techniques such as yoga and meditation.
I also found a way to fix my diet. I made sure I was consuming enough calcium and magnesium along with the vitamins needed to prevent the twitching from reoccurring. A proper diet, with lots of fruits and vegetables, also helped me regain my health aside from stopping the twitching. He also suggested that I avoid drinking liquors, smoking, staying up late at night. He also stressed the importance of staying hydrated which is why I made sure I had plenty of water to drink each day.
Also, after learning that consuming too much caffeine is one of the probable reasons why is my thumb twitching, I immediately put a limit on my coffee drinking. In fact, during the first days after I checked with my doctor, I basically stopped drinking coffee and soda.
Another thing that my doctor mentioned was too rest my hands, particularly my thumbs. Sadly, that meant abstaining from playing video games for a while. I also said goodbye to texting during my rest period’.
Thankfully, all the above remedies were enough to help me get rid of my worries about why is my thumb twitching. Others who have it bad need to get further tests and medical treatments as they suffer from conditions like the ones mentioned above.