Muscle twitching is a symptom where a single muscle or muscle group supplied by a single nerve twitches and contracts involuntarily. In many cases, muscle twitching may go unnoticed or is a simple annoyance. It is usually a very benign symptom that goes away by itself and can be caused by simple things such as exercise or too much caffeine, according to the University of Maryland Medical Center website. In some cases, uncontrollable muscle twitching may be caused by a serious condition.
Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis is also called Lou Gehrig's disease and is a condition that affects the nervous system. It is a serious condition that causes the nerve cells in the brain and the spinal cord to waste away and die, eventually leading to disability and death of the patient. According to MayoClinic.com, ALS occurs in one to three people out of every 100,000 worldwide. In most cases, doctors do not know what causes ALS, but there can be an inherited form of the disease. The disease usually begins with muscle twitching and muscle weakness and progresses to the point where the individual is unable to move their arms or legs. Eventually, the muscles that are responsible for breathing quit working and the patient is unable to breathe without assistance. Other symptoms include difficulty breathing, choking, speech problems, drooling and voice changes.
Muscular dystrophy is a term that covers a group of diseases that cause a loss of muscle tissue. Since there are several different types of muscular dystrophy, the disease affects different patients in different ways. It usually causes muscle weakness, muscle twitching and loss of muscle tissue in one muscle group or throughout the body. According to MedlinePlus of the National Institutes of Health, muscular dystrophy can occur in adults, but the more severe forms usually occur in children. As the disease progresses, it can cause drooling, eyelid drooping, delayed or difficulty with walking and mental retardation. There are no cures for any of the forms of muscular dystrophy and treatment is aimed at managing symptoms.
Fibromyalgia is a syndrome that is not well understood by doctors. It causes widespread pain throughout the body and multiple tender points in various muscles. Those that suffer with fibromyalgia also have difficulty sleeping, are depressed, have severe fatigue and many other symptoms. According to Fibromyalgia-Symptoms.org, muscle twitching and muscle weakness are very common problems in fibromyalgia patients and at least half have one or the other symptom. In fibromyalgia patients, muscle twitching is related to the location of tender points within the muscle that seem to irritate nearby nerves. Recommended treatment usually involves stretching and exercise to help maintain muscle health.