Have you been closely monitoring the twitching in your calf muscle?
Counting the number of “fasciculations” per minute, watching the muscle move as it twitches, and even going as far as repeatedly testing out the strength of your calf muscle?
If you’ve succumbed to this fright and obsession, it can only mean that not too long ago, you noticed an annoying twitch going on in your calf muscle.
You Googled muscle twitching calf…
…or something similar, and that’s when you learned that muscle twitching is one of several symptoms associated with an incurable, fatal disease called ALS.
And since then, you’ve become consumed with terror that your twitching calf muscle means ALS, never mind that muscle twitches in the calf rarely mean anything sinister.
Worrying over calf twitches may very well stem from:
- Frequency of the fasciculations
- How easily they’re felt
- Whether or not they’re visible to the naked eye.
Another reason a person ends up overwhelmed with worry about a twitching calf muscle is that he or she mistakenly has made a connection between quantity of ALS search results with likelihood of having this disease.
But a swarm of ALS links on the first few pages of Google’s search results, after typing into the search engine, Should I worry about a twitching calf muscle, absolutely does NOT mean that lower body fasciculations are likely a symptom of ALS!
The search results reflect who’s writing what, NOT how likely you might have a disease.
Otherwise, you may as well believe in the Loch Ness Monster, because if you type in these keywords, a bunch of links about the Loch Ness Monster will show up!
Your twitching calf muscle is by far most likely caused by:
1) fatigue. 2) anxiety over relationships, money, job, etc., 3) caffeine intake, 4) exercise, 5) improper footwear, 6) body position when seated, 7) insufficient fluid intake, 8) mineral imbalance such as insufficient calcium and magnesium, 9) medication, and 10) massage.
More serious conditions such as Lyme disease can cause the symptom, but again, this is rare.
“It’s common,” says Susan L. Besser, MD, with Mercy Medical Center, Baltimore; Diplomate, American Board of Obesity Medicine and board certified by the American Board of Family Medicine.
“Most often it’s due to a ‘misfire’ of a nerve that causes a muscle to twitch,” adds Dr. Besser.
“It’s the same process that causes hiccups.
“If there is loss of ability to use the limb or weakness or loss of sensation, further evaluation is needed.”
Otherwise, a mere twitch should not mean a serious underlying disease.
24/7 Calf Muscle Twitch?
Even if fasciculations occur “all the time,” DO NOT WORRY as long as nothing else is wrong such as that same leg seems to be dragging as you go up stairs or walk across a room.
Dr. Besser provides comprehensive family care, treating common and acute primary conditions like diabetes and hypertension. Her ongoing approach allows her the opportunity to provide accurate and critical diagnoses of more complex conditions and disorders.
Lorra Garrick is a former personal trainer certified by the American Council on Exercise. At Bally Total Fitness she trained clients of all ages for fat loss, muscle building, fitness and improved health.