Does your thigh muscle twitch like thump thump thump!?
Whether your thigh muscle twitching is continuous, periodic, just a flutter or a real thumper, perhaps you’re freaking out that you might have ALS, since ALS sites list muscle twitching as a symptom of this disease.
So there you are with that twitching thigh muscle, wondering if you’ll be dead in two years.
There are perhaps thousands of people sitting in that boat right with you, worried sick over their twitching thigh muscles, wondering if they’ll be alive two years from now.
If you have a twitching thigh muscle, whether the twitch occurs many times per minute, or a few times per hour, every day or occasionally throughout each month, the chances of this being ALS are next to nothing — if not absolutely nothing — as long as you are walking fine; getting out of chairs fine; and are not stumbling or dragging a leg.
“Muscles may randomly twitch for many reasons,” points out Carolyn Dean, MD, ND. She is a medical advisory board member of the Nutritional Magnesium Association at www.nutritionalmagnesium.org. “They can twitch due to anxiety or stress, a sleepless night, too much coffee or after exercise.”
In ALS, you may have read that the twitching comes after muscle weakness, but online information is not definitive on this.
However, the muscle weakness of ALS isn’t something that you’d have to wonder if you had; i.e., struggling to get one’s legs up a flight of stairs certainly means something is very wrong.
ALS weakness is obvious without having to perform strength tests like seeing how long you can stand on one leg, especially if it’s affecting a thigh muscle.
I recall watching the Jerry Lewis Telethon several years ago, and a victim of ALS was describing the onset of his earliest symptom. He said it was muscle weakness, and it was literally overnight.
I don’t know if this is typical of ALS symptoms, but the telethon isn’t the only source that I’ve gotten the information that ALS weakness comes on suddenly, and that it’s anything but subtle.
The man in this instance said he went out to jog and couldn’t do it. Now THAT’S pronounced muscle weakness.
This should alleviate your fears that any very subtle weakness in your thigh (or rather, what you perceive to be subtle weakness) is the beginning of ALS.
In other words, it’s far more likely to mean something else.
When I was a personal trainer, I had clients all the time who had “weakness” in their thighs, which was corrected with exercise.
Another thing to consider: ALS weakness does not come and go. It does not switch on and off. Once ALS weakness is there, it STAYS.
But if you’ve been perceiving weakness in your thigh muscle, I bet it’s been coming and going. Sometimes it’s there, and sometimes it’s not.
And when the weakness is not there, I bet you’re mind is on something else! It’s there only when you are obsessing about it.
Twitching in your thigh muscle is generally caused by exercise, and the twitching can have a 1-2 day delay from the onset of the exercise. Here’s what Kevin Plancher, MD, says about exercise and fasciculations.
- Another cause of thigh muscle twitching is anxiety over unrelated matters.
- Anxiety causes all sorts of physical symptoms, of which muscle twitching is one, says Mayoclinic.com.
Furthermore, worrying about the twitching can make it persist or “spread” to other parts of the body. What motor neuron disease spreads body-wide in only minutes?
Calcium, magnesium and potassium deficiency can trigger twitching. Fasciculations can be caused by a magnesium deficiency, says Dr. Dean.
“The best way to find out is to take some magnesium and see if the twitching goes away.” (Powdered magnesium citrate absorbs best, she says.)
Lack of water intake can also fire up thigh muscle twitching.
Next time your thigh muscle is twitching, move it and see what happens. If you are seated, move the leg back and forth. The twitching will probably stop.
Should you find yourself performing strength tests like seeing if you can lift out of the chair with one leg, be assured that this is inherently difficult to do, and your other leg will have just as much trouble.
If you had ALS, you’d have difficulty in performance in everyday routine movements, rather than just a gut feeling or sensation of weakness.