The forearm muscles are a unique muscle group, so when they start twitching, this is easily felt and even sometimes seen, raising the issue of ALS.
The forearm muscles are primarily responsible for wrist and hand movement.
If you’re worried about ALS because your forearm muscles are twitching, chances are highly likely that you googled some keywords that led you straight to ALS search results.
“If you consult ‘Dr. Google’ you might get yourself pretty worried because you are likely to find that ALS often presents with muscle twitches,” says Joseph Krainin, MD, board certified neurologist and sleep doctor.
Causes of Muscle Twitching in the Forearms
Dr. Krainin continues, “However, by far, ALS is NOT the most likely cause of forearm muscle twitches.
“Overall, the most common cause of muscle twitches is called benign fasciculations.
“As the name implies, this condition is not dangerous and is ‘self-limited,’ i.e., goes away on its own with time.
“If you have been overusing or carrying a lot of tension in your forearm muscles, you might be predisposed to getting benign fasciculations in these muscles.
“Activities such as racket sports and yoga can be very demanding on your forearms.” So can rock or wall climbing and lifting weights.
Time passage is on your side. If over a period of several weeks, two months for sure, you have not noticed any weakness in your forearms, it’s a safe bet that you do not have any serious disease.
However, be careful with how you conduct strength tests for your forearm muscles.
For example, if you’ve never done wrist rolls against resistance before, and create a device with which to do this or use the device at your gym, your forearms and wrists will fatigue very quickly.
You’ll then probably start convincing yourself you have weakness.
If your forearms have a pathological weakness, you’ll know it. Anything that involves wrist action and gripping will falter, such as grabbing a half gallon milk carton out of the refrigerator with one hand and pouring the milk.
Lifting dumbbells to get into position for dumbbell presses is another movement that will greatly manifest pathological forearm weakness.
The list is endless, as we need our hands and wrists for so many daily tasks, including starting our car and putting on our seatbelts.
Forearm Muscle Twitching
There is nothing unique about the muscles in this location that would mean that their twitching is more suggestive of ALS or some other disease, when compared to fasciculations at other body locations.
Visibility of fasciculations, as well, is not indicative of the potential or odds that this might be caused by a motor neuron condition.
If you haven’t been doing racket sports, yoga, weightlifting or climbing, what could be causing your forearm muscles to twitch?
Anxiety, general fatigue and physical activity involving the upper body are leading causes, and the fasciculations can occur anywhere.
Double board certified in sleep medicine and neurology, Dr. Krainin is founder and president of Singular Sleep, LLC, an award-winning online sleep center.
Lorra Garrick has been covering medical, fitness and cybersecurity topics for many years, having written thousands of articles for print magazines and websites, including as a ghostwriter. She’s also a former ACE-certified personal trainer.