You’ve been noticing some twitching going on in your butt and/or leg muscles, and are hoping it’s due to your sciatica rather than ALS.
Muscle fasciculations can be caused by ALS, and “fasciculation” refers to twitching.
This makes many people terrified that a new-onset twitching—whether it’s very focal or widespread—might be the beginnings of ALS.
Can Sciatica Cause Muscles to Twitch?
“Yes; a muscle twitch is an indication of the pressure of the nerve, which means the nerve is under compression,” says Alfred O. Bonati, MD, owner of The Bonati Institute, a world leader in advanced spine surgery, Hudson, FL.
“This pressure on the nerves can be corrected by opening the canals to decompress the site that is pressing the nerve,” continues Dr. Bonati.
In sciatica, the sciatic nerve, which branches out from the spinal cord, is compressed or “pinched” by a vertebral disc.
This compression classically causes shooting pain down the leg, sometimes starting at the buttocks level. It can be sudden and quite severe, even stabbing or piercing.
Numbness and tingling may also be associated with sciatica.
When a patient is having these symptoms, a little muscle twitching in the same vicinity might not even be noticed.
“The other thing is if a patient has a twitch or nerve affected in different areas, that can be associated with a neurological disease,” says Dr. Bonati.
“So, the patient will need to be evaluated for a neurological illness.”
Muscle twitching is normally a benign condition and affects just about everyone sooner or later, and for some people it’s very frequent, including daily.
A person could by chance have both sciatica and benign muscle twitching located well-beyond the area that’s being affected by the sciatica.
The leading causes of twitching muscles are exercise, physical activity, fatigue, stress, anxiety and mineral imbalance.
The big red flag is if the twitching is accompanied by weakness in the associated muscle.
But be sure you don’t get caught up in the entanglement of perceived weakness.
Dr. Bonati, a board certified orthopedic surgeon, was the first to develop and patent methods and instruments for laser assisted spine surgery – The Bonati Spine Procedures – for cervical, thoracic and lumbar spine problems.
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.