Did you read somewhere that ALS causes muscle twitching & are now freaking out because you’re twitching between your thumb and index finger?
Twitches Between Thumb & Index Finger: Uncommon Area for Fasciculations
“Twitching between the thumb and index finger, or anywhere else for that matter, is often a sign of stress,” says Walter Gaman, MD, FABFM, board certified in family medicine and the author of several award-winning books including “Age to Perfection: How to Thrive to 100, Happy, Healthy, and Wise.”
“This stress can be mental or physical, but is most definitely real,” says Dr. Gaman, who is board certified in family medicine.
Can twitching between the thumb and index finger ever mean ALS?
“Twitching in the hands may be a symptom of a more serious condition such as ALS or MS, but is not a diagnostic sign of these conditions,” says Dr. Gaman.
“Someone who experiences twitching between the thumb and index finger, but no other symptoms such as muscle weakness or fatigue, should not be concerned about these conditions.
“Worrying about serious conditions such as this can cause stress and make the problem worse.”
When the fear of ALS becomes consuming, people are inclined to conduct strength tests for the muscle area in question.
For the thumb and index finger, they may find themselves spending large amounts of time testing the strength via activities such as unscrewing tight jar lids, picking up bowling balls, picking up thick books at the binder with just their fingertips, or doing fingertip pushups – anything that engages the thumb and index finger.
And “passing” a strength test is never enough. The anxious individual is satisfied for the moment, but soon after is driven to conduct the same test “just to be sure,” or another one that’s more difficult.
If they’re in really bad mental shape about this, they may unknowingly set themselves up for what’s known as perceived weakness by giving themselves a strength test that’s too hard to pass. als
An example might be that of picking up a standard-size brick, with just the fingers of the affected hand – and not being able to do it.
They’ll attempt this with the other hand (the one without the twitching) and will fail as well – but their mind will play tricks on them. als
They’ll think that, despite failing to pick up the brick, that it wasn’t as difficult as with the twitching hand. They will then interpret this as a sign of ALS or MS.
DO NOT LET YOUR MIND PLAY TRICKS ON YOU.
How to Make Twitching Between the Thumb and Index Finger Calm Down
Dr. Gaman explains, “Reducing stress and resting can help relieve twitching symptoms.
“The body can also become stressed during times of dehydration when the electrolytes become imbalanced.
“Proper hydration and replenishing electrolytes can help solve the problem.
“Some vitamin and mineral deficiencies can also cause twitching between the thumb and index finger or in other places.
“Identifying and correcting these deficiencies [e.g., magnesium supplementation] should resolve the problem if this is the cause.
“If twitching worsens or is not resolved with simple measures like hydration, rest and a good multi-vitamin, seek the opinion of your healthcare provider.”
Dr. Gaman is with Executive Medicine of Texas and is with the Staying Young Radio Show 2.0 podcast.
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.
Top image: Shutterstock/Lotus_studio