In these days when we spend several hours daily texting or gaming, having your fingers twitch occasionally should not be alarming. Muscle strain, stress, and anxiety can cause your finger to move from side to side involuntarily.
While this condition usually poses no threat, some cases may be a result of serious nerve disorders. Here is everything you need to know about finger twitching, the causes, and what to do.
Index Finger Twitching at Rest: Common Causes
Common causes of finger twitching may include:
1. Muscle Fatigue
Muscle fatigue ensues from overuse or excessive straining. This is popular among keyboardists, video gamers, and individuals who type or text regularly.
The muscle gets tired and can result in the involuntary spasm of your index finger. This may extend to other fingers.
Take time off to relax your muscles. Use pain relievers or laxatives
2. Vitamin Deficiency
Deficiency in some vitamins may affect the way our muscles work. When the body lacks nutrients like potassium, calcium or vitamin A, the index or entire hand may start to twitch.
Increase your vitamin supplements. Consult a doctor to know the right dose to start with.
3. Drug Side Effects
Muscle spasms may be due to the side effects of some medications like:
- Antibiotics – such as isoniazid
- Drugs that affect calcium movement such as flunarizine
- Epilepsy medication such as topiramate
- Muscle relaxants such as succinylcholine
- Mental health medications like lithium
If you notice any involuntary muscle movement due to these medications, talk to your doctor. You probably need to lower the dosage or go for an alternative drug.
This may sound weird but being dehydrated can cause your index finger to twitch or general muscle spasm.
Drinking water regularly aids in maintaining the electrolyte balance needed to keep muscles functioning properly.
5. Benign fasciculation syndrome
This syndrome has no known cause. However, there have been claims linking it to small nerves within the sweat glands and skin.
When your finger twitches frequently and for a very long time (more than a year), benign fasciculation syndrome may be responsible.
BFS does not affect motor function, hence, does not require treatment. To control the finger twitching associated with this syndrome, doctors may prescribe drugs like gabapentin or carbamazepine on an off-label basis.
7. Carpal tunnel syndrome
When the median nerve of the wrist is under constant pressure, it may lead to carpal tunnel syndrome. This condition makes muscles of the affected hand tingle, go numb, or twitch.
Rest your hands and avoid activities that worsen the symptoms. Apply cold packs if there are swellings. Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs can also help reduce swelling and relax hand muscles.
8. Parkinson’s disease
Parkinson’s disease is a neurodegenerative disease that affects motion. Symptoms include tremor (shaky hands), body weakness, speech, and writing disorder.
Levodopa is the most used drug for treating Parkinson’s disease. It is composed of synthetic amino acids which can be converted to dopamine.
This helps control dopamine deficiency. Other drugs may be added as the condition progresses
9. Essential tremor
Essential tremor is the repeated, forceful and involuntary movement of any part of the body. Despite being a common neurological disorder, its cause is still unknown.
In some cases, it affects the voice or speech. It is not a life-threatening condition.
Both medical and nonmedical interventions can help with essential tumors. Medications often require a trial and error strategy because the cause is unknown.
Relaxation techniques are recommended for individuals with severe tremors. Staying off caffeine products can also help reduce tremors.
10. Lou Gehrig’s disease
Lou Gehrig’s disease, also known as amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), is a terrible nervous disorder that destroys the nerve cells in your body. Early symptoms may include muscle spasms and fatigue.
Complicated versions usually result in total disability. Unfortunately, there is no treatment for the disease.
Although there is no cure, certain medications can help control ALS symptoms, prevent complications and improve quality of life. They include:
- Riluzole: This drug minimizes damage to the neurons involved in locomotion. It cannot reverse the damage.
- Edaravone: This drug delays the decline in daily functioning.
Parathyroid hormone regulates phosphorus and calcium balance within the body. A rare condition where the body fails to secrete the needed amount of this hormone is known as hyperparathyroidism.
Twitching, muscle ache, and fatigue are some of its underlying symptoms.
There is only one cure – surgery. This procedure removes the affected parathyroid gland.
Medications like bisphosphonates and synthetic estrogen cannot cure hyperparathyroidism. What they do is reduce calcium or parathyroid hormone levels and improve bone-related symptoms.
12. Tourette Syndrome
Tourette syndrome is a disorder marked by repeated and involuntary motions and vocalizations. Some of its symptoms include twitching, sniffing, grimacing, and shoulder shrugging.
Doctors rarely prescribe medication for Tourette’s syndrome. Children may present psychiatric disorders such as:
- Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, or ADHD
- Obsessive-compulsive disorder, or OCD
- Anxiety disorder
- Oppositional defiant disorder, or ODD
These disorders respond well to behavioral treatment. Tics may disappear with time. Psychiatric traits, on the other hand usually persist.
Other treatments for index finger twitching include:
- Deep brain stimulation
- Steroid or botox injections
When to See a Doctor
Index finger twitching is usually not life-threatening. However, when the spasm spreads across other fingers or presents unusual symptoms, please consult your doctor.
Proper diagnosis and early detection might just be the saving grace you need.