Twitching in the knee is a common occurrence caused due to different factors. Mostly it is not a matter of concern and does not require treatment. However, in some cases, it can be a symptom of a serious condition. The twitches in the knee are caused by the muscles in the thigh rather than the knee itself. The occasional twitching is normal for a human but if it is frequent then it is a matter of concern.
The twitches feel like a needle or a pin in the knee, and a burning sensation can also be felt sometimes. The muscle spasms and knee twitching are usually a result of strain or muscle fatigue, but sometimes it can be a symptom of a more serious medical condition so if the problem persists and the twitches become frequent then a person should visit the doctor.
Although fatigue of muscle and strain are the common causes of knee twitching there are also some other causes such as;
• Muscle Spasm
The forceful contractions caused in the muscle due to different factors are called muscle spasms which cause twitching in the knee. In muscle spasms, the muscle sometimes spasms involuntarily which causes a disturbing sensation in the knee as a result it twitches. These spasms usually occur due to muscle overuse, dehydration, and electrolyte imbalance.
Dehydration is also a cause of spasms occurring in the knee. Most people don’t drink enough water daily which leads to dehydration which can be a major concern if prolonged for a long time. Dehydration causes the depletion of minerals like calcium, potassium, and electrolytes. This depletion of the mentioned minerals causes twitches and muscle spasms in the knee. We should drink plenty of water, especially during exercise, and keep ourselves hydrated to avoid muscle spasms and twitching.
• Deficiency of Vitamins
Muscle or twitching in the knee can also occur due to a deficiency of nutrients in the diet.
The key nutrients we should getting in our diet are:
- Vitamin B-12
- Vitamin B-6
- Vitamin D
If you are worried that you don’t have these nutrients in the right amount u can get your blood level checked by your doctor and if there is a deficiency you can manage it in your diet or you can take supplements. Don’t forget the SUN! you can get free vitamin D from it.
• Drug Side Effects
Sometimes muscle spasms and twitches can also occur due to side effects of certain drugs or medications we use.
These drugs or medications include:
These problems can be solved by talking with our doctor and asking him to manage the dose or give some alternative medications because the twitches are becoming quite bothersome.
• Overdosing Stimulant
Most people don’t know but stimulants like caffeine can also overdose if taken in an excessive amount. If caffeine, amphetamine, and other stimulants if taken in excessive amounts can cause muscle spasms and twitches in the knee. If you’re taking an excessive number of caffeinated beverages and stimulants and notice twitching in your knee then stop taking these beverages, the twitches will stop themselves.
• Autoimmune Disorders
Autoimmune disorders such as neuromyotonia also called Isaac Syndrome can have symptoms that include muscle spasms and twitches. Anti-seizure medications like gabapentin which are prescribed by medical experts are usually taken to control these twitches and spasms.
• Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS)
Muscle twitches and spasms can also be an early sign of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) which is also known as Loh Gehrig’s disease. This degenerative disorder affects the brain and spinal cord. As for the treatment of this disorder, there is currently no known treatment but it can be cured in its progression.
A doctor may suggest physical and occupational therapy and also medications like:
- Riluzole (Rilutek)
- Edaravone (Radicava)
- Nerve Compression
Muscle spasm also occurs when the nerves present in the knee are compressed. Some pressure or strain compresses the nerves present in the knee which causes a tingling feeling or a burning sensation which results in twitching in the knee.
1. Pinched Nerve
A pinched nerve usually causes a tingling sensation and muscle spasms in the knee. This pinched nerve is associated with the back and the sensory symptoms are also felt there but they are more noticeable when they travel down to your arm or leg all the way to the knee. Crawling and itching can be felt in the knee.
2. Overuse of Joints
The continuous and excessive use of the joints can result in swelling and pain. If we use a specific joint like the knee, again and again, it gets overused and swelling occurs which results in pain and causes muscle spasms and spasms in the knee. So, we shouldn’t use our joints excessively for the same purpose after all we are human beings and need rest. And we also know that the excessive use of anything is bad so the same applies to our joints which can get seriously damaged if used excessively.
3. Knee Injury
A muscle or knee injury can be indicated by muscle spasms or twitching. Depending on the severity of the injury a person should get medical attention as soon as possible. When the knee gets injured the muscle spasm excessively because of muscle fiber damage due to which involuntary twitches and spams occur in the muscle. In some cases, the nerves are also damaged by the muscles.
Stress is the most common reason for knee twitching and muscle spasm because if stress is applied to the knee the muscles sometimes start doing involuntary movements which cause spasms and twitches.
Muscle twitching is one of the common symptoms of anxiety. We can say that muscle spasms and knee twitching can also occur due to anxiety. Those people suffering from chronic or severe anxiety can feel twitches more often. Muscle twitching can also mean that a person should seek medical attention for anxiety.
TREATING KNEE TWITCHING
The treatment of knee twitching depends upon the diagnosis by the doctor. Most doctors start treating frequent muscle twitching by recommending nonmedical, lifestyle changes.
The changes recommended by the doctor include:
1. Practising stress relieving exercises such as:
- Eating right
- Sleeping better
- Breathing easily
- Regular exercise
- Listen to music
- Talking to a friend
- Talking yourself through it
- Being mindful
- Drinking Green Tea
2. Staying Properly Hydrated
By now most people should have the idea that if you want to avoid knee twitching you have to complete that eight-glass water count daily because staying hydrated is the most effective treatment of muscle spasms and twitching. If a person stays hydrated then the chances of knee twitching decrease significantly.
3. Exercising appropriately
Exercising appropriately is also an effective treatment for knee twitching. A person suffering from twitching and muscle spasm should do stretching, jogging in place, walking up and down a set of stairs, and riding a stationary bike, these exercises will greatly relieve the person from twitches.
Massage is also a useful treatment for twitching, A person can gently massage the knee muscle which greatly relieves a person from twitching and muscle spasm.
5. Regulating Stimulant and caffeine intake
If twitching is occurring due to excessive use of stimulants and caffeine intake then you’ll have to regulate the intake of stimulants and caffeine. As a result, the twitches will go away themselves.
6. Proper Nutrition
If the root cause of the twitching is a deficiency of nutrition, that case, a person should ensure that he is intaking proper nutrition the twitching will stop bothering him after that.
WHEN TO GET MEDICAL ATTENTION?
If all the other minor causes like strain or muscle fatigue etc are ruled out then you’ll have to make an appointment with your doctor. Only a doctor can further evaluate you for any deficiency or any other health problems or conditions you are suffering from.
Do not try to be the doctor yourself.
Twitching and spasms are of a concern if they are accompanied by:
- Trouble balancing
- Difficulty in swallowing or speaking
If your twitches and spasms are accompanied by the above-mentioned symptoms then you’ll have to see your doctor as soon as possible. Don’t be late!
If your knee is twitching occasionally then chances are that it is due to muscle fatigue or strain not of too much concern. But in case of frequent twitches and spasms, it can be a symptom of some severe problem that requires medical attention so an appointment with the doctor is a must. You should monitor your twitching and any other symptoms that would be helpful for your visit to the doctor.