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Weird quad muscle twitching

Friday, April 27, 2012

I ran today for the first time in about two weeks, and it felt great. But then hours after the run, I noticed that my rectus femoris (I think) muscle was twitching sporadically. It didn't hurt but it was very annoying.

The first thing I did was some massage, light at first and then deeper and harder, but it didn't help at all.

I did some online searching and one article said that sometimes a type of leg cramp will start off as small twitches for 20-30 minutes and then turn into a full-blown cramp. That kind of sent me into a panic.

I read that there were three hypotheses about leg cramps: dehydration, lack of sodium and/or potassium, and overdoing it, which included lack of stretching and lack of carbs.

So I decided to do an experiment.

I wasn't sold on dehydration because I'd been drinking lots of water all night, but I drank some water and waited. Nothing.

Then I took an electrolyte tab with water and waited. No difference.

Then I did some stretching. It seemed to help it a little bit, but the twitching didn't go away.

Under the whole "overdoing" it camp was the suggestion to walk, so I walked for a few minutes. That helped a little, too--the severity of the twitching lessened--but it didn't stop.

The "overdoing" it camp also said that it's sometimes because of low carbs. So then I looked at my SP nutrition tracker and realized I had forgotten to eat an apple I'd put in the tracker, intending to have it for my snack. So I ate the apple to see if lack of carbs (glycogen) was responsible for the twitching.

No change.

I rechecked my nutrion tracker and I'm within range on everything. So I don't know if it's because I'm lacking in any nutrient.

I did more stretching and walking and the twitching didn't change at all. But by that time it was also over two hours since the twitching first started, and I hadn't gotten a full blow leg cramp, so I wondered if maybe the twitching was even related to leg cramping.

If that's the case, then what the heck was it? And what caused it? And how can I prevent it from happening again???

I have to go to bed, so maybe it'll go away.

Update: It was driving me nuts so I got up and stretched my IT band again on the foam core roller, but this time I did it for a lot longer, and the twitching stopped for a few minutes, but then came back again. I did more stretching on the foam core roller, but I can't stretch all night long! I'm hoping it'll get better while I sleep.
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Member Comments About This Blog Post
    I've read of some good results about supplementation of magnesium. It presumably supports proper muscle fiber irritability. The blog I read was from a medical professional (neurosurgeon?) who had been queried by a family member about some sort of twitchy muscles, and he just anecdotally suggested that this family member try magnesium. The problem went away pretty quickly and evidently hasn't returned. Just a thought.
    1696 days ago
    2125 days ago
    I get twitches in my thigh muscles when I am starting an anxiety attack. I've pretty much learned to ignore them. I'm glad yours cleared up.
    2125 days ago
    Blue--Thanks! It went away overnight and I woke up feeling like normal.

    Aspenjules--Yuck, I'd hate it even worse near my eye! I wonder what causes it?

    Rheynklaw, I did try a little heat, which didn't work, but what's vacuum cupping?
    2126 days ago
    I hope it settled down!
    2126 days ago
    I HATE odd, persistent twitches! The worst I get are around my eye. Sometimes they've lasted for a few days!

    I hope you were able to get some sleep. Loved your experimenting with different possible fixes. Too bad none of them solved it, eh?
    2126 days ago
    Weird and annoying, but don't worry, it will probably go away on its own. If you can't wait and want to experiment more, have you tried heat or vacuum cupping?
    2126 days ago
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