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What causes severe muscle twitches at night in shoulders and arms?

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Posted on Thu, 13 Nov 2014
Question: My husband has severe muscle twitches at night in his shoulders and arms. It keeps us both awake. The cont ion has worsened and now, his entire arm flops over and hits me. I've even noticed some twitching in his leg muscles and his feet will move also during his sleep. We would like to know what is causing this.
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Answered by Dr. Erion Spaho (1 hour later)
Brief Answer:
There is need for correct diagnosis.

Detailed Answer:
Hi, If I were your husband's treating Doctor for this case of muscle twitching, I would first look for correct diagnosis before starting treatment. Muscles twitching may have different causes, these include:
- Non neurological causes ( drug overdose, drug side effects, lack of nutrients in diet, dress etc.)
- Neurological causes ( Amiotrophic lateral sclerosis, muscular dystrophy, weak muscles, spinal muscular atrophy). So, I suggest to consult your husband's local Neurologist and to discus as above and the possibility of imaging study (brain and spinal MRI), nerve conduction study, electromyogram, and blood tests for electrolytes, thyroid gland function, in order to obtain a correct diagnosis. Treatment modalities should be clear after accurate examination. Hope this anwers your question. Feel free to contact us, if you have further questions.
Above answer was peer-reviewed by : Dr. Yogesh D
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Dr. Erion Spaho

Neurologist, Surgical

Practicing since :2004

Answered : 3909 Questions

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What causes severe muscle twitches at night in shoulders and arms?

Brief Answer: There is need for correct diagnosis. Detailed Answer: Hi, If I were your husband's treating Doctor for this case of muscle twitching, I would first look for correct diagnosis before starting treatment. Muscles twitching may have different causes, these include: - Non neurological causes ( drug overdose, drug side effects, lack of nutrients in diet, dress etc.) - Neurological causes ( Amiotrophic lateral sclerosis, muscular dystrophy, weak muscles, spinal muscular atrophy). So, I suggest to consult your husband's local Neurologist and to discus as above and the possibility of imaging study (brain and spinal MRI), nerve conduction study, electromyogram, and blood tests for electrolytes, thyroid gland function, in order to obtain a correct diagnosis. Treatment modalities should be clear after accurate examination. Hope this anwers your question. Feel free to contact us, if you have further questions.