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Dr. Andrew Rynne
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Dr. Andrew Rynne

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What causes twitching in legs while sitting?

Answered by
Dr.
Dr. Mukesh Chugh

Orthopaedic Surgeon, Joint Replacement

Practicing since :1997

Answered : 1619 Questions

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Posted on Mon, 10 Nov 2014 in Bones, Muscles and Joints
Question: I have trouble with my legs twitching when I'm sitting or when I go to bed. It is very aggravating and it affects my sleep. Please help.
doctor
Answered by Dr. Mukesh Chugh 9 minutes later
Brief Answer:
Muscle stretching helps

Detailed Answer:
Hi
Thanks for posting your query .
The Cramps /twitches are caused by hyper excitability of the nerves that stimulate the muscles.Cramps at rest are very common, especially in older adults, but may be experienced at any age, including childhood. Rest cramps often occur during the night. While not life threatening, night cramps (commonly known as nocturnal cramps) can be painful, disruptive of sleep, and they can recur frequently (that is, many times a night, and/or many nights each week).
The cause of cramps is as following-
1. Low blood levels of either calcium or magnesium directly increase the excitability of both the nerve endings and the muscles they stimulate. This may be a predisposing factor for the spontaneous true cramps experienced by many older adults. Cramps can also occur in excessive vomiting, dehydration.
2. On drugs which causes excessive urination. Leading to low calcium, Magnesium, potassium level. Drugs given for asthma, angina and Parkinsonism also lead to cramps. Cholestrol lowering drugs like statin also cause cramps on chronic use.
3.Several vitamin deficiency states may directly or indirectly lead to muscle cramps. These include deficiencies of thiamine (B1), pantothenic acid (B5), and pyridoxine (B6).

Most cramps can be stopped if the muscle can be stretched. For many cramps of the feet and legs, this stretching can often be accomplished by standing up and walking around. Gently massaging the muscle will often help it to relax, as will applying warmth from a heating pad or hot soak. If the cramp is associated with fluid loss, as is often the case with vigorous physical activity, fluid and electrolyte (especially sodium and potassium) replacement is essential. Certain drugs like baclofen are helpful.
A simple way to prevent night cramp is stretch your calf muscle before going to bed 3-4 times and each time holding for 10-15 seconds. Quinine water tonic is also useful to prevent night cramps before going to bed.
I hope this information will be helpful to prevent night cramps. If you have further query I shall be glad to answer.
Take care and wish you good health.

Above answer was peer-reviewed by : Dr. Chakravarthy Mazumdar
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