Could Muscle Twitches Be a Symptom of MS?

In an article for Living Well, Julia Stachowiak talks about muscle twitches and whether or not they’re a symptom of multiple sclerosis (MS).

MORE: Four types of MS-related tremors.

Muscle twitches (or fasciculations) are a common symptom in other neurodegenerative diseases, particularly amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS). It seems that many people living with MS also experience the same twitches from time to time in various parts of the body.

Stachowiak says that after extensive research she couldn’t find a link between fasciculations and multiple sclerosis, but based on her own experience and the experiences of others with MS, she still believes there is one.

A brief look at some of the internet forums used by the MS community would suggest that others also experience regular muscle twitching and believe it’s a symptom of MS.

A user named Chueykooh raised the subject on shift.ms, sharing how frustrating his calf twitches can be. Others on the forum said they could relate, also experiencing twitching leg muscles. On overcomingms.org, a user named Emma1 shared her experience with regular calf fasciculations, while other users described twitches on their legs, eyes, and other parts of the body. The topic is also discussed on mymsteam.com, where users talk about leg, arm and stomach twitching and some of the medications they’ve been prescribed to help with the symptom.

MORE: Seven things MS patients want you to know about the disease. 

Multiple Sclerosis News Today is strictly a news and information website about the disease. It does not provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. This content is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or another qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking it because of something you have read on this website.

21 comments

    • Tim Bossie says:

      We are glad that you are not bothered by the twitches in your legs and face. Although, I have to say that I would be greatly bothered by any on my face. How do you cope with them?

  1. Jess says:

    Hahaha my face ones only comes when I get stressed out like trying to get my kids to school and they aren’t listening lol it happens for a minute and you can’t even see it. But I can feel it a little. 100 Percent some kind of twiching comes from MS. I just want people not to stress when reading this article saying ALS. It’s NOT. I know of ten other MS friends who have it too!!! Thank goodness we have medications now!! Thank goodness we live in 2017!!!! Living with MS can be somewhat normal ???

    • Tim Bossie says:

      Great comment Jess. You’re right… MS can be somewhat normal when we know others are dealing with the same issues and problems we are. 🙂

    • Claire says:

      Thank you Ive been very worried I have had muscle twitching for about a year and just assumed it was my MS, I did a google search thinking I would find some articles on how best to cope and started reading articles saying ALS. So to read this and know other people suffer from the muscle twitching with MS is reassuring.

  2. Candace says:

    It’s probably not the same thing at all, but at times I feel like something in my ear twitches. I hear a mild popping sound, and whichever ear it’s in, right or left, that side of my face will draw up slightly. I have MS and have just choices this up to being weird.

    • Lisa Hayes-burt says:

      I produce an abundance of wax. And if I yawn or tighten my facal muscles.
      I have most of my de- mylenation in my brain. Also, I have some trigeminal nerve pain. I believe that the popping could be produced by a brain short circuit.

  3. len says:

    I’ve had twitches since I was a kid, pre teen. I still have them today in my mid 50’s. I was diagnosed in 1996 with RRMS. I know it in my heart that this is a symptom of MS and that I was showing signs of MS at that age. I’m used to them and they don’t bother me.

  4. Linda says:

    Hi,
    I have the stomach twitches and most of the time accompanied with diarrhea. It happen years ago. I lost a lot of weight because I would eat and then the twitches would start, then off to bathroom I go.
    Fast foward 15yrs and a diagnosis of multiple sclerosis. My doctor says it caused by the ms.
    In class last monday it was so loud other people could hear it. As I lay in bed, right now my stomach is jumping around as if a baby is in there. I’m almost 55 so no more babies.
    So it’s very annoying feeling especially when it sending you to the bathroom constantly.

  5. Robert Dye says:

    I have violent twitches lasting only a second or two but they sometimes come every few minutes no matter what the temperature or what I am doing. An annoying twitching, perhaps better described as a spasm, occurs when eating. A precursor is hiccups then a sudden need to vomit. Fortunately this does not occur with frequency though it can go on for as long as a week then not again for weeks. I was diagnosed with MS only 2 years ago but I think I have had it at least since 2009 without recognizing the wading through mud feeling and loss of strength as the MS.

  6. Monique Biddy says:

    Hey everyone.

    Erm, i’m worried, scared and fretting for my life because I think I may have MS.

    About 6 months ago, I started having these weird prickly sensations all over my body including my face but mostly all over my body.
    Over the last couple of months I started having twitching in my feet and now I have them all over my body! My arms, legs, back, feet, bottom, tummy etc…
    I have a feeling it’s MS although it doesn’t run in the family. I am currently 27 years old, turning 28 next month.

    I have a 4 year old son and the thought that i’ll Not be able to look after him because i’ll Be in a wheel chair brings me to tears every single day. The thought that i’ll Never be able to work again, especially on my feet brings me to tears also. The thought of dying young because from my research and from what others have told me MS is a killer!

    I’m seeing the neurologist next month but will it just be an assessment or will they do tests on the same day?

    Please, I’m am petrified. I have had a very sad and difficult life for years and now that things are slowly started to get better, I am now very ill!

    Any advice or a kind word would be helpful.
    I am having the muscle twitches as I speak. They never leave me alone 😢.

    • AB says:

      Sorry to hear you’ve been unwell and are worried. My Mum has MS for all of her adult life and loved to 69, she died from cancer, not MS. She was more than able to live after me and my brother and sister. I have a friend with MS now and she recently completed a marathon. Please don’t think that even if you do have it that you will end up in a wheelchair or die young, it really isn’t a life sentence diagnosis.

  7. Katy says:

    Am wondering if I have MS. I have had muscle twitches (fasciculations) in both legs for the past 4 years. Sometimes I have horrible leg and/or toe cramps as well. When I walk, my legs feel heavy – like wading through waste deep water. I’ve gone to a couple doctors in the past who couldn’t give me an answer. Had MRI three years ago but nothing showed up. Now, the fasciculations and leg weakness are more pronounced than ever. I get a strange vibrating sensation in my right leg sometimes. I also get a weird feeling like a bug is crawling up the inside of my leg, yet there is no insect or anything on me. I guess I am asking those of you with a definite MS diagnosis if this has been your experience?

  8. Jo says:

    I get muscle twitches all the time. One in my leg lasted for 7 days and nearly drove me to madness. My Dr. blames this on anxiety.

  9. Ella says:

    I got twitching for over a year. I was very worried about ALS or MS. Turned out that I got pregnant so I had to quit caffeine and start to take prenatal vitamins. Today I’m 1 week without caffeine, stevia and Coke Zero also taking vitamins and my twitchings are almost gone. Not sure if was a vitamin deficiency or caffeine. I’m happy they are leaving me alone 🙂 good luck guys

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