Finger Twitching Vs. Tremors & Their Causes

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Finger Twitching Vs. Tremors & Their Causes

Your fingers can twitch for many reasons. Finger twitching can happen because of stress, anxiety, or muscle strain. It can even happen as a result of scrolling on your phone or typing away at the computer. In most cases, finger twitching is mild, but it may be confused with tremors. However, twitching is not to be confused with finger tremors. A twitch is a small, involuntary contraction of a group of muscles, also called “fasciculation” in the medical world. Twitches can happen in any muscular area including the fingers.

Finger tremors, on the other hand, are different from twitching. So, what are tremors, you ask? A tremor is an involuntary, rhythmic movement or shaking of one or more parts of the body. Tremors occur because of muscle contractions and can affect your hands, arms, head, and legs.

In this blog post, we’ll be discussing more in detail the potential causes of involuntary finger twitching, the causes of finger tremors, and when you should see a doctor. To learn more about the differences between finger twitching vs. finger tremors, continue reading the article, or use the links below to jump to a section of your choice.

Contents

Causes of Finger Twitching

Causes of Finger Tremors

When To See A Doctor

Finger Twitches & Tremors: FAQs

 

Causes Of Finger Twitching

A finger twitch is a brief and spontaneous contraction of a muscle. Finger twitches are involuntary, meaning you can’t control them. A finger twitch will basically just look like a small shaking movement in your finger. This finger shaking can be a result of an underlying condition, like essential tremor, but in healthy individuals, a twitch can be caused by things like excessive caffeine intake, fatigue, stress, or vitamin deficiencies.

When finger twitching is not accompanied by any other symptoms, it’s most likely not a cause for concern. However, it’s still beneficial to know why your finger may be twitching. These are some causes for finger twitching:

Caffeine

Drinking too much caffeine can cause or even worsen finger twitching symptoms. This is because caffeine is a stimulant that affects the central nervous symptoms, and when you drink it in excess, it can cause these involuntary finger movements. If you have caffeine sensitivity, it’s best to avoid it altogether. Otherwise, you should limit your caffeine intake to reduce the risk of experiencing finger twitches.

Physical Exercise

It’s definitely true that physical exercise is good for you, but too much exertion can actually do the opposite. Exercise can cause your muscles to become fatigued, which can lead to finger twitching in overworked muscle fibers. Exercise can also cause an electrolyte imbalance when you sweat, and an electrolyte loss in your muscle fibers can also lead to finger twitching.

Fatigue

Sleep deprivation and fatigue can lead to a host of health conditions, including finger twitches. When you don’t get enough sleep, it can affect the way your neurotransmitters work and cause a build-up of neurotransmitters in the brain. This can ultimately lead to finger twitching, as your neurotransmitters relay information from the brain to the nerves that control muscle contractions.

Stress And Anxiety

Stress and anxiety can have a big impact on your health and can even cause finger twitches. High levels of stress and anxiety can cause excessive muscle tension and can affect your neurotransmitters, which can lead to finger twitches.

Vitamin Deficiencies

Certain vitamin deficiencies, such as magnesium and vitamin E, can make you more likely to experience finger twitches. A magnesium deficiency can cause muscle cramps and tremors and is common among people with alcohol use disorder. In addition to finger twitches, some other symptoms of magnesium deficiency include a loss of appetite, nausea, vomiting, and fatigue.

A vitamin E deficiency can also cause finger twitching. This is because a lack of vitamin E can cause nerve and muscle damage, and lead to muscle weakness and a loss of body muscle control. Someone with a vitamin E deficiency may also experience vision loss, difficulty articulating, and a decline in cognition.

Certain Medications

There are various medications that can also make someone more prone to finger twitching. Muscle spasms and finger shaking is a common side effect of certain medications, like corticosteroids, isoniazid, succinylcholine, and flunarizine. If you're experiencing muscle spasms as a result of your medication, consult with your doctor as soon as possible.

Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS)

Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis, or ALS as it’s often called, is a rare, progressive neurological disease that affects nerve cells in the brain and spinal cord. The cause of most ALS cases is not known, but there are a small percentage of cases that are inherited through a mutated gene.

The symptoms of ALS usually occur gradually and include difficulty walking, tripping and falling, weakness in the legs, feet, hands, and ankles, slurred speech, and muscle cramps and twitching. ALS is a fatal disease, and while treatment can’t reverse the damage of ALS, it can slow the symptoms. ALS symptoms can be managed with certain modalities, such as physical therapy and speech therapy.

 

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Causes Of Finger Tremors

Below, we’ll discuss some potential causes of finger tremors.

Essential Tremor

Essential tremor (ET) is the most common movement disorder and causes involuntary rhythmic shaking. Hand tremors are most common, but ET can also affect the fingers, legs, and even vocal cords. The symptoms of ET often occur gradually and can make doing simple tasks very difficult, like drinking from a cup or using utensils.

Similarly to finger twitches, there is also a connection between tremors and stress. While stress and anxiety can’t cause tremors, they can worsen them. Anxiety tremors will often occur in situations where your tremors are more apparent, like when you’re eating around other people.

The cause of ET is unknown, but hereditary factors, age, and lifestyle factors can make someone more likely to develop it. Some treatment options for ET include making lifestyle changes to reduce the symptoms of tremors, taking medication, going to physical therapy, and in severe cases, potentially getting surgery.

 

Parkinson’s Disease

Parkinson’s disease is a neurodegenerative disorder that affects movement. Symptoms will begin gradually, like with a slight hand tremor, but then progress over time to more serious symptoms. Some common symptoms of Parkinson’s disease include tremors, slowed movement, rigid muscles, speech changes, and loss of movement.

There is no known cause of Parkinson’s disease, but genetics and environmental factors are believed to play a role in an individual’s likelihood of developing the disease. There is no cure for Parkinson’s disease, but certain medications can help to relieve symptoms. In more severe cases, surgical procedures may also be performed to reduce symptoms.

 

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When To See A Doctor

If you’re young and healthy, then finger twitching is most likely just a result of something mild, like stress or overexertion. But if these involuntary finger movements continue, or get worse and start to affect your daily activities, then you should see a doctor as it could be an indication of a health condition. In some cases, finger twitching can be treated with vitamins or rest, but in more serious cases, it may require medical intervention.

The same goes for finger tremors. If the tremors continue for a long period of time, you should see a doctor. They will most likely perform a physical examination to observe your tremors and test your muscle strength and reflexes.

 

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Finger Twitches & Tremors: FAQs

Are finger tremors normal?

Finger tremors can be a result of everyday activities, like texting or typing, but persistent tremors, or when they’re combined with other symptoms, may indicate a greater issue. If you’re experiencing finger tremors, it’s best to consult your doctor so they can rule out underlying conditions.

How do I stop my fingers from shaking?

The treatment for finger twitching ultimately depends on the underlying issue. If your twitches are caused by drinking too much caffeine or not getting enough sleep, those are simple fixes. But if your twitches are caused by nerve damage, then that will require medical intervention. Your doctor will have the best idea of how to stop your fingers from shaking.

What is the difference between finger twitches and finger tremors?

The main difference between a finger twitch and finger tremor is what causes it. A finger twitch is typically due to stress, anxiety, a lack of sleep, excessive caffeine, or physical exertion. On rare occasion, finger twitching can be a result of a medical condition such as ALS. A finger tremor is often caused by underlying medical conditions like ET or Parkinson’s disease. However, with both finger twitches and finger tremors, you’ll experience a similar involuntary shaking of your fingers.

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