Muscle Jerks

Post your questions about BFS here

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Postby Arron on October 23rd, 2002, 12:19 am

I have some input from all of the reading I have done on this stuff IF you'd like to hear it... Parkinsons (from what I have read many times) shows itself as a constant, "rolling pill" movement. In other words, it is constant AND it makes your fingers, arms, etc. move like an oval pill would if rolled down an incline. Kind of a fast / slow / fast oscillation and NOT a jerk here and a jolt there every now and then.

As far as what is printed on fasciculations, "Fasciculations are sudden unpredictable, visible twitches of small parts of muscles. Generally these ripple the surface of the skin but are not sufficient to move joints, except in the hands, where they may jiggle the fingers", In my opinion, this description is close, but not entirely acurate. Remember, it is printed in most medical manuals and PDR's that constant twitching is a sign of ALS and we all know how wrong that is, so not everything printed in the medical world is perfectly accurate.

There is some speculation and arguments as to whether a twitch is a twitch is a twitch or if there is a difference between a "fasciculation" and a "twitch". We all know that we twitch. We ALL have everything from buzzing (which I believe is nothing more than a very fast, mild twitch) to thumpers that come and go at random, as well as twitches we can see but not feel and twitches that we can feel but not see, depending on how close to the skin they are. I personally get twitches that move fingers, my whole wrist, a shoulder blade or a whole thigh muscle (quads). If these are "twitches" as defined in the medical description of "fasciculations", then they certainly have more than enough power to move more than just a finger.

I still get jolts where an arm or a hand will jump, or a leg will jump as if a ghost just hit one of my reflex areas with a hammer. These are myoclonic jolts which are mild versions of the one's you get just as you fall asleep and your whole body jumps. All benign but scary to the newbie twitcher.

As with regular twitches, these myoclonic jolts, (whether they are the one's you get just as you fall asleep at night, or the kind you get in a single limb in the middle of the day when you are wide awake), are all "enhanced" or "aggrivated" by stress and anxiety. What I mean is, even the jolts and jumps (not just the twitches) increase during times of stress and/or anxiety, but they are all benign. Just thought this would make some of you feel better. There is no ONE type of twitch, there are many different types, grades, calibers, frequencies and so on. This is normal for BFS, BCFS and Fibromyalgia and has nothing to do with ALS or Parkinsons. I know this because when I first started twitching, it was in my thumb, then my index finger and it lasted for days and you know what? Just like you... I though of what Michael J. Fox said about his left pinkey twitching when his first started and I too thought I had Parkinson's, so I read-up on it in numerous PDR's and talked with several doctors who educated me on what Parkinson's actually looks like and it looks nothing like what any of us describe. :-) I also have a friend with Parkinson's and he has the classic "rolling pill" movements, NOT twitches that come and go here and there. Hope that helped and I didn't ramble too much...
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Postby SusanSid on October 23rd, 2002, 1:01 am

aaron,
A twitch is a twitch is a twitch :D I love to read your postings. They're so reassuring, informative and logical. Thank you for all the time you give us.
Sue
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Postby Davidd on October 23rd, 2002, 8:14 am

Thanks for the info!

I have one question...what does "rolling pill" mean? Maybe I'm just slow in understanding (not many brain cells) but I am still having trouble visualizing the twitching associated with Parkinsons.

I do realize that I probably don't have this or anything serious but none-the-less, when my finger moves by itself, I still wonder...

It's strange because the calf-twitching doesn't bother me the way it used to...I'm actually getting more used to it. The finger thing is kind of new (several weeks) which is why it is probably on my mind.

Thanks again to everyone.

--David
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Postby Arron on October 23rd, 2002, 10:07 am

Thanks SusanSid. I really try to help other's because at one time "I" really needed the help too and it just wasn't out there so I researched my butt-off about this stuff. Glad it is helping other's.

Davidd, what rolling pill means is this. if you roll a something round, like a ball, it rolls without changing speeds, timbre, amplitude or anything, it simply rolls. Piscture what a foot ball looks like when it rolls end over end. It rolls fast, slow, fast. slo. It slows speed as it climbs up to it's highest points and then accellerates speed as it goes past the ceneter (narrower) section, only to slow down once again as it starts its climb back over the highest point again. It's kind of a gallop rather than a steady roll. Well, most pills are oval and if rolled end over end, they will do the same thing, hence why it's dubbed a "rolling pill" effect with changing velocities. Hope that helped you understand it better. Just keep in mind, Parkinsons is NOT a twitch that xcomes and goes. It is a CONSTANT tremor that happens at rest and wiggles constantly with the rolling pill amplitude. It is STEADY and continuous and once it starts, does not go away like twitches do.
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Postby SeanC on October 23rd, 2002, 10:58 pm

David
My first and most prolific symptom has been my left thumb "moving" all by itself. I too went to a neuro who told me that it was benign. I told him that I was very worried about ALS as that's the first thing I read about when searching this symptom on the Internet. He was impressed by my independant research, but told me I had absolutely none of the symptoms of ALS, such as weakness or muscular astophy, and that the twitches are usually the last thing you'd notice, well after you'd notice a far more drastic symptom - like falling over a hell of a lot for no reason.
Hope this helps.
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Postby Davidd on October 24th, 2002, 7:55 am

Thanks for all the responses. It does make me feel a bit better to know that I'm not the first one to have these strange finger movements. However, I am still going to see a neurologist in a week and a half just to make sure.

Thanks again.

--David
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Postby tlotoxl on October 24th, 2002, 11:45 am

yeah, no harm seeing a professional, but don't sweat it any more than you have to. we all experience these things.
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Postby Arron on October 24th, 2002, 11:57 pm

yes for sure, if you are still worried, by all means see a doctor or a neurologist to help ease your mind and put the worry past you. I just want all of you to know that my fingers wiggle ALL of the time too, They jerk, twitch and tremor at random. Sometimes more than others, but this is still not the kind of constant "rolling pill" tremor I was explaining about with Parkinson's. Just wanted you to know that I too, have fingers that do what yours do and I know I don't have Parkinson's or ALS. Hope that helped :-)
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