Right thumb twitching

Written by Dr.Bayat
Associate Professor of Orthopedic expert,Brigham Hostpital

Right thumb twitching, which is also called a tremor, happens when the thumb muscles contract involuntarily that is without a person wanting to , causing the thumb to twitch. Muscle twitching in general can be a result of some sort of  activity in nerves which are connected to the thumb muscles, and are stimulating them and leading the twitching.

Right thumb twitching is usually temporary and is rarely caused by any serious condition. If the right thumb twitching disrupts persons everyday activities, one can see a doctor to diagnose the condition that is causing this.

Voluntary muscles have this name because normally we a person can control them and their actions. On other side , involuntary muscles like the heart it beats to it's  own rhythm. The muscles that are located in our hands and in the thumbs are the voluntary ones so means we can control them.

Sometimes, though this happens that our voluntary muscles seem to go out of control , which leads to twitching uncontrollably.

There are a several  number of reasons due to which thumb might twitch, however sometimes there’s no  reason why this happens it happens idiomatically. To mention this while it can be distracting, even sometimes distressing, thumb twitching is rarely cause for any serious concern mostly it goes away with some time on its own without a treatment.

Down below I have tried to explain the causes, diagnostic procedures, preventive measures for right thumb twitching .



What are the causes of right thumb twitching?

Several causes of right thumb twitching result from the lifestyle, like the exercise routine or diet routine. Others are caused by some conditions which affect the nervous system.

Autoimmune disorders

Few medical conditions can cause the nerves to stimulate the muscles around the thumb involuntarily. A very  rare condition with  thumb twitching symptom is Isaacs syndrome.

Cramp-fasciculation syndrome (CFS)

Its a rare type of muscle condition, also called as benign fasciculation syndrome which causes the muscles to twitch and also cramp because of overactive nerves which leads to twitching in the thumb.

Drug overdose

Taking some stimulants can make the muscles twitch including. Muscles of the thumb. A drug overdose includes substances which are perfectly safe in moderation, like caffeine or over-the-counter energy drinks like red Bull etc,  however  also includes some dangerous stimulants like amphetamines or cocaine, so if these are taken in excess can lead to twitching in whole body including thumb.

Lack of sleep

If a person doesn’t get enough of sleep or we can say the desired amount of sleep the neurotransmitters can build up in the brain nerves which can cause thumb twitching.

Drug side effects

Some medications in particular can cause thumb twitching like diuretics for some urinary issues, corticosteroids like Crotone and estrogen supplements can all have the  side effect of twitching .


Muscles in general are very prone to twitching after exercise, especially after high-intensity exercises such as running or lifting heavy weights. This happens when the body doesn’t have enough oxygen as it's needed to turn a metabolic substance called lactate into energy. So extra lactate gets stored in the muscles, and when it’s needed, it can lead to muscle contractions

Nutritional deficiency

Not getting enough of some nutrients or vitamins like B-12 or magnesium, can lead to thumb twitching.


This stress indeed we all know is one of the most common causes for twitching in general including thumb twitching. The muscle tension which results from having stress can trigger the muscle contractions all over the body leading to twitching.

Medical conditions

Few medical conditions which affect the body’s ability to metabolize or to produce energy can affect the muscles over all and then lead to twitching.

These metabolism disorders may include having low potassium absorption, some type of kidney disease, and uremia that is having urea (a component of urine) at high levels in the person's blood.

Benign twitches

The thumb muscles can sometimes  twitch  without a warning or so. Anxiety and stress may trigger this benign twitching in the thumbs as well as in the calves or in eyelids. These twitches mostly don’t last long and can appear irregularly

Electronics use

Using the same thumb during some activities for a long period of time on the mobile phone or other can which can fatigue the thumb can cause weakness, or stress in the thumbs. The constant or we can say some long motion be it due to typing or pressing buttons can make persons thumb twitch if one doesn't regularly rest them.

Central nervous system causes

Thumb twitching can also be a symptom of some condition related to central nervous system  like following :

  1. Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis it's a  type of nervous system condition which happens when motor neurons, that help in transmitting nerve signals from a persons brain to the muscles, weaken and die over the time.
  2. Parkinson’s disease : first symptoms in this disease are  hand tremors, Parkinson’s is a medical condition in which the neurons in the brain are lost over the time leading to many serious issues including twitching in the hand.
  3. Nerve damage (neuropathy): this happens when the nerves are  damaged by injury, by some repetitive motion, and conditions like diabetes Milletus and some kidney disorders which cause harmful toxins to build up in persons body. Peripheral neuropathy is the most common one, affecting at least more than 20 million people in the United States only.
  4. Spinal muscular atrophy: Spinal muscular atrophy is a genetic medical condition which causes the person to lose motor neurons over the time.
  5. Muscle weakness (myopathy): it's a medical condition which happens when the muscle fibers don’t function in proper manner. There are three types of myopathies, and the most common one includes muscle weakness, which is myositis.

Symptoms of involvement of nervous system conditions include following:

  • headaches
  • tingling in the hands, feet, and in other extremities
  • changes in sensations, like numbness
  • trouble walking
  • losing muscle mass
  • weakness
  • double vision or complete vision loss
  • memory loss
  • muscle stiffness
  • slurring of the speech


What is mode of treatment for right thumb twitching?

One doesn't need any treatment for benign thumb twitching as it will stop on its own, though in rare cases it can last up to a few days. However if the thumb twitching is caused by any underlying condition, one may need to get treatment. Here are some possible treatments options available:

  • Stretch the hand muscles regularly so to keep them from cramping.
  • Some relaxing activity like a massage can help relieve stress and twitching too.
  • Take prescription medications like seizure drugs or beta-blockers is twitching is really bad.
  • Medical conditions like serious  nerve damage may need surgery as a treatment , which can include nerve grafts, nerve repairs, transfers, or neurolysis that is the removal of scar tissue from a nerve


When to see a doctor for right thumb twitching?

It's important to see a doctor if incase :

  • Twitching doesn’t go away even after a couple of weeks.
  • Twitching interferes with the daily activities, like  writing or typing
  • If anyone has symptoms of a central nervous system disorder that person should also prompt a visit a doctor.
  • People should eat a nutritious and healthy diet. Drink at least 64 ounces of water a day or 1 to 2 liters and make sure one is getting plenty of vitamins especially  B-6, B-12, C, and D.


What are the preventive measures for right thumb twitching?

There are some ways that can help prevent some causes of thumb twitching , these are following:

  • Avoid those things that trigger twitching like If caffeine, sugar, or alcohol causes twitching in a person he should  limit how much to consume or avoid them altogether.
  • Manage stress and anxiety as meditating and breathing exercises both can help reduce twitching caused by stress, so a person can try these to prevent it.
  • Limitimg electronics usage shown positive result in many.
  • Person who are vulnerable to twitching should get good night’s rest that is sleep seven to eight hours at least a night consistently


How to diagnosis right thumb twitching?

There are some diagnostic tests to identify the cause, like nutritional deficiency, spinal cord injury, brain tumor, or other serious medical condition, include following:

  • blood tests
  • magnetic resonance imaging that is MRI of the brain or spine
  • X-rays to examine the body’s structures
  • urine test to check for the level and presence of minerals, toxins, and other substances
  • nerve conduction tests to assess the nerve function incase of nerve damage.



To be honest there’s usually no need to feel concerned or think of anything serious about a right  thumb twitch as it will most likely go away on its own without any treatment.  However If thumb twitching is constant or one notices other unusual symptoms along with the twitching , one should see a doctor to diagnose the underlying conditions causing the suddenmuscle contractions in the thumb area.


Written by Dr.Bayat
Associate Professor of Orthopedic expert,Brigham Hostpital



  • Watanabe T. - Onda H.

          Hemichorea with antiphospholipid antibodies in a patient with lupus nephritis.

  • Carvalho M, Swash, M. Cramps, muscle pain, and fasciculations: Not always benign? Neurology.

  • Katzberg H, Khan AH, So YT. Assessment: symptomatic treatment for muscle cramps (an evidence-based review): Report of the therapeutics and technology assessment subcommittee of the American Academy of Neurology. Neurology. 

  • Singh V, Gibson J, McLean B, Boggild M, Silver N, White R. Fasciculations and cramps: How benign? Report of four cases progressing to ALS. 

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Phone: +1(647)303 0740

All Rights Reserved © By MarsoClinic

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