Finger Twitching

Posted by gigiraj @gigiraj, Fri, Jul 5 1:46pm

Hello, just wondering if anyone can give insight onto random finger twitching? Worried that it's early-onset Parkinsons. It's mostly my pointer finger and thumb twitching randomly without me doing it, and when it does I can feel a sensation in the nerves up the arm in question. I've had random muscle pulses my whole life (which I assume is benign fasciculation syndrome) all over my body and have had gastrointestinal problems (kind-of constipation, more like delayed bowel emptying) for six years. I'm only 21 but am worried that this is a sign of early-onset Parkinsons; I know constipation and tremors (is this a tremor?) are early symptoms.

I know I kind of sound like a hypochondriac but I'm desperately trying to find out which tests I should prioritize. I'm not made of money and the possibilities of my conditions are far-ranging. I'm scheduled for an MRI in August but my neurologist didn't even acknowledge the finger twitching when he heard my symptoms. So if anyone has any insight, I'd appreciate it. Thanks.

Hi @gigiraj , I have some experience with finger twitching! I'm older now, but when I was a young thing in my 20s, I was into cycling long distances, and I typed all day at my job. My thumb would twitch, especially in the evening when I was trying to relax and fall asleep. I never asked a doctor about it ever! I eventually developed carpal tunnel in my wrist though. These days, Id say I overtype on my smartphone and stress my joints, but my fingers don't twitch like they used to.

I had a doctor tell me that things aren't treated unless they are an impairment. I never considered my finger twitching in the evening an impairment. I used to avoid doctors, stay away from them believe me! Unless you have an impairment.

one thing you could try is getting one of those DNA tests offered, they are around $100 or so, and the DNA test will tell you if you have the DNA for parkinson's disease. Cheaper than an MRI. That's what I did, one company told me I don't have DNA for parkinsons, alzheimer's or the BRCA gene, I was relieved to hear those things.

Don't worry, don't fret. my finger twitched from overuse, including overuse of a keyboard.

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@Erinmfs

Hi @gigiraj , I have some experience with finger twitching! I'm older now, but when I was a young thing in my 20s, I was into cycling long distances, and I typed all day at my job. My thumb would twitch, especially in the evening when I was trying to relax and fall asleep. I never asked a doctor about it ever! I eventually developed carpal tunnel in my wrist though. These days, Id say I overtype on my smartphone and stress my joints, but my fingers don't twitch like they used to.

I had a doctor tell me that things aren't treated unless they are an impairment. I never considered my finger twitching in the evening an impairment. I used to avoid doctors, stay away from them believe me! Unless you have an impairment.

one thing you could try is getting one of those DNA tests offered, they are around $100 or so, and the DNA test will tell you if you have the DNA for parkinson's disease. Cheaper than an MRI. That's what I did, one company told me I don't have DNA for parkinsons, alzheimer's or the BRCA gene, I was relieved to hear those things.

Don't worry, don't fret. my finger twitched from overuse, including overuse of a keyboard.

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Wow, thank you for this response! I also cycle long distance and type a lot. I was just concerned because I did a lot more strenuous work with my hands last year and this didn't happen, and I also have some weird nerve feelings/internal vibrations in my muscles. But this is reassuring, thank you.

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Wow! like I said, in my younger days, my finger would just twitch sometimes. if those weird muscle vibrations are in your hands especially, then it maybe the bicycling. After it progressed to carpal tunnel I obviously consulted a physician, here's a list of the interventions the doc suggested and what helped

on the bike:
keep your weight in your seat, don't lean on your hands, keep weight off of your hands
keep your wrist straight, don't bend your wrist on your handle bars and put alot of weight on your hands
be mindful of the jarring that happens to your hands and the handlebars when hitting bumps, dont' squeeze your hands on the handlebars constantly
have a bike shop check your posture on the bike, perhaps the bike stem and seat could be adjusted better

at work,
adjust your work area (I'm short, an ergonomics professional came and lowered my work surface)
try to keep your arm, hand, wrist straight while typing
take breaks from typing

on a long bike trip, my bike friends and I called them "spikes" in our hands, now I'd describe that as neuropathy. We were biking too much 🙂
my favorite bike trips are one I did from Sacramento, through Napa Valley and across the Golden Gate Bridge into San Francisco. Another one of my favorite bike rides is in Wisconsin with the Leukemia Society (The Scenic Shore 150 it's called), from Milwaukee up through Green Bay to Sturgeon Bay.

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@Erinmfs

Hi @gigiraj , I have some experience with finger twitching! I'm older now, but when I was a young thing in my 20s, I was into cycling long distances, and I typed all day at my job. My thumb would twitch, especially in the evening when I was trying to relax and fall asleep. I never asked a doctor about it ever! I eventually developed carpal tunnel in my wrist though. These days, Id say I overtype on my smartphone and stress my joints, but my fingers don't twitch like they used to.

I had a doctor tell me that things aren't treated unless they are an impairment. I never considered my finger twitching in the evening an impairment. I used to avoid doctors, stay away from them believe me! Unless you have an impairment.

one thing you could try is getting one of those DNA tests offered, they are around $100 or so, and the DNA test will tell you if you have the DNA for parkinson's disease. Cheaper than an MRI. That's what I did, one company told me I don't have DNA for parkinsons, alzheimer's or the BRCA gene, I was relieved to hear those things.

Don't worry, don't fret. my finger twitched from overuse, including overuse of a keyboard.

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Would you tell me where you received your DNA test?

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@maryclaire651

Would you tell me where you received your DNA test?

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Sure! A few years ago now, I had a 23andMe DNA test done. They do ancestry information, but say that they focus more on health.

Here's an example of the health output that I received from 23andMe regarding Parkinson's disease, they say the variant is not detected in my genomic makeup. There's a long list of things 23andMe reports on, here's just my results on Parkinson's disease from 23andMe:

—————————————-
Erin, you do not have the two genetic variants we tested.
Your risk for Parkinson's disease also depends on other factors, including environment and genetic variants not covered by this test.

0 variants detected
in the LRRK2 and GBA genes

—————————————–

Now, Mayo has introduced a DNA test (Mayo didn't have one when I took this one), I have not done Mayo's DNA test for health but I may.

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Hi, @gigiraj – glad you connected with @Erinmfs about your questions on the finger twitching you have experienced and your concern about possible early-onset Parkinson's disease with this symptom along with the delayed bowel emptying and random muscle pulses. I also thought that @hopeful33250 @jenniferhunter @lsdempsey @susan62 @leftylucy might have some insights for you on this as you seek some answers.

You mentioned your neurologist didn't acknowledge the finger twitching, gigiraj. Do you plan to pursue this further with him to try and get his input on that particular symptom?

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@lisalucier

Hi, @gigiraj – glad you connected with @Erinmfs about your questions on the finger twitching you have experienced and your concern about possible early-onset Parkinson's disease with this symptom along with the delayed bowel emptying and random muscle pulses. I also thought that @hopeful33250 @jenniferhunter @lsdempsey @susan62 @leftylucy might have some insights for you on this as you seek some answers.

You mentioned your neurologist didn't acknowledge the finger twitching, gigiraj. Do you plan to pursue this further with him to try and get his input on that particular symptom?

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Hi there, thanks so much. I've already posted about this a couple of times in Brain & Neuro before and a couple of people you've listed have commented so whomever has done so doesn't have to do so again because I'm probably coming across as a serious hypochondriac lol.

I am going to follow up with the neurologist via email, since he was only a campus health specialist. I'm scheduled for an MRI in early August so I'll put an update on that.

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@gigiraj

Hi there, thanks so much. I've already posted about this a couple of times in Brain & Neuro before and a couple of people you've listed have commented so whomever has done so doesn't have to do so again because I'm probably coming across as a serious hypochondriac lol.

I am going to follow up with the neurologist via email, since he was only a campus health specialist. I'm scheduled for an MRI in early August so I'll put an update on that.

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Hello @gigiraj

You are certainly not coming across as a hypochondriac at all. Unusual symptoms such as this are concerning. I would very definitely follow up with a neurologist on this and try to get an answer (it may take some perseverance on your part). Please remember that if your doctor cannot offer you any suggestions on the cause for this, that a second opinion can be very helpful. By the way, have you had any nerve conduction testing? (I'm thinking of an EMG.)

I look forward to hearing from you again after your MRI in August.

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@gigiraj Twitching and spontaneous contraction can occur because of irritation anywhere along a nerve path from the spinal cord to the fingers and in all the places where nerves travel between muscles, tendon and bones. If this is happening in your dominant hand, pay attention to what increases or decreases symptoms. It may be something like the use of your fingers in texting combined with a forward bent neck position. That's a guess on my part as I don't know your habits, but texting is causing issues in younger people and all of that puts extra uneven pressure on the spine and discs. Over time, poor posture can cause spine problems and degeneration. Some of that is going to happen just from aging, so correcting posture when you are young is a great step toward future health. If I sound like a person who worries about spine health, well that's true. I am a spine surgery patient and learned through my own experience. I had an injury years earlier that with aging caused degeneration of a disc in my neck. I also have thoracic outlet syndrome which causes nerve entrapment in my shoulder and neck and is posture related and partly because of my physical build. A forward position of the neck and shoulders causes more pressure on the nerves. I can have twitching muscles if it gets bad. I also have carpal tunnel, and with all of this and multiple points of nerve compression, it can be complex to figure it out. Sometimes, it is just tight muscles and fascia that pull things out of alignment and put pressure on nerves. I did have a problem with my thumb and index finger that was caused by a spinal injection because of the pressure of the injected fluid. I already had central spinal canal stenosis at the time, and the injection was near the nerve root that innervates my thumb and forefinger. Your neurologist should try to pinpoint if there is a specific location of nerve entrapment or dysfunction. You might want to make a diagram to keep track of the issues and if it changes over time, and what type of symptom you have such as twitching, pain, tingling, numbness, etc. I actually had twitching in several places in my body caused by spinal cord compression because those were the source of the nerves that went to the twitching muscles. I have had spine surgery to decompress the spinal cord which resolved the problem.

It may be a physical issue rather than a disease. Physical therapy can help. There are are PTs who specialize in hand therapy. It helps me a lot, and my therapist also does a lot of myofascial release. We have a lot of information about that and how it helps lots of physical issues in the discussion that you can find here.
https://connect.mayoclinic.org/discussion/myofascial-release-therapy-mfr-for-treating-compression-and-pain/

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@hopeful33250

Hello @gigiraj

You are certainly not coming across as a hypochondriac at all. Unusual symptoms such as this are concerning. I would very definitely follow up with a neurologist on this and try to get an answer (it may take some perseverance on your part). Please remember that if your doctor cannot offer you any suggestions on the cause for this, that a second opinion can be very helpful. By the way, have you had any nerve conduction testing? (I'm thinking of an EMG.)

I look forward to hearing from you again after your MRI in August.

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Thanks for the reassurance. I haven't and have never heard of nerve conduction testing so I'll definitely follow up on that!

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@jenniferhunter

@gigiraj Twitching and spontaneous contraction can occur because of irritation anywhere along a nerve path from the spinal cord to the fingers and in all the places where nerves travel between muscles, tendon and bones. If this is happening in your dominant hand, pay attention to what increases or decreases symptoms. It may be something like the use of your fingers in texting combined with a forward bent neck position. That's a guess on my part as I don't know your habits, but texting is causing issues in younger people and all of that puts extra uneven pressure on the spine and discs. Over time, poor posture can cause spine problems and degeneration. Some of that is going to happen just from aging, so correcting posture when you are young is a great step toward future health. If I sound like a person who worries about spine health, well that's true. I am a spine surgery patient and learned through my own experience. I had an injury years earlier that with aging caused degeneration of a disc in my neck. I also have thoracic outlet syndrome which causes nerve entrapment in my shoulder and neck and is posture related and partly because of my physical build. A forward position of the neck and shoulders causes more pressure on the nerves. I can have twitching muscles if it gets bad. I also have carpal tunnel, and with all of this and multiple points of nerve compression, it can be complex to figure it out. Sometimes, it is just tight muscles and fascia that pull things out of alignment and put pressure on nerves. I did have a problem with my thumb and index finger that was caused by a spinal injection because of the pressure of the injected fluid. I already had central spinal canal stenosis at the time, and the injection was near the nerve root that innervates my thumb and forefinger. Your neurologist should try to pinpoint if there is a specific location of nerve entrapment or dysfunction. You might want to make a diagram to keep track of the issues and if it changes over time, and what type of symptom you have such as twitching, pain, tingling, numbness, etc. I actually had twitching in several places in my body caused by spinal cord compression because those were the source of the nerves that went to the twitching muscles. I have had spine surgery to decompress the spinal cord which resolved the problem.

It may be a physical issue rather than a disease. Physical therapy can help. There are are PTs who specialize in hand therapy. It helps me a lot, and my therapist also does a lot of myofascial release. We have a lot of information about that and how it helps lots of physical issues in the discussion that you can find here.
https://connect.mayoclinic.org/discussion/myofascial-release-therapy-mfr-for-treating-compression-and-pain/

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Wow thank you so much for all this information! That tip about correcting posture is super helpful. I'm going to research all the options (and make a diagram) you listed and follow up with my neurologist about potential nerve entrapment or compression. I'll also check out the link you connected. Thank you so much!

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@gigiraj

Wow thank you so much for all this information! That tip about correcting posture is super helpful. I'm going to research all the options (and make a diagram) you listed and follow up with my neurologist about potential nerve entrapment or compression. I'll also check out the link you connected. Thank you so much!

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@gigiraj you're welcome. I always have to work on my posture too. What helps me is building core strength because it supports everything else. I have a horse, and riding helps me a lot with that, and according to my surgeon maintaining core strength is the best way to support the spine to prevent future problems. I've had the nerve conduction testing too. It was kind of painful and I was glad when it was over. You can still do physical therapy even if the tests do not find a specific problem. Yoga stretching might be helpful too. When you hold a pose and wait, it does release the fascia if you wait long enough. I do a lot of stretching of the front of my chest by laying on a foam roller. It tends to get tight because everything we do has our arms forward. You can also lay on the floor on your back in a T position. Doing that on a foam roller allows the weight of your arms to stretch backward opening up the chest.

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I have the same tremors in my thumb and pointer finger. It was diagnosed as Essential Tremor. The difference between E.T. and Parkinson’s tremor is usually whether the tremors are noticeable at rest or in action. A Parkinson’s hand tremor is usually at rest, and an Essential Tremor is an action or postural tremor. I first noticed it when holding a small jar upright to apply makeup, or holding a newspaper up, or trying to thread a needle. I take Propranolol for it an it does help. It can progress over time, but usually at a small, slow rate. Stress, fatigue, extreme temperatures, and caffeine make it more noticeable. I hope you get the help you need.

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My Dystonia started out with essential tremors and finger twitching. As a kid, I was always dizzy, nervous, hyperactive, light sensitive, and my brain was in a heavy fog. My cognitive abilities were effected. I could not function properly and took jobs that did not take much brain power. My brain was not working properly. I was so sick! Doctors said I just needed SEX, yes SEX! HUH? Then I developed Spasmodic Torticollis that effects sufferers in mid-life. Look into a movement disorder neurologist who knows about Dystonia. A well-seasoned neurologist, and not somebody right out of medical school. Many are still perplexed about Dystonia and do not care to hear our stories. Excuse me, you learn from your patients. I being a RN, with this monster, teach movement disorder neurologists. I give them magazines and they end up throwing them into the trash cans. I end up leaving them in the dust. I've attended nation-wide support groups, started my own support group, been on TV and in the newspaper. I know this monster and how it effects your brain and body movements. It's nearly ruined me.

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My finger suddenly started moving involuntarily while dosing off to sleep. I would be almost asleep then I felt movement like my second pointer finger jumped for no reason. The movement has gone to my arm and head. I will be a sleep and all of sudden my head tries to fly off my neck. I have not said to much about it because it does not hurt. I just get a big surprise when it happens. I can't recall every problem because it is to much. I have been blessed even though it has been hard. Depression. anxiety, loneliness and family has been hard for me. Sorry I get carried away.

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