The day after a workout, I sometimes develop twitching in a random muscle; my triceps, or today my "upper" abs shake randomly.

What causes this ?


The medical term is (BFS) benign fasciculation syndrome. Loosely translated, that means "probably not serious muscle tremor". Here's a video of a man's calf muscle with BFS.

Like most benign conditions, it's not extensively studied. Research (fortunately) tends to go where's the greatest need and unraveling the mysteries of a harmless eye twitch doesn't get the attention those with twitching eyes probably would like.

Anecdotally there are several suspected causes of fasciulations, but no smoking gun to demonstrate that some particular repeatable and testable pattern is present in a certain population (or all populations). The best I've been able to find is a 2010 study which loosely links exertion:

However, strenuous physical exercise caused a temporary increase in fasciculations, but only in lower leg muscles. Fasciculations above the knee should raise suspicion and may warrant further investigation.

In the mean time, you might find some help in reading up on people's particular anecdotal and personal experiences.

  • hum.. ok so i'll call my medic tomorrow and i'll update this post.
    – e1che
    Jan 14 '15 at 18:14
  • @e1che The odds are very high that it's nothing serious, but making a phone call to the doc is a smart idea.
    – Eric
    Jan 14 '15 at 18:16

Sounds like a muscle spasm. It is caused by dehydration, mineral depletion and/or electrolyte abnormalities. They typically subside on their own. If not, go see a doc.

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