Involuntary contractions or muscle twitches of the biceps can be alarming. Although muscle twitches are often harmless, they can be a sign of a serious underlying disorder. People with persistent biceps muscle twitching should see a doctor to determine the cause of the twitching and rule out a neurological disorder.
Exercise and Fatigue
One possible cause of twitching biceps is fatigue after exercising. If the biceps is overstretched or used for a long period of time, it can become depleted of nutrients. This can make the muscle hyperexcitable, which means it contracts with minimal stimulation. High temperatures can also contribute to this. Dehydration and the loss of electrolytes through stress can also make muscles hyperexcitable, leading to muscle twitching.
Neurological problems can also trigger biceps muscle twitches. Damage to the nerves that supply the biceps is one potential cause. Other diseases that affect multiple motor neurons, such as amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, muscular dystrophy and spinal muscle atrophy, could also lead to twitching of the biceps. If these diseases are the cause, the biceps may become weak and atrophied, and other muscles may also be affected. In addition, autoimmune disorders such as Isaac syndrome could also cause biceps muscle twitching.
Biceps twitches can also be a side effect of certain medications, such as corticosteroids, diuretics or synthetic estrogens. Taking too much of any stimulant, such as caffeine or amphetamines, can also make muscles hyperexcitable and twitch. Emotional stress can also trigger muscle twitching and a poor diet that is low in electrolytes and other important nutrients can make muscles prone to twitching.
Seeing a Doctor
For biceps twitches that last for more than a few days or are becoming troublesome, a visit to a doctor may help identify the cause. In addition to a physical exam, a doctor will want to know about when the twitches first began, how often they occur and if any other muscles are twitching. A doctor may also ask about other health problems, medications and other associated symptoms. Blood tests and a CT scan or an MRI may be used to help identify the cause of muscle twitches.