Calf Fasciculation, or Benign Fasciculation Syndrome (BFS)

If you don’t read anything else, read this: if you have fasciculations, stop worrying. Anxiety makes it worse. And it’s almost certainly not dangerous or indicative of another issue. Go to the doctor who will confirm that. Now read on.

In January 2014, one evening, I suddenly began having twitches in my calves. Not just little twitches, either. It was the entire muscle – right from my ankle to the base of the back of my knee. In both legs. And it was all of the time, 24 hours a day. I read someone else describe it as like having “insects crawling around under the skin.”

I googled for videos of calf fasciculations but although these do give an idea of what it’s like, the results I found weren’t quite as extreme:

Now, if this has happened to you, there’s good news and not so good news.

Good news:
It’s not going to do you any harm or shorten your lifespan or anything like that.

Bad news:
There’s not much you can do about it.

It wasn’t particularly noticeable during the day, when exercising, but when sitting still it became too annoying. Not painful at all, but uncomfortable. I found there are two ways to reduce the annoying-ness:

  • Have the calf muscle in a stretched position
  • Have the calf muscle pressed against a surface.

Having the muscle stretched meant standing up. When sitting on the sofa, I’d have my legs pressed against the base of the sofa, and then I could sit without it annoying me too much.

The first couple of days were the worst, because I wasn’t used to it. I felt like it was making me feel fatigued, but later realised this was psychosomatic. I desperately ran through the possible causes:

  • Poor quality shoes I had bought a few days prior
  • Exercise (running) on the day it started, immediately following a blood donation session
  • Deficiency in Magnesium, Calcium, or Potassium
  • Deficiency in something else, maybe related to being vegetarian
  • Stress (a common cause)
  • Tiredness
  • Medication side effects (I wasn’t taking any)
  • Alcohol intake (I hadn’t been drinking, and rarely drink much)
  • Infection, eg. Lyme’s disease (I didn’t have anything I knew of!)

Having run through the possible causes, I narrowed it down to having ran back to the office immediately following a blood donation session. You’re really not supposed to do that. I remember my calves having been really sore, and this was understandable since a pint of blood was missing from my body via which to transport oxygen to exercised muscles. I had quickly caused some kind of muscle damage to myself through careless behaviour.

After around 4 days of desperately hoping this stupid twitching would stop (and initially believing it would), I realised I’d need to try and find a solution. The worst part was that I was finding it hard to sleep. The internet wasn’t much help but I compiled a list of potential short-term remedies:

  • Take calcium, magnesium and potassium supplements and get tested for deficiency
  • Lower my stress levels (I thought about it carefully and decided I wasn’t stressed)
  • Get plenty of rest
  • Stretching
  • Wear decent shoes
  • Take Quinine (tonic water). Apparently it’s good for cramps. It tasted awful and didn’t do anything. Apparently quinine tablets would be needed to get a high enough dose to have a chance of doing anything.
  • Reduce caffeine intake. I stopped consuming any caffeine for more than a week. It didn’t work.

None of these did anything. I had no deficiencies (other than in common sense). As time went on I got used to the fasciculations. Sleeping became easy again as I learned to either sleep on my back (calves pressed against the mattress) or on my side (weirdly configured so that one calf was pressed against the other). My initial feelings of fatigue evaporated after just a few days and I started to feel fine and energetic again, having realised that the fatigue was brought on by the mental irritation and depressing google results I was finding.

Note to self – googling a medical issue is a BAD IDEA! Only a doctor can tell you what your ailment is!

I thought carefully about alternative, long-term remedies:

  • Fitness. I resumed running (and quickly injured my foot which has temporarily put a stop to that)
  • Strength training/weight gain. I started Stronglifts 5×5 and the GOMAD diet (google it) and gained 10lbs (mostly of fat, in fairness) in three weeks. I became stronger, including my calves. Which was nice. I’m continuing with the strength training.
  • Copper ointment. Apparently this “complimentary” medicine helps with cramps and damaged muscle. I maintained putting it on my calves for a few days and then lost interest. I don’t think it was going to do anything.
  • Acupuncture – I’ll resort to this if I get desperate and have some cash to throw about.
  • Homeopathy – I’ll need to be very desperate to try this, but who knows. That day may come.

I should mention that I visited the doctor twice. The first time, I was told it was nothing to worry about and to come back in a few weeks if it continued. The second time, I gave a blood sample for calcium, magnesium, and potassium testing – these were negative. I haven’t bothered going back because I know there’s no proven treatment.

How am I doing now? Well, it’s been three months, and the fasciculations are still there. I feel like it’s less intense, though. I can sleep without pressure on my calves – this has only happened in the past two weeks. Sometimes it feels like they’ve stopped, but when I roll up my jeans, they’re still going. Oh well; as long as it feels better, that’s the important thing. My best guess for the cause of the improvement is my weight and strength gains. It may be coincidence, but the calf improvements did seem to begin about a week after I began strength training and weight gain. I’d recommend strength training anyway, since it’s a good health improvement to take on.

Apparently, in a large proportion of cases, this condition subsides within several years – maybe not completely, but often noticeably. The main thing is that it’s not worrying me anymore, and I’m fully confident that it’s going to disappear before the end of the year. In three months it feels noticeably better. After exercise it becomes much more intense, but that’s to be expected and is not a problem.

I have written this post because of the lack of information I found on the internet when trying to self-diagnose. All I found was loads of people deciding that they probably had a disease called ALS. Which they don’t. If recommend you attempt all of the remedies I’ve suggested, starting with the most common ones: stress, over-exercise, alcohol/caffeine consumption, and mineral deficiency.

Leave a comment if you have something similar or know of a potential treatment I haven’t suggested. Good luck!

Futher reading:

Update 31-Oct 2014: It’s been 10 months. It’s as annoying as it was at the beginning. I sleep with pressure on my calves: lying on my side, with one on top of the other, or on my back. Oh well…otherwise healthy :-)

Update 25-Mar-2015: Now 15 months. Nothing new, except it’s totally normal for me now. I don’t run any more because my calves are usually pretty sore afterwords. I walk a lot which I don’t think makes it worse. My son woke me up from a deep sleep one night, and it felt like the fasciculations had gone. I felt my calves and couldn’t feel them moving. I went back to sleep. I don’t know if I was imagining it but that’s the only time it seems like they stopped. I love reading the comments. Makes it all seem normal!

Update 18-Aug-2015: They’ve stopped. Not all at once, but gradually, over the course of the past 6 weeks or so. Actually I think they’re still going but very, very faintly. I don’t think there was anything I have done differently in my life – I have no idea why they stopped. It was about 17 months in total. Weird!! As someone posted in the comments, here is a site with more information, and a discussion forum.

205 thoughts on “Calf Fasciculation, or Benign Fasciculation Syndrome (BFS)

  1. Thanks. I’m with you. I have the same “problem” for two months now. I went through a 4 weeks long ALS panic, i always lost my girlfriend because of my behavior during that time. I found some sites about BFS much better now. The (sometimes extreme) twitches are still with me, but my peace of mind becoming greater. Now i found this article, one more step for me on the right way.

  2. I have had this for many years. It was first noticed when I was 10. I am now 57! the rippling under the skin is there 24×7. The only thing I can think of it that I have always been very physically active. I rode everywhere on my bike as a child, sometimes around 20 miles a day to various places. I played a lot of sport that involved sprinting. I continued playing football (soccer) up to the age of 45 and still play small side football now. When I asked about the condition to a personal trainer, he said he sees it a lot at his gym and he believes it to be ‘action ready’ muscles – muscles that are primed for ‘fight or flight’.

    All I know is that I have suffered no ill effects, I am still healthy (relatively!) for my age and continue to exercise as much as I can today.

    It’s simply something I live with and a constant fascination to my children!

      • Johnny…I hope this thread stays alive! It’s good to know we aren’t alone, isn’t it? I have had BFS for almost two years now. Started when withdrawing from one antidepressant to start another. I have a serious anxiety problems and was very stressed out, had horrible transition side effects. Makes sense I’d end up with something like like this. In my calves and feet mostly, sometimes face and back. I still walk, hike, bike and stay active. If I don’t exercise a bit, my legs will ache sometimes, my feet really ache. I’ve found that the aching typically goes away with exercise. But not always. So it keeps me moving, which is good! Any how it’s something I live with. Would love folks to share information on things that work to soothe it a bit, or if anyone hears of research being done. BTW…I am on Cymbalta and can’t say it helps much. The bigger twitches seem to be fewer, but I still have the “bugs under my skin” or buzzy feeling, in legs and feet.

        • What you went through is exactly what is happening with me right now. I did a anxiety med transition and had terrible side effects. This is the one that seems to be staying after 3 weeks. They’ve started blood work and the results are due tomorrow. Praying for an answer.

          • Wow! well two years later, I still have the fascinations and buzzing. But mostly I ignore it and keep active. Still going strong! So hang in there…you’ll be ok!

      • Hello, I have been having calf fasiculations for 3 years, they started after a night out when I was sat on a chair with a bar on it under my knees. It was in a damp marquee in June and I sat forward over the table as it was a quiz night. I got up to go and my legs were stiff and cold, I went to bed and could not sleep because I could not relax my legs/muscles at all, my legs were so cold. I was suddenly woken by the most excrutiating pain in my left calf, I could not get rid of it, it lasted several minutes and every time I tried to get my foot/calf/ankle out of it, it went straight into spasm again. I had to take amitryptyline and get a hot water bottle, eventually fell asleep, then it happened again, exactly the same process, when I got up in the morning I could barely put weight on my left leg/foot, it was very weak. I didn’t follow it up immediately hoping it was a one off, but no there were to be several nights like that over the next year. I still have the fasiculations 24/7 and the cramps and spasms but they are possibly less frequent now. I have asked drs and specialists and no-one knows what happened to me that night. The year before I’d had an emergency op for a slipped disc on that left side and I’ve thought the two were maybe connected. I now have severe arthritis pain in my back also, the pain can be dreadful, gets me down, several things i cant do anymore. Get terribly stiff from sitting in one position at a desk at work for several hours. Stretching is important of this leg, I think that is helping prevent quite so many cramps, I was prescribed tablets for a month or two but they didn’t stop the twitching so I didn’t continue with them. I hope they eventually go, they are annoying and no-one has even said I might have BFS, sometimes you just want it named. Good luck to you all with this frustrating inconvenience

        • Hi I’ve had weekends in tight leg for about 18 months but omg about 11 weeks ago noticed calf muscle wasting in right leg only then wierdly 2 weeks or so the twitching started omg and the electrical muscle spasm I have felt this go slowly over last 9 weeks or so travel up my leg into my bum cheak then last 4 days like a battery is inside my groin now I have no twitching but muscle wastage in bum and calf. And now extreme back ache. Omg what’s going on I’m in hull hospital was admitted Friday and I’m having lumba puncture. MRI and EMG I am told ?????

      • I have had this for many many years i find it best to wear Compression Stocking all the time especially in Bed give it a try .

    • Thanks John,
      I have had this same condition for about four years. I get them only in my calves, and all of the remedies I have tired as well… I have been to several doctors that were not concerned about it. Personally I think it is due to excessive exercise because my muscle twitches always flair up when I train. I compete as a bodybuilder and notice when I take a few days off from training they always diminish but do not completely go away. I think this combined with my hypothyroid disease causes some weird things to happen within our bodies. It is a annoying, but something we have to deal with.

    • Interesting. I have to say that I beat your record by a long way. My fasciculations started in 1972! I was 20 at the time (68 now). The onset followed participation in a University cross-country race ( I wasn’t as fit as I should have been and maybe rather overdid it) followed by a vicious unidentified viral infection which left me sweating gallons, semi-delirious for about a fortnight. This is when the twitching in both calf muscles began. I had the full range of tests including a muscle biopsy at the National Hospital for Nervous diseases, Queen Square, London; they ruled out the nasties (ALS, MND,etc.) and said there was no cure, keep taking the Diazepam, stop worrying and it will go away (The top man, a famous neurologist of the time was adamant about that – he thought the main problem was my anxiety about it, he would be long dead now). It never has gone away and in fact flares up from time to time and is VERY painful. I have such a flare up right now. The trouble is, that being neuropathic pain, it does not respond to the usual painkillers, not even codeine or morphine. Luckily, over the years, I have had long periods when it hasn’t been too much of a problem, but it really has blighted my life taken all in all. I suspect that having had it for so long, I have the rare variant of BFS known as Isaac’s Syndrome. It is always worse if I have any other infection however minor, which suggests an auto-immune response. Anyway, sorry to bore you with all this. Hope you don’t suffer as I have done and am doing right now.

      • Ive had the same with the pain side not only do i have the twitching but i hae the intense pain that moves around my body nerve pain i call it plus lake of consintration and tiredness

    • I have struggled with this for years . It is getting worst and in more spots if anyone is willing to talk to me about this PLEASE call me I have had 3 MRIs 1 CT scan and 2 EMGs . Please someone talk to me . 215 435 7191

  3. Thank you for posting!Your symptoms sound similar to mine. Twitches in my calves that are annoying and occasionally painful. I have been having them for about two years and they come and go. I went through a bevy of neurological tests- MRI, EMS, NCS, blood tests. All came back normal and they said it was BFS. I think- and one doctor agrees that it might have to do with Lyme disease I contracted because it started soon after I had it(though all Lyme disease symptoms are gone). I am not very stressed and have cut back on caffeine but haven’t seen an improvement. For me, there are a few things that seem to help: Lots of standing or walking, exercise and stretching. I have also found some relief with acupuncture. I think it makes a difference and also is very relaxing so that’s good! I do wish they would go away, because I don’t want to have them my whole life and wonder if there is any doctor out there who might be able to help..

    • Thanks Elise, it’s good to hear your experiences. I think there’s another common factor: the twitching always seems to cause people to lead a healthier lifestyle. Could it be a blessing in disguise?

  4. Hi, very similar to my condition. i too use the sofa and mattress as a ‘buffer’ for this annoying condition. I’ve had it for four years now, and it has spread from my calfs initially, to my feet, thighs and recently to my hands. mostly 24/7 but with periods of about two hours every few days where its very slight. i haven’t tried any changes to my diet yet, but i’m just starting a magnesium supplement today, (worth a try). If only i knew what causes it to subside for a while. i’d probably be half way there for a twich free existence! i have been subscribed Clonazepam for it. But this is just a sedative to take at night, so i can get off to sleep quicker!…not a cure! i’ve had the usual tests for other possible causes, but this a bit of a tricky one to treat. Doctors are a bit puzzled as to what causes it and what could cure it! I’m hoping it will just run its course over the next few months or years. Thats all i can do at the moment….Here’s to hope.

  5. Thanks to all of you for your postings. I have had these fasciculations for over 10 years and recently they have gotten worse and worse. After reading a lot about BFS I’ve decided there’s no purpose to be served and going back to my neurologist. I think it’s something I will just have to live with the rest of my life.

  6. Very interesting. I have been struggling with which I now know to be BFS for years. The Physcial Therapy Doctor, primary physician, vitamin stores, etc all knew nothing. Thanks for your review it helps me fell better and that the are not aliens living in my calfs. I went and had an EMG this AM and the doctor clearly diagnosed as BFS for which there is no known cure. Thanks for posting

  7. I have had this condition for three years. At first it was constant twitching all over my body and has slightly diminished over time. Don’t know how or why it started and haven’t figured out how to get rid of it but like many of you stated nit many doctors know what it is. My neurologist said not to worry about it? Its just annoying!

  8. I had this for 6 years from 2000 to 2006 and then is went away totally within a week of getting pregnant. I had constant twitching and cramping ALL over my body. It was a nightmare. Then in 2013 it came back, but not as bad this time. I twitch mainly in my calves 24/7 with random blips all over. It came back one night after I had a terrible nightmare. I woke up…walked out to the kitchen and got a bowl of cherrios, sat on the sofa and it all came flooding back like a wave. So bizarre. I have never had weekness or wasting..its just one of those things.

    • Hi its wierd you saying about it stopped when you were pregnant because i started getting mine summer of 2013 and then i fell pregnant and they stopped then when my baby was about 4 months old they have came back!! Waiting to see my nerologist on friday!

      • I had the same thing! I got this in late 2014 and onset was awful. Felt like someone was popping popcorn all over my body all the time for all of the time. I saw a neurologist and he told me it was BFS and nothing to worry about. Over the next few years it slowly got better and then I became pregnant and it went away entirely for 9 months. I’m now a month post partum and can feel they have come back. So annoying. I also tried cutting coffee and I drank about the same amount during pregnancy and was much more stressed during pregnancy and I never had a single twitch.

  9. I first experienced fasiculations in 2001, as an addition to another syndrome. The primary complaint was unexplained neck spasms, together with a curious “needle like” sensation over the right hemisphere of my head. These spasms then spread down the thoracic section of my back, together with fasiculations that eventually spread to my legs. I consulted the usual medical fraternity with little result. A respected neurologist, confidant I didnt have ALS, didn’t even refer to benign fasiculations. A sympathetic microbiologist, who tested me for Lyme disease (negative, although I had a tick bite a month before) suggested I consult an old-fashioned psychiatrist, who was also a good diagnostician. He correctly noted that my CNS was in a “hyped” state (I was finding it difficult to sleep), and prescribed Prothiaden (Doxiepin), whic I tolerated very well, & which had me able to sleep soundly after a few weeks. All I can say is that I gradually got better over a period of 6 months, till the pain was but an echo of the original, and the fasiculations disappeared. I don’t know what caused them, though the tick bite and a virus are the chief suspects. After 14 years I have developed the same symptoms, though far less severe. I believe that a virus has possibly triggered them. However, I have also since learned a good deal about neural plasticity, & believe that old nerve pain pathways can be reenergised by various triggers. I am back on Prothiaden & my neck pain and spasms have subsided significantly. I have yet to see much improvement in the fasiculations, but hope they go away in the same way as they did in 2001. I have gone on the net to see if there is any new research, but clearly the medical profession has other priorities. However, wonderful new work IS being done by a sinal surgeon in Seattle. Read David Hanscomb’s book “Back in Control”. He doesn’t refer to fasiculations, but I suspect they are part of the same syndrome as he writes about.

    • Hello everyone i have this from 1 year frist go with my big finger moving without no reason ,then go in the left eye lid even eye and stayd there for about 1 week after that ,the tiwch gone ,and after 2 months apeared on my left leg some were at the middle of the leg and twich for 2 week non stop ,with just small pause ,after this 2 week the twich spread all over my body ,neck ,eye lid ,head ,fingers ,stomac ,betwen the legs were prostat is ,butts all over ,tiwching in one part and then go in other part and so 24/7 ,after this the twices are more concentrate in the left calf ,but in the right is not non stop like in left .
      Now i get in the left calf a lot ,even in right calf ,in other parts of my body ocasional twich ,so i made EMG all things ok so no ALS , the doc sayd magnesium deficiency and i get to vitamins ,try it a lot no efect ,all test good ,i make lyme borelia test ELFA metod and came clean ,make MRI just a benigm pinel chist from i was born .
      I go again to neurologist with MRI test show the results and ask hijm if that pineal chist from i was born is the problem ,and he sayd me no no way that chist can’t the twices ,no demineralizations ,so single diagnostis is BFS .
      This tiwces are damn anoyn and sometimes when you go to sleep ….i goo crazy ,i guess i have to live with them maybe for the rest of all my life ,since no vitamin ,no magesium concentrate dose make a diference and no efect there is no cure ,single cure is the drugs like Clonazepam etc ,but i refused to take them ,other is the weed but in my country is not alowed,so ,i dunno what to do .
      In those days i thinked to go to make again the lyme borelia test maybe the frist test was rong and have this terible virus …but lyme give some symptoms wich i dont have them ,and i dont remember to be bite by a tick ,so we got to live with this ,tnx god is not ALS .
      Doc sayd if you twich for 1 to 2 years and no muscle atrofy weakness the single diagnostic is BFS

      • Hello George,
        Hope your twitching is gone away. How are you doing?
        The fasciculations started in my body 10 days ago.
        I have been to the neurologist and the physical checking was fine. So, he made an appointment for next month.

        • hi bro,
          am having twitches in my left eye since 20/25 days then in my both arms. since 3 days. am worried about ALS , as i have read about it. Hoping to c my doctor and getting some gud news

  10. Thank you so much for this man. Both of my calves, but mainly my left, have been twitching for about 6 months now. At the beginning I latched onto the ALS thing as well…..and SUPER freaked myself out. I even went to a neuro (asshole) who, when he ask me my symptoms was saying “Well which is it, is it twitching in your left calve or both? If it’s just the one you should be worried) At that point I freaked out even further, and wasn’t sure if I was twitching on my right calve. Everytime I would feel it on my left (24/7) and not my right, i would pull of my jeans and 95% see some sort of twitching there too, just not as noticeable. Whatever….I had another ALS phase when I convinced myself I was walking funny, but i just became convinced that was me being paranoid again. However in the last week or so, My shins have started really hurting when I walk…not for long, I go out and after 50 steps they really hurt. I need to sit down but almost immediately they feel okay and i can walk normally again, but only for like 50 -100 feet before my shins hurt too much. Anyways. Wasn’t freaking out about it tonight until I got online and of course, just type in the word “legs” in google and ALS horror stories come flooding in. So I was freaking out until the next article was yours….thank you for that sir! Best of luck and great advice on the being calm front…..

    • I’ve had twitching in my calves, especially the left one, for years, but especially in the last decade (I’m 54 now). Most of the time I can ignore it, but some nights the aching will keep me awake and restless. I’ve found that taking potassium helps a lot, probably because the blood pressure medicine can make me “spill” potassium. Calf stretches help too, especially on days when I’ve been sitting at my desk a lot.

      On those nights when my legs are just going gangbusters, I’ll pull on a pair of neoprene leggings that cover my calves from the back of the knee to the ankle. They’re fabric coated, zipperless, and easy to slip on/off. They are just barely snug and not tight at all. I purchased them from Amazon, and I think they’re intended for athletes to keep their muscles warm. While they don’t actually stop the twitching, they contain it in a way that relieves the ache and occasional deep muscle cramps. I’m able to ignore the twitching and sleep soundly.

      Sometimes they can get warm (they don’t breathe), so I’ll wake up and pull them down or take them off, but usually I can leave them on through the night.

      If you try this, be sure to treat the leggings like any workout gear and keep them clean. A light spray of an antifungal is also a good idea.

  11. Nice article.
    I’ve had this for around 10 years. At one point it was disrupting my sleep and I was given Gabapentin. I think the Dr thought it was RLS. I stopped taking it after a month as it was still happening and I didn’t want to be on a drug for life.
    I am used to it now, but on occasions it gives me a little trouble (like today, hence my being here!)
    I exercise a lot (ran and walked over 1500 miles last year) makes no difference :D
    I think mine was as a result of a herniated disc which led to some permanent nerve damage. I had back surgery and it seemed to happen after that.
    I just consider it to be a party trick now – freaks some people out.

  12. Hi i started getting twitching everywhere all over my body, stomach, back, thighs, calfs, biceps, even on my tongue! This has been since summer of 2013 then i fell pregnant and they dissappeared, august 2014 my baby being around 4 months old its came back, still the same, i started googling and things like als, ms mnd were all popping up and i started taking panic attacks couldnt eat for about 2 weeks with the anxiety, my doctor gave me beta blockers (propanalol) to ease my anxiety, its calmed me down but the twitching is still here, ive also tried taking magnesium but with no luck, its now january and ive just got my appointment in to see a nerologist this friday, so im hoping everything comes back normal and i can start to enjoy my life again

  13. Howdy!

    I’m now “in the club”. My issue started several years ago with cramps in my calves & feet, but only when I was in bed. Then on occasion, I’d get calf cramping on the bike. Then I started getting cramping anytime my legs were prone (e.g. in a recliner). Then it happened more on the bike and occasionally when I was standing.

    Then a handful of weeks ago, the cramping improved a lot — didn’t go away, but the frequency and severity of the cramps decreased. And the calf fasciculations started – both of ‘em. Anytime I’m sitting or laying down. Don’t seem to notice it much when I’m standing. A little bit of cramping and perceived weakness on the bike, but according to the numbers I’m riding and climbing stronger than I have in 5 years (feel weaker, going faster — weird…must be my noggin’).

    ‘Did the ALS freak out (I had a front row seat watching this disease take down my father-in-law; I remember the cramping in his left leg that was the start); it wasn’t a HUGE freak out as I know a bit about the disease. Kept thinking “sh*t, that cannot happen to my wife”. Got past it pretty quickly.

    ‘Have been to the doc, checked out the blood work (all normal), and gotten my favorite medical term: Idiopathic.

    Anybody else have a “path” that sounds like mine? I’m assuming the cramping and the fasciculations are related.


    • Hi Tim

      I would say they well could be related. My scenario is pretty similar to yours. I’ve had cramp occasionally in my left calf over the years (I’m 48) but about 4 months ago I had the most dreadful cramp one night, so much so that even standing up on a solid wood floor I had to force my heel to the ground it was so painful. After this it’s like my muscle has a memory? If I stretched out in my sleep I instantly got cramp in that calf but it subsided within a couple of seconds of me standing up as if the muscle was playing somehow?

      I don’t do a lot of structured exercise & my walking was more of an amble taking lots of nature photos but 4 weeks ago I started doing daily short brisk walks to get fitter, maybe 1 mile steep uphill & 1 mile back home walking at 3.5 miles per hour pace (according to the MapmyFitness App I use). Well about 2 weeks ago I noticed my left calf muscle is constantly twitching. More noticeable at night but also in the daytime if I’m sat quietly. Quite disconcerting but I’m not unduly worried having read about Calf Fasciculation.

      I do have a fair bit of stress in my life right now, we’re trying to sell our house (unsuccessfully so far). I run our home as a B&B in Ireland and our 14 year old dog is causing a lot of disturbance waking me up early scratching the door to be let out. I wake up several times a night imagining I can hear her, listening out for her scratching. I’m wide awake then for an hour or more conscious that she might be disturbing the paying guests. Trouble is I wake up even when we have no guests, mild insomnia I guess. I also have a hot flushes as I’m peri-menopausal (the insomnia could be linked to this). All these factors are contributing to the twitching? I’m not going down the HRT route & am trying to eat more Soya based foods for the Phytoestrogen effect.

      One thing that is different I’m taking vitamins for the past 5 or 6 weeks, something I never did before as I eat a healthy diet & am rarely sick. I’m taking Vitamin B complex and Evening primrose oil (Gamolenic acid) as both of these are supposed to help with hormone imbalance. The twitching started not long after I started the supplements. I wonder if there is a link there? Something else to Google lol.

      • I am in my mid 50′s, male, and have had muscle twitching in my calves for about a year now. The twitching started in the left calf about ten months ago, and just very recently switched sides. The right one is now twitching equally and is more pronounced. Sometimes it subsides to just a dull pulsing feeling going towards my Achilles tendon area in the left calf. The twitching is almost exclusively occurring when I am sitting down, and not too much when lying down, or any at all when standing. I have also developed slight twitches in my right thumb, and to the back of that hand, which has occurred for almost as long as the left calf twitching has. I have had a battery of tests in the past four months and the neurologist says I have BFS. I too, started taking multiple supplements about 18 months ago, prior to any of the twitching occurring; B12, and Thyroid Boost at that time. I didn’t notice any twitching then or for the following 9 months. I fell down a flight of stairs injuring my lower to mid back about two months after the start of those supplements. No twitching resulted from the injury then either, but i did have sciatica symptoms in my left leg. Then, I fell again last May. Mostly on the same side, my left hip area and lower back. This happened when a buddy accidentally pushed me through a doorway. I landed hard on my left hip on top of a hardwood floor and with him on top of me. I am not one to normally fall down, so these two falls closely together my have caused some sort of damage to my back/hip? I have had constant lower back pain since these falls, but it was more pronounced after the second one. I am awaiting a MRI for this. Those two falls may explain an injury which is causing the leg twitching, but the thumb and hand twitches, the random twitching in my forearms, and in my arm up by the elbow, how can that be related to a back injury? So, I doubt it is the problem. In the Spring of 2015, I started taking additional supplements suggested by a regular MD / Naturopath; They are Coenyzme-Q10, and R-Lipoic Acid. These came first starting last May. Later, towards the end of 2015 I started NAC, DHEA, a desecrated thyroid hormone, and an oral testosterone steroid. These supplements all were directed by a very respected MD who works in conjunction with a Naturopath. The related blood tests and the deficiencies they noted mostly added up to my age, and possibly heredity/diet and led me to taking these supplements. Now, I am starting to eliminate some of the supplements as I noticed the twitching first started about 2 months after taking the Q10 and R-Lipoic Acid (also about the same time as I had the second hard fall?). So, starting with the Q10, after stopping it for about a week I noticed a marked improvement in the twitching. Then the calf twitching suddenly returned in week two and is now worse with it being in both calves equally. I stopped taking the Lipoic acid a week ago, but I doubt that is the culprit and nothing much has changed by discontinuing it. I am beginning day one of ‘no’ B12 today (I was taking 5000 mcg oral sub-lingual daily). It is the supplement which I have taken the longest. I read on the internet that a reaction to a high dose of this vitamin can cause a warm feeling in the arms and legs. I have that feeling in my lower legs and feet. It can also cause tingling (yes) acid reflux (yes) and lower back pain (yes). I am hoping this is the root of the problem. Now the last part, we have a history of ALS in our family. I have been tested for this disorder and I have no symptoms of that motor disease. The EMG says everything is normal and so this disorder has been ruled out. The twitching has also occurred now for far too long, and in patterns that would suggest that it not be considered anything other than BFS. Now, to find out what is really causing this incessant twitching. I am going to be tested for Lyme Disease. I have no other thoughts at this time as to what could be causing the twitching. I have two cats (one who when he was 13, we think, contracted Bartonella (a large bulge around and glaucoma in his left eye) and then he vanished. This was about a year before my own symptoms began, and we also have two dogs. The cats caught vowels regularly and brought them home, and we have deer/ticks living about 400 yards from our house where the dogs walk sometimes. The pets all would drag in ticks occasionally in some manner. We supposedly do not have the Lyme carrying ticks where I live, so this disease could be a stretch if the authorities are correct about that? I do have arthritis in both my knees and also in one shoulder. So that, as well as the twitching calves, which as I understand it are all a hallmark sign of this disease, and for which Lyme has been known to cause both of those symptoms. I understand Lyme can hide in your body for years until something traumatic sets it off. I had a major nervous trauma occur to me around May of last year. The twitching started a little over a month later. So, how is this for a set of circumstances for you all to ponder? It has me completely puzzled and I am racking my brain almost every day looking for an answer. It is driving me and everyone around me nuts.There are just so many variables in my case to consider. The twitching is just mostly very annoying. After enduring about one year of this symptom now the feeling of normalcy is all I want to experience again in my life. Any thoughts?

        • I too started taking the same dosage of vitamin B12 about a year ago and I developed the leg twitching about a month or so afterwards. I stopped taking B12 for a while but the twitching didn’t seem to get any better. I will be very interested to know if you have any improvement by stopping it because I’ve started taking it again but maybe should stop for longer to give it a chance to totally get out of my system. I also had a major emotional trauma about 18months ago and I’ve had very bad lower back pain for over a year on and off. I went to an osteopath last week who said the twitching really could be a result of when I injured a vertebrae in my back several years ago. I’ve been tested for MND and so far seems I don’t have that, thankfully, but the twitching isn’t getting any better. It’s mostly in both calves and feet but the occasional twitch anywhere and everywhere in my body. Also my right thumb started moving on its own a few nights ago, and I get regular cramps in my left toes. Everything you wrote is very familiar to me and very reassuring that other people have it and it’s NOT MND which I have been freaking out about for many weeks now even though I’ve been tested.

    • Hi All
      I have had them for probably near on 10 years now I think, I do lots of cycling at a fairly competitive level. I struggle with cramps cycling too, more commonly when spinning at a higher cadence when pulling more power. I used to race Duathlon but my calves would completely lock up/cramp on the final run and inhibit my performance so now concentrate on just the cycling. It is mainly when I am under more intense effort that I get cramps or later that night after a session or race when trying to relax my calves. I do also get a lot of weird cramps like between ribs, jaw occasionally.
      Sometimes it will keep me awake at night and have to try and sleep with legs partially tense.
      Ice make them worse, heat no better and compression socks sometimes better/sometimes worse!!

    • Hi Tim, I’ve read all comments down to yours and your story is exactly the same as mine in how it started.

      I was almost getting cramps at night for a few months. Almost, because I would jump out of bed or press my foot against the wall to stop it so it never cramped in full. Over months it became more frequent through the night. Then my gf suggest electrolytes and it worked a treat and stopped the cramps if I took them daily. However, the fasciculations then started.

      I’ve had them in my calves for 6 weeks now and the doc said today it is BFS. I’ve had blood etc checked.

      They get worse with exercise. I walk and do weights a lot.


  14. I’m so glad I found this page. I have had severe calf fasciculations for a few months now. I was diagnose with epilepsy 2 years ago when I was 34 after having lots of complies partial seizures. I had the usual MRI, EEG and blood tests etc. Nothing relevant found (which is good!!)

    I am on lamotragen for my epilepsy, it’s possible this is a side effect, although it’s not listed and I’ve been on it for 18months. I’ve been seizure free for a year so it’s not a result of those.

    Everything you said is exactly how I cope. The way I sit, tense my legs, lay in bed etc. i had a neurological examination during which my reflexes were tested and had Babinski test etc, again nothing relevant thank goodness. I all but convinced myself I had MND (ALS).

    Seems as though it’s one of those things that I will just have to get used to. I’ve been holding off exercising too much because I feel like it gets worse after.

    I also use a compression bandage when I’m at work so I can’t feel it so much as I need to really concentrate. Thanks again for this page, made me feel like I’m not alone and weird :-)

    • i had a seizure 16 months ago…3 days after taking lamotrigine started having fasciculations. told it wasnt the drugs so it was either the result of the seizure or the meds…ive stopped taking meds to see uf it has an effect…no change yet…has your twitching stopped?

    • Hi,

      I have had twitching for nearly 2 and half years….Im assuming that after this time, I dont have MND…any thoughts on that? Thanks

  15. I wrote a previous comment in December last year & recommended Dr David Hanscomb’s book on the neuroplasticity involved in back pain & its involvement in dysfunctional operation of the central, autonomic & parasympathetic nervous systems. His work was preceded by Dr. John Sarno’s book on the same phenomenon which he termed “Tension Myositis Syndrome” – although it has been variously called “Mind/Body Syndrome” & Psychophysiologic Syndrome. There is also a website – the TMS Wiki – where many people speak of having fasciculations as part of this syndrome.

    Since December my neck pain has resolved, but the fasciculations continue. I find temporary relief with a Chinese balm called “Ping On” balm which is available on the internet.

    These annoying muscle abnormalities seem to me to increase with stress and anxiety – which unfortunately they themselves increase!! It is a vicious cycle.

    There is some evidence that medications such Gabapentin, Lyrica & Cymbalta may alleviate the symptoms, though I have no desire to use such potent drugs.

    I have unfortunately had to discontinue the old tricyclic anti-depressant Prothiaden (Doxiepin) due to ongoing dental work (conflicts with dental anaethesia) which is a shame because I believe that this medication worked in eliminating fasciculations I had 14 years ago (after many months) since it dampens the over-activated Central Nervous System. It is often used also to reduce chronic pain.

    Although I am diligently working with CBT to reduce stress and symptoms, I will return to Prothiaden as soon as the dental work is completed.

    I really don’t think that caffeine, alcohol worsens the syndrome & I havn’t had any success with magnesium supplements.

    I really believe this is a central nervous system disorder in which the nervous system suffers an overload situation (trauma, infection, stress etc) that causes it to get stuck in an inappropriate response. It is kind of a chaotic situation & it is therefore quite difficult to override. The downside of “neuroplasticity”. Doctors such as Hanscomb (& Howard Schubiner) believe that you need to lay down new neural pathways & suggest novel ways of doing this (journaling etc) in their books.

    Well worth considering.

    • Hey Alex, I would really appreciate an update has the prothiaden worked?, I think its due to it blocking Acetycholine receptors. If so do you recommend prothiaden for BFS? MUCH OBLIGED.

  16. I’m so happy to have come across this thread!! I’ve had the exact same symptoms for 6month plus!! Started with cramps in calves/feet in the nights and then that went slightly and then I started getting tingling in my forehead and the twitching randomly in arms, face. Now it’s mainly the calves that just constantly wriggle! Quite disconcerting but I’ve started training again and my strength is as good as ever. Running seems to aggravate my calves which I guess makes Sence but I can still run like I always have.
    It’s like reading something I wrote about myself reading what you guys are going through.
    Well done everyone

  17. I got the BFS with cramping . . . it’s unbelievable the dances I do while talking to people when my feet are trying to do the pretzel.

    This is what works for me:
    Natural Vitality Natural Calm Plus Magnesium~I like the Raspberry/Lemon (add a serving **or 2** to boiling water SLOWLY as it Fizzes up high) and Ultima Replenisher (electrolyte powder-comes in a variety of flavors) and I’m also drinking 5g of Celtic Sea Salt dissolved in 32 oz of a hot beverage (caffeine free) daily. So far this combo has done the trick for me. And no I don’t work for either company or am in any way affiliated although I should buy stock for the amount of product I buy.

    I hope this ‘recipe’ brings relief to someone . . . I had *no* idea BFS even existed until about a year ago. I keep thinking that it has something to do with de-mineralization/electrolyte imbalance and or deficiencies . . . and there are a lot of things which do that but it can be different triggers for everyone.

  18. I’m a marathoner and recently developed this syndrome. I quickly found that wearing my calf compression sleeves to bed helped immensely. I sometimes where them to work now.

    • I do the same thing (minus the marathoning :) ). I also wear the compression sleeves (neoprene.
      ; the lycra ones don’t seem to help) whenever I have to travel by air and am going to be stuck in a position where I can’t stretch my calves regularly.

  19. Thanks for sharing this information Jonathan. I’m almost 27 now and have had this for about 10 years now. It started in a really stressful time of my life and it really freaked me out at the time. These symptoms on top of the stress I was dealing with was just too much and definitely made it worse. At first I was really worried it may have been Lyme Disease. I used to get tinnitus on and off because I was constantly surrounded by loud music being a DJ/Producer and partying in-between, but when the twitching started my tinnitus never went away and that can be a symptom related to Lyme Disease. I went to see my doctor and tired to explain what had been happening and the fact I had been dealing with a lot of stress at the same time. He basically told me it was the stress that caused it and because I had no clear diagnosis the worry was making my symptoms worse. I went for a blood test and everything came back normal.

    I decided my best course of action would be to try and relax to see if it helped my symptoms, but I always had the worry in the back of my mind that it may have been something more serious like MS or ALS. Because of that I could never really relax properly, just try to forget and keep myself entertained with my lifestyle and spending time with friends. I was completely fine when I was at work as I’m on my feet all day and I don’t notice or feel it then, but I find it difficult to try and forget about it when I’m relaxing on my own and sat down at home. Unless your stood up, put your feet up, or tense the muscles its pretty much always there. If I really relax and take a couple of week of work I noticed by the end of the 2 weeks its definitely less noticeable, at least it seems that way.

    Recently I decided to go back to the doctors as nothing had really changed after 9-10 years and I just wanted to make sure something hadn’t gone under the radar. He sent me for a few more test, checking my mineral levels or if I maybe had an over active thyroid gland, which can cause twitching. I got the result today and it was all clear. I’m going to see a neurologist next and I’m really frightened to tell you the truth. Like I said, I tend to worry it might be something more serious but with it being such a long period of time and having no other noticeable symptoms apart from the twitching (99% of the time in calves & feet but also noticeable occasionally in other parts of my body like face, arms or back), I’m really hoping it is BFS or something that has no detrimental effect to my body and life span. I can cope with the twitching as I have got used to it over the years, but I’m really hoping its not something more serious like MS. I hope that the results will help put my mind at ease and maybe help ease the twitching as I will have more clarity on my future and can hopefully put the worry behind me.

    Anyway I really appreciate this thread and its nice to talk about It. Thanks again Jonathan and everybody that has contributed by posting. You just have to keep on rolling and stay positive

    Best wishes to you all in the future, Alan

    • thank you very much for this post Jonathan and everyone’s replies.
      it is reassuring to hear people are coping with this.

      im 39 and what started as a twitch in the thumb a couple of weeks ago, after 3 days suddenly became twitches across the entire body – legs, shoulders, arms, trunk, head, calves, back etc. which have now persisted for the past 2 weeks, with no signs of abating. after the thumb started, i did have a brief read up on the webs and started worrying, but find it hard to believe that my worry could have caused such an extreme and widespread reaction.

      admittedly i am under a considerable amount of stress, but yesterday due to the worry, i went to see a neurologist who thankfully hasn’t diagnosed any clinical weakness in a physical exam and suspects BFS. in any case he has ordered bloods and an EMG, hopefully to rule out anything more serious.

      i will start trying some of the useful suggestions here.

      thanks again everyone and good luck and well wishes to all

  20. This post really is for once quite a relief to read, I have worn out doctor google and possibly self diagnosed myself with every serious illness related to bfs.
    Mine started randomly when I was watching TV one day – a twitch in my leg and then my rib cage area, then my arm and so on…. In my head I was thinking what the hell is going on as I’ve only ever felt those twitches when after I’ve done intense exercise , and even then they stop after about 10 minutes .
    As the days went on the twitching became all over my body – I made my self sick with worry, googling it all , convincing myself it was ALS, everyone around me thought I was going mad as everytime I went to show them the twitch it stopped. Anyway 2 months later I went to the doctor who was pretty patronising as she knows I suffer from anxiety so in a way completely dismissed me saying it’s just your anxiety luv ! Great if it goes away but it didn’t – another 2 months went by and it was still going on however this time I woke up to my thigh twitching for a good 15 minutes and continuous which it’s never done before – I woke my husband and finally he got to see I wasn’t imagining it – he put me in a bath as I was in quite an anxious state crying as I couldn’t take much more of the worrying and called the doctor.
    Back I went again and this time I saw a different GP, he didn’t reassure me – instead he said I’m going to refer you to a neurologist as I can’t diagnose this but before that il do some blood tests .
    Bloods all came back fine – no deficiencies .
    Went to see the neurologist which I was petrified about as it seemed like dooms day , he sat me down , did some reflex tests and checked my muscle bulk and then asked me if I’m going through any stress in my life . Funnily enough yes I was and am however stress has never caused me to get these horrible sensations before . He diagnosed me with bfs also advising me to come off caffeine , get more exercise , go back to counselling and take some time out for myself . He reassured me that it’s very normal to have bfs and can sometimes never go away. 4 months later I still have it – nothing’s changed . I try not to google as much and I’ve come off caffeine completely also I have been receiving mindfullness with my counsellor however I just feel these symptoms are never going to go. I could even be in the most relaxed happy state of mind and then all of a sudden off it goes again :(
    Thank you Jonathan for not making me feel so alone in this – along with everyone else .
    The only other thing I can think it is related to is my bad back? Nerves? Who knows ! My neurologist didnt deem it necessary to do an MRI even tho it was private as he just said he’s 99.9% that it is bfs – you just have to trust these experts I guess!! X

  21. Pleased I came across these posts, I’ve googled BFS way to much over the last 18months!! I too have BFS. 18months ago both my calves started twitching and cramping like crazy.. 24×7, relentless. Went to the Dr and he immediately told me it was BFS. A year later I had 2 disc bulges and a trapped sciatic nerve in my left leg. I had an EMG and have slight nerve damage in my left leg. Strangely after about a year the twitching in my left calf has completely gone. The twitching in my right calf is worse than ever and drives me crazy. It doesn’t stop me running but definitely intensifies after exercise. Can’t feel it when standing up, walking, and using some sort of ‘buffer’ when trying to sleep or rest definitely works. It’s just annoying as the fasciculations are so strong and persistent its hard to try to ignore it. Nothing I can do but try and live with it.

  22. I have had twiching & tremor for 2 months. Before i had twiching, i had had stress. I worry about ALS. It always in my mind. I’m only 18 & i have lots of plan in future. I dont want to die. Plz help me! How to make sure i dont have ALS???

    • Npc, it breaks my heart to hear the anxiety and fear in your post. You can’t continue suffering like that. Maybe you ought to go to see the Dr to put your mind at rest. I am no expert but my uncle had MND and the early signs don’t usually start with the twitching and fasciculations most of us on this thread are experiencing.. It also progresses quite quickly as does ALS (similar symptoms again) if it helps Google MND symptoms and ALS symptoms as I did ( my husband said nooo don’t Google it!) But it helped put my mind at rest. I also googled benign fasciculation syndrome (BFS) and cramp fasciculation syndrome (CFS) wikipedia and found all those symptoms were much more up my street! I visited the Dr and he said that’s what it is without me mentioning it. So 18 months down the line and no further symptoms have appeared so I’m guessing its nothing sinister. As quite a stressful and anxious person myself I always fear the worst and I think until you see a Dr and get some advice you’ll just get more stressed because the bl**dy twitching never let’s you forget its there! Once you know its nothing to worry about then its just a matter of putting up with it. It shouldn’t interfere with your future plans, you have your whole life ahead of you. Good luck.

  23. The amount of replies you’ve got on here is testament to how many people worry about this, and how many people don’t have ALS/MND/Lou Gehrig’s/That-Thing-Stephen-Hawking-Has!

    Like many others, I suddenly got it one day at work. Twitching and convulsions in my calf muscles (both legs). It slowly spread all over. Even my f***ing face. I’m 22. I suffer from pretty bad anxiety which has caused a whole range of symptoms before. I had a blood test which was fine and haven’t bothered to follow it up. As far as I’m concerned, if it’s MND there’s f**k all I can do about it anyway and I’ll find out naturally in a year or so, so there’s no point wasting NHS money. The day they started I had a sudden rush of stress, and that’s probably related. It’s annoying they haven’t gone but after about a month, the last few days haven’t been as bad.

    Anyway, thanks for your post. It’ll calm the nerves of a lot of people.

    • Mine started about 3 weeks ago, first in knees and now in arms, legs, feet, hands, trunk. My Dr tested my iron (ferritin) and found it extremely low. +45 is normal and mine is 3. !! I am on iron supplements which should at least make me feel better in other ways.

      I am vegetarian and a distance runner. Interesting how many on here are athletes. This has made my legs VERY tired and I have had to quit running and swimming for the past 2 weeks. Scary, to be honest. Once my iron levels are up, I want to get back to it and hope the tired feeling gets better.

      Dr checked other minerals and found no other deficiencies but iron. If you haven’t had your iron tested, you may want to! I will update if the iron supplements have any positive effect on this.

      Thank you for writing this. It’s very comforting to know that a lot of people have it. I wasn’t thinking ALS, but my dad has Parkinson’s and that certainly was on my mind. Thanks again.

  24. Hi All

    I am too really pleased to come across this website. I started with BF in my 30′s where I was doing a job where I was standing every day for 12 hours or more (my own business!). Then they disappeared after I returned to a desk job. Two years ago they started again, at a time where I started a new job and was under a lot of stress. My mother died of ALS or MND as we call in the UK and unfortunately we have this as a hereditary gene (my uncle died of the same thing). Obviously the first thing I did was see a specialist and he confirmed that I had BF. I could be tested for the gene for MND/ALS but what’s the point, I’d spend my time worrying and probably my BF would get worse. What does seem to be a common thread in the women with this disorder is a change in hormones, and I have to say that I am at the time of life where my hormones are changing, so maybe there is something in this??? I also found a website ages ago where a guy had said he had BF and had found a cure using the electrolyte sports drinks. I did try this for a while but found the drinks a bit unpleasant, however on saying that I bought the powdered version rather than the fizzy drink… so maybe this would help??? There are days that I get pain in my calves (today being one of those days) but I think walking or movement of my legs does actually help. After exercising the BF does get worse, unfortunately, but then there is no answer. I am glad I came across this website as it is good to hear others points of view and how they cope with it. To summarise, I do think stress is involved or maybe the starting point/kick off of this horrendous disorder lets just hope somebody somewhere finds a cure.

  25. As has been said by a few people already, I’m so glad I came across this thread amongst the numerous ALS/MND results that come up for every google search for muscle twitching. I’m now convinced (almost) that what I’ve got is BFS, rather than a lethal muscle wasting disease (phew!). I’ve had twitches pretty much all over, especially biceps/triceps and calves, for about 2 months. They come and go a bit in regularity, but are generally worst at night (while trying to go to sleep without worrying about them!), or when I’m sitting quietly. I’m not actually sure if this is just because that’s when they’re easier to notice or not. Although correlation doesn’t equal causation, mine started about a week after I recovered from a ‘flu-like illness’, where I was sick for about 3 weeks with a cold that became sinusitis and then bronchitis. So given that one of the main hypotheses around BFS is that it could be auto-immune related, this fits with the idea that I’ve got a whole heap of annoying antibodies floating around doing something unwanted to my neuromuscular junctions. The main problem for me has definitely been the anxiety that I’ve got something serious. To make matters worse, I’m a 2nd year medical student, and about two months before I got the symptoms, I’d just finished our neurology block, complete with examination of a patient with motor neuron disease – of which prominent fasciculations were by far the most memorable symptom. Damn that stuck in my mind. I keep on having to remind myself that I don’t have the major muscle wasting that this patient had. Anyway, just thought I’d add my little anecdote to this collection. Good luck with everyone, and thanks Jonathan for the post.

  26. I suffer this problem, the onset of which is directly related to running and cycling. I don’t mean recreational speed and distance. I am an endurance athlete, and I train a lot. Running fast, or long distance will bring it on, and it lasts all day. I had serious knee surgeries 12 yrs ago which interfered with nerves, and I get oedema from inflammation around the injury/surgery site (bilateral problem). But the fasciculation was there before the operations, after extreme exercise, such as an 8 hr cycling race. So. I was always prone to it, but now it is chronic. Solution for relief – I started wearing full compression stockings to alleviate the oedema, and they are 100% effective for that. I use full toe to knee type, from sports gear manufacturers, such as Compressport, 2XU or CEP; the latter I rate highest. I wear them most days, post-exercise until I go to bed; I do not sleep with them on. Now, the good news is that the stockings control fasciculation to a high degree, so that discomfort and concern is very minor. Similar effect to pressing your calves on a surface, but way more convenient. Good luck.

  27. My symptoms started after an intense session on an exercise bike 3 months ago. My calves looked like a bag of worms and the fasiculation has not really stopped since. It now affects my quads, hamstrings and buttocks. Being a medic myself I was convinced this was the start of ALS except I did not have any weakness and still do not have. I have had blood tests for Magnesium and Calcium levels and Lyme’s disease – all normal. I am monitoring my calf circumference for signs of wasting and running and going to the gym to try and keep fit and strong. I know BFS is clinically and statistically most likely but still a worrying time even for someone in the “trade”.
    I think a web resource like this is very helpful and reassuring and would like to thank John for going to the trouble.

    • Oh my James! I have been monitoring my calf circumference too!!! I do not have weakness or wasting, but I do have twitches, jerks, and pain (sometimes feels like a little cramp or the beginning of a cramp).
      How are you now?

  28. I’m losing it a little even after meeting with Mayo clinic and having all the test run blood, physical, EMG, Nerve Conduction, MRI etc..

    My symptoms started in November with a small twitch in my lip. That went away after a few weeks but was replaced by twitching in my right shoulder,neck,bicep,arm and hand. The Neurologist said after tests I have an Ulnar Entrapment as well as problems with my c5 c6 c7, he also said the twitching was benign and no need to come back for follow up. I did Google from day one and my Aunt is dying of ALS now. I know I need to trust the doctor but my twitching and perceived symptoms and anxiety is really wearing me out! What to do?

  29. Hello all! I am a narcotics officer on drug task force and i work serious hours. In my off time I am an avid runner. The twitches all started in August 2015 after working a long night on a traffic detail with lots of coffee consumed! I also googled and i also thought I had ALS . I went to a doctor and a neurologist. EMG was negative I have tried reducing my stress but the twitching is constant in both calves, sometimes I get them in my arm, face, and back. I am glad I came across this thread. I still run but I quit coffee and all caffeine :( nothing helps. Looks like I have to live with it.

  30. Hi everyone great reading all these comments seeing my calves are like most people with the twitching and sore after work or exercise for the last year. Really notice 2 things many people have in common with me and each other. 1 so many people in the world don’t exercise but it seems most people on this site have a running or biking regime that they have or had and 2 a lot of people coping with stress and or anxiety some with medication.
    Anyways I’m suffering through this but it’s settling to know that it’s not life threatening and may just disappear in time and even if it doesn’t life will go on and I will just roll with it, it’s hard sometimes I feel alone and a bit of a freak but reading your comments have put me at ease. Thanks everyone for sharing it’s important.

    • Hi All,

      I guess I’ll be joining this club then too! Had twitches on and off for a few years (remember seeing a GP about them a few years ago who told me I didn’t have ALS). They came back noticeably in my left thumb in early Jan this year, then moved about and have now settled in my left calf, pretty consistently, with little pops and zaps everywhere else from time to time so the other parts of my body don’t feel left out. Freaked out about ALS all over again, seen the neurologist, had the EMG/NCS and all fine. Twitches aren’t going and I guess they’ll wane eventually when I find another killer disease to worry about. And, as noted above, I have chronic anxiety (mostly health) and have in the past done a lot of running and cycling.

      Good post above and it is actually surprising how common this problem is.

  31. Hi everyone,

    I came across this thread last Summer when my calves (and other random muscles) started twitching.

    Unlike many of you I did not, unfortunately, have a regular exercise/biking regime. It literally seemed to come from nowhere. I went to the doctor who prescribed Baclofen to help with the twitches. That, however, resulted in an increase in anxiety because within a week my muscles felt significantly weaker; carrying groceries was no longer easy, I had a hard time with fine motor skills such as putting in my contact lenses. Which then made me wonder ALS/MS?! It took about another week for me to look up the Baclofen side effects and see that muscle weakness was a rare but not unheard of side effect. Phew! I told my GP that the medicine didn’t work and made me weak, she then suggested me take a very strong antidepressant with muscle relaxing properties. I had no interest in the other unwanted side effects of a strong antidepressant. Fortunately, she agreed I needed to see a neurologist which took a few months to get the appointment.

    I am a scientist and know much about the brain-body connection so I realised my anxiety would only exacerbate my awareness and the sensation. I don’t know if that helped or if time helped as well but I didn’t notice anything the months of Nov and Dec. Then after I returned home from a Christmas visit with family, the twitches resumed. Seriously?! Good thing I kept my Neurology appointment.

    My neurological exam was completely normal. She said she’s seen this where people start getting twitches and then 8 months later they’ll be gone. It’s thought that it may be viral in nature. I can’t remember if I had a cold before they started but I did come down with a cold after my Christmas trip so maybe that stress on the body reinstated the twitching. The neurologist set up an EMG/NCS test. I had it today and it was completely normal – no nerve damage, muscles fibers are being recruited normally. He said it’s probably BFS, since all other serious neurological conditions have been excluded. He actually had someone in yesterday with the same story!

    The fact that the twitches came back and are lingering is annoying but it is reassuring that nothing is seriously wrong considering the anxiety got so bad I was considering seeing a therapist. BFS is a disorder of exclusion so only medical professionals can give you true piece of mind. I kept hoping it was BFS after reading all the other horrible things on the internet (I knew I shouldn’t have).

    I thought I’d post my experiences since I just got the clean bill of health. It’s great these resources exist.

  32. I’ve been diagnosed with BFS about 10 years ago. 38 years old now, have it in my calves 24/7 and from time to time in my face. Had the whole ALS/MS scaring period before. Especially while my father has spastic paraparesis and is in a wheelchair because of that.

    Some things that relief the symptoms for me
    - a glass or two of wine. Seems like the alcohol suppresses the fasciculations.
    - hot bath, makes it less painful.
    - drinking water, it gets noticeably worse on a day where i don’t drink enough water.
    - Zolpidem is very effective for me to fall asleep when my legs go crazy.

    Hope this helps somebody!

  33. I have had BCF for about 8 years now. It started after I got heavy into cycling. I have noticed it gets worse after long rides and with dehydration. Didn’t realize so many people have this odd condition.

  34. Thanks so much for writing this up.

    Like pretty much everyone, I was convinced of something seriously wrong.

    The tremors in my calves started for me after a couple of months if extreme stress. I’m very active and normally lift three times a week and train twice (or once plus a game).

    I injured my right calf in a game and in working on it one night (massage, sonic massager, foam roller) it flared up excessively with extreme heat and pain on the inner side. Then the tremors started a day or so later. Then, the big one, they started in the left calf – this is where the anxiety levels went through the roof as I became convinced of something to do with the central nervous system.

    Coupled with the stress issues I was having I developed an acute level of anxiety and a visit to the doctor (who said the calf tremors were nothing to worry about!) resulted in me being put on beta blockers (propanalol). These had horrendous side effects for me which, in a sick irony, only caused more anxiety as I became even more convinced something serious was being missed.

    I had a severe panic attack in the middle of the night. Were it not for my girlfriend I would have called an ambulance. I thought I was dying. I was terrified. I had no idea what was going on. I felt very challenged to be told this was a panic attack but once again, I had been checked over and everything was ok.

    In the days that followed I came to terms with the fact that I was suffering from anxiety and that this is what had caused the episode in the night. Through this I also came to terms with the verdict from the GP that the tremors are nothing to worry about and that it was these fears of “something big” that had driven me to this place.

    Unfortunately, the negative reaction to the propanalol resulted in me being put on atenolol (also terrible!) so I am now trying to come off these horrendous drugs that, in fact, I did not need as this was all self-created due to my fears about the calf tremors.

    Ridiculous, I know.

    Where I am just now is trying to come off the beta blockers over the next few days. I am waiting on an ultrasound appt for the right calf (as there is still some scar tissue in there on the outer side). I have felt more inclined to believe the GP that there’s nothing major going on but this blog has now swung it for me.

    It’s been *immensely* helpful to have found this. I cannot thank you enough – and the same to all who have posted comments on here too.

    Wishing you all a peaceful and relaxed day.

  35. My muscle fasciculations started back in 2009 after taking Lariam (Mefloquine ) as an anti malarial before traveling to South America. I am wondering if anyone else has had that side affect. I still have the condition.

    • My condition started a month after unnecessarily given the antibiotic clairthromycin. PLEASE stay away from this antibiotic. Twitching is not the only side effect. I will try everything and I will get over muscle twitching.

  36. The first time I noticed fasciculations in my calf muscles was 1990. I was an athlete at the time on crew team and a US Air Force officer candidate. The onset of symptoms was at about the same time I started suffering from panic attacks…. We didn’t have doctor google back then or even an internet to go searching for diseases. I thought I had MS or something the only motor neuron disease I was familiar with at the time…… I was actually more concerned with the panic attacks and I figured they were related. I received drug treatment for panic disorder but the fasciculations never went away. In fact my calf muscles have been fasciculating pretty much constantly 24/7 since 1990. So for those of you worried this is going to progress to something else, I can assure you it is not! The bad news like other people have said is there is really nothing that stops them. I tried giving up caffeine and taking supplements, doing various excercises….. Nothing really helps. My advice is that you really just need to get used to it and stop worrying.

  37. I have had BFS in my calves now for about 10 years (24/7). I was a professional boxer and it definitely seems to be the case that this syndrome is more common in the physically active and athletes.

    When the twitching first occurred I was extremely anxious about ALS etc. and had regular panic attacks as a result. I am now 31 and although I still have BFS I no longer worry and only really notice it now after exercising.

    There is really no point worrying and on the plus side my calves are huge as a result of the constant stimulation ;)

  38. I am really pleased to see that BFS is “relatively normal” I was having a cup of coffee a couple of weeks ago. I was sitting with my one foot on my other knee looking at my calf. I suddenly noticed that it was like I was looking at a lightning storm from a satellite. Little twitches were going off randomly all over my calves. My wife and I did some research on the internet and i was convinced i had some form of Motor Neuron disease and I had the vision of myself looking like Stephen Hawkins in a short period of time . My wife came to the conclusion that it was a magnesium deficiency but this did not diminish my concerns. I went and saw my GP who referred me to a Neurologist. I saw the Neurologist yesterday who tested me for weakness and reflexes. He then told me about Idiopathic calf fasciculations. I am still somewhat concerned that it could develop into MND but it has been a great relief to find this website and find others who have the same problem but have remained healthy

  39. I first noticed bilateral twitching in my calf muscles just over a year ago. It was the beginning of 9 months of acute anxiety, panic attacks and many other physical symptoms which I now know were a direct result of the stress caused by my total belief that I had MND. It didn’t help that I received poor information from a GP.
    For those of you who are worried please don’t be. I would never have believed the reaction the body can undergo under stress.
    I was on antidepressants, sleeping tablets and I totally withdrew from all social arrangements.
    After 7 months I was referred to a wonderful psychiatrist who helped me back to my normal, happy, sociable self.
    I still have very mild, hardly noticeable twitches but everything else has stopped (whole body jumping, feeling hot from head to toe, electric shock type feelings, tingling and numbness etc. All gone , nada.
    My belief is that my stress caused all the above apart from the initial twitching.
    If you are suffering with twitching as Jonathan says, see a competent GP, one who you have faith in. If he has any doubt, no matter how small he/she will refer you. If you are told not to worry then do just that. Walk away and put it out of your mind. Your twitching is likely to subside or stop in time.

    • I’m wondering if the psychiatrist suggested any medications or did you have counseling only for your stress and anxiety.

  40. I’m so glad I found this site. I have had twitching in both of my calves the past 2 months (the left a little more than the right), along with occasional twitches in my quad and arms (only when I’m nervous really.) I’ve always been an anxious person and freaked out when I read the symptoms of motor neuron diseases. Anybody else feel like I do? No weakness, no nothing. Just twitching. BUT, it does go away for the most part when I’m standing, or when I’m relaxed at night watching TV and when I’m asleep. Once I wake up, I feel like my mind is just expecting the twitches. I had my first anxiety attack in February and was diagnosed with an anxiety disorder. Coincidence? Any help that you guys could give me would be appreciated!! As I just keep worrying…and that definitely isn’t making it better.

  41. I’m a member of the calf twitching club. On a site note, I have Sarcoidosis, a disease that a lot of folks could have an never ever know about. You only find out after a biopsy, often done for some other reason. I just chalk any weird symptoms in my life to Sarcoidosis as that can cause just about any symptom.

  42. Hi, I posted on here a year ago after having bfs for about 2 years now. Have it in both calves. The left calf has eased off a bit tho the right calf has intensified somewhat and never stops. I also get excruciating cramp in the night with it. It’s interesting how a lot of people that suffer with this are physically active. I am 43 and workout frequently and have done for years. My bfs started when I had disc bulges and a trapped nerve in my piriformis. I could hardly walk and was off work for 8 months, developed a slight limp and after having an emg found I had slight nerve damage in my left leg. The twitching started about then. Weird, it drove me mad. Tried magnsium, didn’t work for me. Saw a sports therapist and he gradually sorted my back injury out and released the trapped nerve but the twitching never went away. Started working out again. A year on the fasciculations are still constantly present in my right calf and definitely intensifies if I work out everyday. I’m certain it was my back injury and nerve damage that set it off. It is annoying but guess there is not a lot I can do about it.

  43. Pingback: Benign Fasciculation And Muscle Cramping Disease – Health Care

  44. I’ve had this for 5-6 months (initial perception) and intensely for about ten days. 99% is in my calves. Im a 47 year old male, and yes I’ve got stress and I exercise frequently. What absolutely works for me as previous posters have alluded too is compression. I take a Velcro/nylon strap (the one Im wearing now is about two inches wide) and wrap it around my legs about mid calf. You of course don’t want to cut of circulation, but the pressure makes it so the twitches are not felt that much. This allows me to get on with my day and not think about the twitches, which can drive you (or at least me) crazy.

  45. Hi all.

    My physio actually referred me to this feed. I have a disc bulge at l5 s11 and has been proven by mri and CT scan. I had problems in my sciatic nerve and numbness in my affected sides toes. The sciatica went away with physio and the numbness has subsided. About 16 months ago my right calf started cramping for no reason at random times this then turned into intermittent twinges in my right calf, which then developed into permanent 24×7 twitches. Definitely made worse by exercise. Hot water bottle helps and pulling the leg straight and toes back. I’m hopeful that it will pass and fade as things improve? I’ve decided to be active, try some electrolytes and try and forget all about it! Anyone with any advise is more than welcome.. Good luck fellow sufferers

    • WOW, Ben you symptoms are pretty much identical to mine. I started running about 2 years back and I think I was a heal striker, which I think cause me to get just one episode of what was a sciatica I was told. I woke up and got off the bed and the pain down my right leg was so severe after about an hour I ended up in the ER, where they gave me intravenous paid med and that helped. Next day I went to orthopedic and he gave me something in my spine to reduce the inflammation as he thought. After that my toe has been numb, I have constant fasciculations and if I relax it will cramp up especially if I try to rotate my foot inward. This is ongoing but seems to get extreme after long 7-10 mile runs. Dr says listen to your body and do something else. He says consider your age and be smart stop doing what causes the issue. He explained that the nerve is like a wire with insulation. The insulation part can be damage and it could repair itself, but once the insulation part is punctured then its almost guaranteed to be require some surgery to repair. I do a cardiovascular and resistance training program put on by the Kinesiology department at the University of Texas in addition to running and I definitely get the symptoms more after running.

      I guess what I’m reading it is caused by a damage nerve and not much to do about it. I’ve not read of anyone just refraining from doing anything physical for quite some time to see if that helps resolve.

      • By the way the damage nerve is due to some compression of the spine on the L5. I also had a EMS which is a method to determine if, which and how much the nerves are damaged by electrical stimulation and they measure the time and response from point A to point B. This also confirmed the MRI I had that showed the spine compression.

        I was hoping to hear someone say they went to some therapy and got it resolved.

        • I have foraminal stenosis and spondylolysthesis at L5 S1 and initially thought my leg issues were from a disc compression (which I have), but now the BFS is in other parts of my body. My Dr doesn’t see how it can be connected to the stenosis but I do wonder if it is disc related or otherwise. I’ve had it for 4 weeks and just saw the Dr last week who diagnosed a severe iron deficiency (normal is 45, mine is 3). Will see if the iron supplements help and then will get PT. I will update. Hope you’re feeling better.

  46. Hello there I’ve been suffering with BFS for 10 years now and I can say there is nothing you can do about it but keep you head high I get the fasisculation in my face continually down to drugs when I was young I think it’s to do with my central nervous system lots of withdrawal but anyway it’s good to find a site like this and just put a little message for people to read I was 17 I’m 26 now

  47. Pingback: Remedies For Tinnitus Of Calf Stretches For Tight Hamstrings | Homeopathic Remedies for Tinnitus

  48. I have had fasciculations in my calf for over 3yrs now since having an L5S1 herniated disk removal after nerve compression left my leg completely numb. The nerve has been permanently damaged and left my foot partially numb. It does not really effect me on a day to day basis. I work as a gardener and regularly jump up from the weeding when my leg is about to cramp up. Things are worse after a very heavy day and any attempt at stretching out the calf muscle causes a severe cramp that locks my calf and ankle. On bad nights I have found compression socks help. It can be a right pain in the backside but I feel reassured it’s nothing more sinister.

  49. I’ve had BFS for over ten years. Like others, I haven’t found anything to stop it. I’ve seen doctors, changed diets, had blood tests and nothing it out of the ordinary. There are a few things that make it worse. Hard runs definitely make it worse- and they closer they are to bed time, the more likely I’ll be awaken with severe cramps. Seems that the more sedentary the muscle is when the fasciculations are bad, the more likely there will be cramping. The other thing that seems to worsen the problem is alcohol, specifically red wine. @Cory – Interesting to read that your herniated disk is the source. I have suspected that a compressed disk was my source after exhausting everything and realizing that it was discovered around the time that I started having fasciculations. I will say that the longer you live with them, the more they become the norm. I’ve noticed them at their worst sitting in front of the TV with my legs propped up, yet have no issue jumping into bed and falling asleep immediately.

  50. I have had BCF for something like 8 years now. They started a couple of years after I got serious into cycling. I am a physician although not a neurologist and I can tell you that this condition is NOT caused by nerve damage as I have never had any injury to my back or legs and do not have disc herniation or any back pain or sciatica. It is also NOT caused by stress although I could see how stress might make it worse.
    For me, hard exercise and dehydration make it worse. I am going to try cutting out caffeine and increasing water intake.
    I’m hoping someone stumbles on to a solution for this annoying ailment…..

  51. I wish mine would stop.
    12 years, multitudes of drugs and it gets worse with each year that passes (Yes, the deterioration is that slow)
    There is not a step I haven’t taken in hoping to reverse this but it just spreads.

  52. Hello everyone,

    Thanks to Jonathan for starting this site.

    I don’t know if I have BFS, but I assume that is what I have. I am visiting a neurologist very soon and having an EMG done, if only to rule out anything very serious.

    My fasciculations started a few weeks ago. The first time I became aware of them was when I had a tingling on the upper right side of my right calf. I looked at my calves and saw the movements. As time went on I began to get twitching as well and that is where I am now. Right now, I only get these fasciculations and twitching on the back of my calves. Ironically the original twitching on the top right of my right calf has now gone.

    My backstory:

    1/ I am overweight, but have lost 25kgs over the last 18 months. Intend to lose the rest…another 25kg to bring me down to my ideal weight. I am 59 years old.
    2/ I had very high sugar, which I reduced to normal through diet. I eat mainly organic fruit and vegetables and limited red meat. I also eat organic chicken and turkey. No junk food, no processed food and only healthy fats.
    3/ I damaged my ankle, which prevented me from exercising for just over a year.
    4/ I resumed walking for 30 minutes once a day last year and have now resumed the gym after the ankle got better.
    5/ My blood work is excellent and there is no trace of mineral deficiency.
    6/ I am naturally anxious and had sleeping problems last year, which I overcame naturally, using lavendar oil and taking valerian occasionally.
    7/ I take a 500 mg per day magenesium citrate supplement, but have done for several years, so not sure that that makes any difference.
    7/ The tingling bothers me the most when I am sitting down and relaxing or lying down.
    8/ I also notice the fasciculations when I get up in the morning and go to the bathroom

    Things that have helped me:

    1/ A nightly massage on the calves from my wonderful wife – before sleeping. This has helped me very much.
    2/ Trying to relax.
    3/ Regular exercise.
    4/ Raising my feet on a stool when sitting down.
    5/ Stretching

    As I sit here right now, I have no tingling and am not sure if there are fasciculations. I have been out for a 30 minutes walk this afternoon and also used a machine called a Revitive circulation booster for 30 minutes, which stimulates the feet and calf muscles and the blood flow supposedly.

    My gut feeling about all of this, is that my BFS is caused by anxiety and lack of usage of my calf muscles when I had the ankle problem for one year. It could also be a reaction by the muscles to the reduced sugar levels in my body, but that is a guess. From personal experience I can tell you that there are huge noticeable changes in the body when you cut out sugar and get your sugar down to normal.

    So that is my story so far on BFS. Thanks to everyone for sharing theirs.

  53. Mine started in late December of 2015. It started as a mild tingle in my big toes and fingers. It felt like someone was pulling a string under my toes. Over the next couple of months it progressed to full on “bugs” in the calves and “buzzing” sensations in the feet and hip. The buzzing really drove me crazy as I kept thinking my phone was in my pocket on vibrate. I would feel similar buzzing in the bottom of my feet from time to time. Numerous doctor visits later and I had had every blood test you could get, CT scan, two MRIs and an EMG test all revealing….absolutely nothing.

    My neuro isn’t a fan of the BFS term since it is basically the same as saying “we don’t know why it is doing that”, but he told me there was nothing more that could be done and I’ve been on gabapentin since. The gaba might help, I can’t really tell. After about 6 months the symptoms started easing and by 8 months I barely noticed it anymore.

    Fast forward to December of 2016 and it comes out of nowhere and hits me again. Not quite as bad overall, but the buzzing in the feet is much worse than before. The calf twitching isn’t as bad this time. The buzzing, from what I’ve researched, is really just really fast twitching.

    As far as triggers, I figure it is one of two things. One is just colder weather and pressure changes in the winter. That would explain why it eased up during the summer. The other is exercise. Both times it started within days of my starting to get in shape after the holidays. Exercise intolerance is often a factor with BFS.

    I have a follow-up in a couple of weeks with my neuro.

  54. Hi everyone,

    Im absolutely beside myself, making myself sick with worry of aLS. Im 31 with an 18 month old daughter, 4 weeks ago i had one twitch in the back of my left thigh, lasted a whole24 hours then stopped, but then my left calf started twitching and hasnt stopped since, every time i sit or lay it starts, even if i wake up in the nighht after about a minute it starts again, its now in my arch of my foot too and my toes, i get occasional ones on my stomach left side, arms, right calf but always in my left, im so terrified dont see a neuro for another 3 weeks, and dont know if you can have bfs in one leg???? i feel weak too after doing strength tests then after a while the feeling passes?

    • Hello everyone !

      My name is Jacob and I am a 21 year old male, I am in fairly good shape but for the past year or so I have been experiencing twitching in my calfs (The Most), Upper leg (Like Above my knee and quads/hamstring’s) these are the more common places I feel the twitching but I also get them in my torso ocassioncally and in my back and sometimes arms and bladder area but not nearly as frequent as my calfs/legs. I would say about 5 months ago I checked myself into the hospital because I was so terrified of this because I got on the internet and looked up my symptoms and sure enough ALS was the number one answer. I had a Catscan done and my brain which they said was normal. I also had some minor blood work done there and they said my Potassium levels were low & I was slightly dehydrated (but I believe that was just from some substance abuse which I no longer do). Months later here I am freaking out again because my twitches are back (they never left I guess I just got a little adapted to them or my paranoia is back and it’s not going away this time). My twitches seem to subdue everytime I walk around, stand, run or basically use my muscles. Recently I have been staring to feel some fatigue but it comes and goes I keep trying to tell myself this isn’t ALS and it’s just BFS and I won’t lie my stress and anxiety levels are high but I feel like I manage them sometimes and my twitches are still there and I try my hardest not to let it get the best of me because Stress/anxiety as I’ve been reading is like fuel to the fire for BFS. I don’t have a doctors appointment until early next month because I just had to change my PCP, once there I will of course get blood work and talk with him/her about everything and hopefully get into a neurologist to get an EMG done as soon as possible but I’ve read for many people they’ve had to wait up to 9 months to get one done. I’m freaking out big time I don’t really feel any muscle fatigue occasionally my legs feel a little like jello but I also work at a place where I’m standing for 5+ hours everday almost. I don’t think I feel any difference in the strength of my legs/arms and the reason I’m saying that is because sometimes I feel like I’m just scaring myself into thinking there’s some actually weakness because I continue on with my day with no problem and my legs never hurt not even after a good workout at the gym. Then again I also think that’s just because I’m 21 and have a lot of energy. Anyways I’m here basically because I feel really alone st times because nobody in my family can understand the amount of stress/anexity this can out on your body and I feel like the only time I really get any sign of relief if from reading threads like this because it gives me great hope that I’m going to be okay and I don’t have ALS. But I would really love to hear back from you guys… from anyone on your opinion truthfully !!! On what I’m going through right now.
      Thanks so much and I’ll be checking back frequently to see if there’s any replies

      • i get the whole jello feeling in my legs, my right calf has been twitching for 9 weeks nearly now, saw a neuro who insisted if i was his own daughter he would be happy to say i dont have als, but benign fasculations, i have them also pop up in my cheeks, stomach, back, thighs, toes twitch, fingers, i get jerks sometimes, i get a weird weak feeling in arms and legs sometimes with no real weakness, he just said too young, and not als. so im going with that, and given your only 21 i would think the same, he also said in als symptoms DO NOT come and go, and twitching is normally unnoticed by the people who have them in als and isnt a initial symptom. anxiety fuels the fire, i suffer severely with medical anxiety, and when im distracted and think positive they either subside or i dont notice the twitches.

    • I’ve had it in all those places. My DR says because it is so diffuse (all over) there’s no way it is ALS bc that starts in one place and is coupled with muscle wasting.

  55. I have suffered from anxiety and panic attacks since the early 90′s. About 2 month. Ago my calves started crawling. I can physically see it. Like worms are in my legs. Has since moved to my thighs and upper back. I’ve been off anxiety medicine for about 3 years and I’m driving myself insane, I’ve had an eeg due to brain zaps, an emg and have no als. Mri was done a week ago but haven’t got results yet. Its driving me nuts, becoming a physiological problem with me now. COULD THIS BE BFS? PLEASE HELP

    • Mine started the same way.calves to thighs to back . I have anxiety attacks as well . I’ve had the twitching for 3 months and had every test under the sun . Today I got diagnosed with bfs. As if anxiety alone isn’t enough, let’s throw some twitching in there to make us panic. It’s miserable

  56. Hi I seem to have muscle twitching in my left calf and hamstring. It starts as soon as I seem to relax or sit down to drive. It’s got worse over the past 2 weeks to a state where I can’t sleep. The pain is horrendous and has brought me to tears. My calf muscle squirms and twitches. I have a blood test tomorrow and hope I can get a diagnosis. I have been given amytriptaline for the spasms which doesn’t really do anything but knocks me out and makes me feel like a zombie. I have read some suggestions and will try supplements after my bloods are done.when thinking back I have had back injuries so the doc is trying to rule out a lower disc problem. I just want rid as it is pulling me down so much.

  57. My twitches started the third week of February of 2017. I noticed a slight twitch–it felt like a tickle–on the top of my right foot on the instep when I sat in a certain position. That lasted a couple of days. Then on 2/22 I started having multiple bilateral calf twitches and that hasn’t stopped. It’s been almost three months. I also have twitching in my feet (mostly arches) and ankles, hands, forearms, face (mostly lip and chin) around eyes (including one eye cramp—talk about a weird feeling!) I don’t notice the twitches when walking or moving the affected muscles. They are madly distracting when sitting or driving. I’m turning 65 soon and was always in excellent health with no health issues whatsoever until about two years ago when i developed LPR, which gave me my first ever case of sinusitis which took six months to resolve. Near the end of the sinusitis I developed pins and needles in my forearms, hands and feet which would come and stay for days and then go. I also developed parasthesias, specifically the feeling of a hair brushing across my nose, face or arms, and itching all over. All of these would come and go. I’m now thinking these were precursor symptoms to the twitching and are all related.

    I did the Dr. Google too and had the same anxiety raised, more so because of my age. Since the pattern of the twitches is widespread and sporadic (except the calves which go all the time when not in use) I really don;t think it cold be a MND now, but because I haven’t had the twitches for long I still worry. I’m a registered nurse and usually an excellent diagnostician so this really threw me for a loop. I am always wondering why.

    I have read about everything I can find and belong to the Facebok support group so have heard all the stories which seem very similar. I was not an excerciser–just walked a few times a week with hubby. After the sinus thing I was very deconditioned and am trying to get back into walking but I tire very easily. Not sure if this is just deconditioning or the BFS realted exercise intolerance. Most likely it’s both. All my labs were normal except i did have a high serum iron which i never had before (it was 165). I was told that as a post-menopausal female I should donate blood regularly to keep the iron level down, which I have been doing. All other iron studies were normal. no mineral deficiencies. I tried the magnesium with no effect. In fact nothing makes a difference in my case so far. I’m just trying to learn to live with something that could well be a chronic and long lasting condition.

    I did have a high dose flu vaccine two weeks before the twitches so if this has an autoimmune component tat could have been the tipping point. I have never had a reaction to the flu vaccine and as a health care professional I have had the vaccine annually for decades. Never the high-dose though, so who knows.

    I also have Gilbert’s Syndrome, a fairly common genetic variation in the way bilirubin is metabolized that affects from 5-10% of the population. Oddly, it’s associated with longevity due to bilirubin’s anti-oxidant properties.

    I have not seen a neurologist. I saw my GP for my annual wellness exam and that’s when I had the labs done. My GP was not impressed by the twitching and just shrugged it off. She said if I wanted to see a neurologist to go ahead. I’m just waiting and seeing what happens for now.

    I’m glad to have found this web page!

  58. I came across this website while doing research on my leg cramps and twitching. About 1 month ago a really bad cramp in my left calf woke me at night. It was sore for almost 2 weeks – tender to the touch. Since that night, I noticed my calf seemed ready to cramp again at any time and it started twitching constantly. Now my right calf is doing the same. In thinking back on the night of that bad cramp, I remembered I had had a tough, stressful day at work, then had a lot of work to do at home so I was on my feet for over 12 hours without a break. Plus I must had been dehydrated because I forgot to drink water at work because I was so busy. All added up probably. I have tried magnesium supplements, vitamin c, potassium and extra hydration including coconut water. I found a leg cramp quick dissolving pill (from natural health store) that I take before bed, and a leg cramp cream that I have been massaging into my calves before bed. Gets me through about 4 hours of sleep now. Which is better than before. Don’t know if this will work over time for me but its getting me by for now. I feel like the twitching and cramps are becoming more frequent so I plan to keep searching for different remedies. I used to be really active in the past – played tennis 3 or 4 times a week – but over the last year I had no time to exercise. Think that may be part of the problem but I am going to work in some more exercising and stretching to see how that helps. And it seems like I have to find ways to reduce my stress levels. Thank you to everyone who has posted because it helped shed some light on what I have been going through and has given me some ideas on coping with it.

  59. Just got diagnosed today with bfs after countless tests. Gosh I hope in don’t have this forever. I have bad anxiety and don’t know if I can deal with this daily. It makes my anxiety terribly worse cuz the twitching is all I can think about. Mine tends to be worse when I sit, lay down or drive. This makes me feel like I’m going crazy. The twitching started inn my calves, then went to my thighs then to my hip then to my butt, now my upper back. Does it ever stop :(

  60. Mine started 8 weeks ago.

    I was eating a bowl of cereal before work and noticed my left little finger twitching. Nothing major, things have done it before and put it down to a trapped nerve. It carried on, on and off for the rest of the day. Same the next day at which point I started to dwell on it and scare myself that it could be ALS or MS (I have suffered with healthy anxiety on and off since the rocky birth of my daughter in March 2016 – happy to report she’s a fit healthy and crazy 16month old now!!).

    The day after all this I felt nauseous, chronically fatigued to the point I struggled to stand up thinking my legs were about to crumple up beneath me and feeling like my arms were lead weights (even though when I actually used them and my legs my normal strength was there).

    This fatigue feeling lasted for a good week to week and a half plus numerous panic attack in-between which probably reinforced the negative feelings.

    I went to the Dr who said it could be post viral fatigue as not that long before I had suffered with a bad bout of IBS (courtesy of a sickness bug from my daughter). The weakness sensation in my arms continued and then, surprise surprise, I noticed my muscles twitching like crazy in both calf’s and in the arch of both feet. They some times wrap around to the shin as well. I’ve taken recordings of it in case they don’t do it at the doctor’s – sometimes I can show someone and they stop, we change the subject and off they go again…

    I went back to the Dr and explained the anxiety of what I thought it could be was terrifying me and needed some form of clinical examination to get the ball rolling. She referred me for an EMG which I had last Tuesday on both arms and my left leg. I get the results the end of this week.

    The twitching – I DO NOT feel or see anything in my legs and feet when I am walking. Literally as soon as I sit down at my desk at work, or at home on the sofa with legs on the table or in bed, they go crazy. If I stay in the exact position for 10mins or longer they either fade down or stop completely. As soon as I walk to get something and sit back down, boom they’re back and so it starts again.

    I have been told multiple times that anxiety can cause literally ANY response in your body and once in a cycle of negative reinforcement (i.e. I can feel them all the time therefore they’re always in the back of my mind therefore I’m reinforcing my worry about then) it can be very difficult to snap out from. I absolutely want to believe this is mind over matter; too many things point to it not being something sinister with the absence of other symptoms and presence of perfectly explainable ones but of course that one seed, as most people here will understand, is so embedded that it is extremely difficult to shake off until you are categorically told, it is not that.

    I started taking a combined calcium, magnesium and zinc supplement yesterday as someone told me that can help – I’m willing to give ANYthing a go.

    Whilst I hate to think other people have this it’s also nice to realise I’m not alone and many people have/are experiencing similar and this has definitely reassured me.

    Here’s hoping we all get the answers were looking for and these annoying flutters decide to do one!!!

    • I was diagnosed with bfs in nov 2015. It’s very annoying but comes and goes in waves. Sometimes I can barely feel them sometimes they are strong. Mostly in my calves. Also have vibration/tremors sometimes too, magnesium helps a little.

  61. Guys BFS is related to Gluten sensitivity , BFS is an auto immune disease ,gluten attacks the GUT and the brain and nervous system is closely related to the GUT, Epilepsy , Alzheimer , BFS and migranes are all symptoms of Gluten sensitivity , gluten exams are not worth is since you might be gluten sensitive but the results might come up negative , so stop eating breads , pastas , pizza and also milk since milk is inflammatory, also NEVER drink caffeine ! just do a search , BFS and gluten sensitivity and you will know what I am talking about.

    • After reading all this information I truly believe I may have BFS Like so many others I have the twitching, spasm, cramps in my calves which commenced October 2014. I had a bilateral facet joint injection in my L4/5 back. This was done August 2014 due to my lower back pain. Unfortunately I didn’t really get any relief to my back from this procedure but instead of helping I ended getting the spasm pain twitching in my right calf. This got me thinking they may have damaged a nerve, no one would or could confirm this and it took me down the track of GPs MRI’s Scans, Neurologist etc etc all with the results coming back normal (which is a good thing) but not giving me any answers as to why I was experiencing such pain and discomfort which lead to anxiety. I was put on antidepressants which may or may not have helped. I feel it helped with my anxiety and yes I guess I was given some relief for approx. 12months on and off even though I would still experience symptoms the pain wasn’t as bad and the cramping not as often. I got back into exercise and life was going well and I took myself off the medication (gradually) Fast forward to 2017 I started having pain in my right knee so commenced seeing someone for that and unfortunately was unable to exercise or if I did the knee pain hurt but then I started getting all the cramping and spasm, twitching pain etc back in my calf again. The knee specialist couldn’t understand the connection and just focused on healing the knee. Nov 2017 got an injection in my knee which seemed to help the knee but still constantly having pain twitching etc in right Calf. Back to GP, blood tests, MRI’s all tests coming back normal except very low in Vit D. About to start taking that but in constant pain daily with the cramping, twitching etc I’m hoping I may feel a little better at least once my Vit D comes back to normal however another common thing I have found is if I drink Alcohol OMG it really aggravates it the next day and several days later so I think my days of enjoying wine or bubbles is OVER It is not worth the pain. No-one around me understands and I even took a video of my calf twitching, spasming to show my GP to try and show her what I’m talking about and she just looked dumbfounded. I, like so many of you are at my wits end with this. GP has prescribed antidepressants again to hopefully help with my anxiety as it is Raging out of control due to the pain and worry this condition is causing me especially when no-one understands what you’re going through. This has been going on this time for 8 months and seems to be getting worse as I now have the same thing happening in both calves. Why is there not a magic pill out there to fix this however in saying that, now I have come across this website I actually feel a little better because even though I have not been formally diagnosed the similarities are amazing. Earlier when this came about I was tested for MS ALS etc etc and thankfully these tests came back negative therefore I am very grateful however this condition still is very painful, and debilitating some days as I feel I can hardly do anything because of all the spasming and miss my exercise even though I have days where I feel quite good I start to exercise (walking, riding bike, etc) and it just seems to trigger it off even more. Fingers crossed there’s some relief out there but thanks for this website….feeling not so alone

  62. Hi Johnny,

    It was pleasing to read your updates and see that you have solved your issue.

    I have a similar issue if less severe than yours. I link it to exercise and possibly work related stress. My calves look like there’s something crawling underneath the skin, although you can barely feel it.

    Interesting that yours appeared almost instantaneously after combining a run with giving blood. I did read somewhere that a lactic acid build could impact the condition.

    I’ve noticed other issues with myself that feel related. Namely, a similar pulsating/rumble in my ears, especially if I stressed, and only at night when I’m beginning to rest. Also a very strong, albeit slow, heart beat, which is very annoying when trying to get to sleep. My wife can even feel it and she is laid next to me. I’m generally pretty healthy, 48 years, 170lbs, resting HR <50 BPM, so I'm not worried. I just wondered if you had anything similar.

    Keep well!

    • You may want to get your iron checked if you haven’t. hearing your heart in your ears and a rushing sound is a sign of iron deficiency. I saw my Dr about BFS and she found my iron to be incredibly low and prescribed iron supplements. i hope it helps. Please don’t take them without getting your iron tested though bc too much iron can be dangerous without a deficiency diagnosis.Hope you’re feeling better.

  63. After coming down with bad anxiety nine months ago after my mother passed, I’ve now developed muscle twitching in my calves nonstop for about two months now, I also get the vibrating elsewhere. Had blood work done & the horrible EMG test, all negative. Thank God for that but with the anxiety it makes it all worse.

  64. Thank you all so much for your comments and thank you Jonathan, for starting this badly needed forum. A year and a month after my mother passed away from complications with ALS at the age of 83, my calves began to tingle, and they haven’t stopped. I also get a feeling of a tingle or twitch at different places throughout my body, too. Seems to come and go. I’m 59 years old and have freaked out on numerous occasions reading on the Internet that this was ALS, especially being that my mother was diagnosed with it a month before she passed. When I told my doctor, she said it was probably a deficiency with B-6. I’ve been on a 100mg/day and the tingling and twitching hasn’t stopped yet. I was glad to read the comment about cycling. I cycle a lot – at least 100 miles or more a week and this year, my knees are also painful. Today i hiked/jogged 5 miles and I weight train 2-3 times per week as well as try to throw a yoga session in once or twice a week. A month ago I rode 300 miles in 3 days to support ALS from Boston to Connecticut and raised $2000 for ALS-TDI in memory of my mother (it really was a beautiful ride) I also try to meditate daily so I’m not stressed thinking that these twitching sensations will lead to ALS. Just wanted to thank everyone for their comments and suggestions.

  65. Been dealing with the calf twitching for about 8 weeks, Struggled with back pain for a couple of years. Over a period of 2-3 weeks I was involved with some intense physical work in very hot weather. I was super dehydrated several times. Shortly after that my calves started to twitch. I also freaked myself out with internet searches. All of you have given me some ideas. I can sleep at night but have many of the symptoms mentioned in all the posts. Been to the doctor, physical therapist, massage therapist and now the chiropractor. Hopefully I can keep my anxiety under control. Thanks everyone.

  66. Anyone who hasn’t had their iron checked may want to. I came down with BFS a few weeks ago and after trying to ignore it I finally went in. Dr says I have severe iron deficiency and that iron or other deficiencies can cause this. I have to wait 4 weeks to see if supplements work. I haven’t had the painful all-night spasms in a few days, but the BFS is still all over my body. Like most of you, I[‘m an athlete and find this VERY frustrating. Hopefully iron will make a difference, if it does I will post! Good luck to you all and thanks everyone for posting, especially for making this page!!

    • Anne, it’s ironic you just posted on iron…I have had mild muscles twitches in my calves for years. I don’t know when they started because I really only noticed them, back then, when I was at rest in the middle or after strenuous exercise. But, I also suffer from IBS. And the thing that now controls my IBS (and it really works, for me) is a set of herbal antibiotics called Candibactin-AR and -BR. The AR’s main ingredient is oil of oregano (BR’s is berberine). What I did not know was that oil of oregano can affect your iron. So after I began these this past January, in a comprehensive annual blood test I had in February, I noticed my iron levels were about half of what they typically were. Coincidentally, since my iron levels are normally on the very high end of “acceptable”, halving them kept them in the “acceptable” range, but in February they were on the low end. I have not had my iron levels tested since, but lo and behold, when I really started noticing bilateral fasciculations in my calves was ~March, and by August they had progressed into both feet and were of far greater magnitude than I had ever previously experienced. My EMG yesterday confirmed BFS. I have just recently started on mild iron supplements, taking them with lunch. I still take the oil of oregano with dinner. The purpose is to still keep the IBS under control but get my iron levels back to normal.

      Iron supplements can harm you pretty badly if you take too much. Be careful. I’m starting slowly, and seeing what affect they might have. But note, I do not know if reduced blood iron gave me BFS. Remember, in a much milder form, I had bilateral calf fasciculations long before my blood iron decreased. Best of luck, and please update if or when anything changes.

      • Hi Jason! I know this is an old thread but I have had calve twitches for a while and I believe I’ve narrowed down what caused them. I took Berberine and Ashwagandah and BOTH of those are Acetylcholinesterase inhibitors. Which means they stop acetylcholinesterase breaking down to acetylcholine in the nerve synapses this can cause a muscle to be “over excited”. Thus from what I read can cause these muscle fasciculations. Just a theory but after research and stopping these supplements mine have for the most part have gone away. Hope this post helps someone!

        • That is 100% what caused mine. I have acetylcholinesterase deficiency. How and why that happened, no idea. It took 2 years before I found a connection and had my levels checked in a lab. Now I have to avoid AchE inhibitors like potato. Really helps but so frustration.

  67. Hi! I am new here. I am 44, and just yesterday I was diagnosed with BFS after an EMG performed by an ALS expert. I wrote a very long story about my personal struggle with the anxiety of thinking I MIGHT have ALS. But it turns out that I had very much to say, and most posts here are rather short. I do not want to selfishly absorb this board’s space, so I have decided against posting it, even though I know from my own experience that reading or listening to the details of others who went through what I was going, those who presented with the same symptoms, went through the same mental struggles, had some of the same characteristics as myself, momentarily gave me sense of reason and calmness in my sea of anxiety. Those people are the angels here. They are trying to save you, me, and others from the same pain. I will leave my post reasonably short, hoping that at least one person will read this and be able to move on with their normal life and look forward to a long, beautiful life.

    Here is what I know about fasciculations as they pertain to BFS vs. ALS, confirmed by the voice of the world expert in ALS who tested me with an EMG just yesterday (11/8/2018), where my official diagnosis is now Benign Fasciculation Syndrome (BFS). ALS usually starts in one location, such as one foot, one hand, one arm, one leg, or perhaps the neck/head (bulbar). ALS usually presents first with weakness, where a person does not even realize they are weak until they cannot do typical things, like walk normally, button their pants, hold a plate, dictate their words, etc. Strength loss in ALS initially presents without numbness, without pain. Weakness just sets in. The muscle weakness tends to spread pretty quickly after the first symptoms. It spreads at different rates in different people. Often, muscle twitches also occur, which in ALS are representative of progressive loss of nerve connections, which result in permanent muscle loss. Since muscle twitches CAN be the first presenting symptom of ALS (but usually are NOT), people perusing the internet about their muscle twitches can end up in a dark emotional rabbit hole of believing they have something that they do not. Fasciculations in ALS and BFS are basically the same, their traits are very difficult to discern on characteristics of individual fasciculations alone. So don’t look up that video on YouTube trying to see if your twitches are distinguishable from those with ALS. For any single muscle group, the muscle twitch patterns are mainly the same. But don’t worry yet. ALS is rare. And while BFS is also classified as “rare”, the reality is that muscle twitching is actually quite common, some say up to 70% of humans have muscle twitches at some point or other. You, most likely, have BFS, which is far more common than ALS. Most people with BFS never worry about it. Let’s face it, if you didn’t query the internet about muscle twitching, you probably wouldn’t be reading this right now. And most people with muscle twitching probably either don’t notice or don’t care. It’s you, and I, those that over-analyze this, that fall into this trap in the first place. If there’s one thing I know, it’s that those #$*! medical sites that say that muscle twitches may be a sign of ALS, that is NOT helping anybody, and I can’t believe that they do not provide any further details on the subject so that they aren’t scaring the heck out of people. But, that’s a different subject…

    In BFS, no permanent muscle loss occurs. If muscle twitches present initially bilaterally (e.g., both legs, or both arms), this would be atypical of ALS, which in limb-onset ALS usually starts in one leg or one arm. If muscle twitches jump randomly all around your body, that is a sign of BFS, not ALS. In BFS, twitches CAN get worse over time. They CAN progress from one area into adjacent areas of your body. They CAN be 24/7 in one or more “hot spots”. They CAN be strong. They CAN feel like creepy-crawlies, or worms under your skin. They CAN last for months, years, or decades. They CAN go away (but may not). BFS does NOT cause ALS. People diagnosed with BFS very rarely end up with ALS in the future. BFS does NOT cause any long-term or permanent damage to the affected muscles. Your muscles and nerves will not degrade if you have BFS. There is very often no known or detectable reason for the muscle twitches. It may be neuro-muscular (e.g., spinal disc issues), or chemical imbalances in your body. Some people are, simply, more susceptible to BFS than others. BFS IS often directly associated with stress and anxiety. Some research suggests that the vast majority of BFS is either caused by or exacerbated by anxiety, and if the anxiety is decreased, the BFS symptoms should then decrease. If you do not have perceptible, clinical weakness, you almost certainly do not have ALS, period. Forget about it. ALS is a disease of weakness, not muscle twitching. And if you have muscle twitching but no clinical weakness after about 6 months of that twitching, chances are extremely good that you have BFS, and not ALS. Don’t take it from me, that’s exactly what I was told by the ALS expert yesterday.

    If you continue to worry about ALS even after reading this, that means that you need to calm your fears through the doctors. See a neurologist. Discuss your symptoms…all of them. Don’t be afraid to say that you might be nervous, scared, or anxious. If they want you to take a test, do it. Quickly. The longer you wait, the more stress you have to deal with, and the worse your symptoms will probably get: stress and anxiety do crazzzzy things to your body. If they tell you that you do not have ALS, believe them. ALS is almost always apparent to the expert eye; if not visually, then by a physical exam, or by the ultimate decider, an EMG with nerve conduction test.

    Many of you reading this are nervous, scared or anxious. Trust me, been there done that. I don’t have ALS. I never did. I wasted too much of my life letting that anxiety control me. I don’t want you to waste yours, life is too short. Time to gain my life back. I have BFS. I can deal with that. So can you.

    • After reading your post I did feel better up until the six months part as I’ve been told my two doctors my muscle twitching is not ALS after they done a physical exam on me and I’ve only been twitching for six weeks. Now I’m terrified because I have to wait another four and a half months!

    • I wish I could upvote this comment more than anything. I get most of my twitching in my calves when I sit and I do have a very tight lumbar and back issues. I also sit at a computer all day and have what is called ‘Tech Neck’ so my biceps, forearms, and sometimes hands twitch a little. I have no weakness that I aware of.

    • What a great post. I started getting twitches in my arms, which quickly went away but moved to both of my legs. 99% of the time in my calves. I too went down the rabbit hole of ALS. Finally saw a neurologist. Did strength and reflex tests. Passed with flying colors. No signs of wasting. He’s having me do an EMG follow up on 3 months, but mainly to see if my ulnar nerve has gotten worse. While I won’t say i still don’t think about ALS, I try not to let it consume my life. This list was great for the information. Thx for posting it

    • Thank you very much for your post. I have made myself sick thinking it is ALS. You have been so thorough at explaining the knowledge and experience you have gained. The muscle twitching started during an extremely stressful time in my life, thought it is not my first stressful event. I’m now trying acupuncture to relieve my anxiety. I’ve only done 2 sessions at this moment and the muscle twitching are about 90% lighter and hardly noticeable. I’m considering continuing acupuncture for I’m thinking it can’t do any harm. Thanks again for your post. I’m obviously not alone in this struggle.

  68. Hi guys, I think it is underlying anxiety in 99% of cases. Especially us (here) who bother to examine and check – in fact, as a statistician, I can tell you that any observation based on our comments (about causes of bfs) would not be valid (selection bias). It is a symptom (not syndrome or disease). My cortisol is increased by 2x than normal upper level.

    In my case a severe relationship stress and work stress caused this symptom just over night (a year prior to that night I developed eye floaters that increased anxiety by 300% – you are lucky not to have that one as it is in front of your vision all the time, but I overcome it). For me, insomnia that followed was much worse than twitching. Insomnia lasted 3 months (insomnia can also cause twitching as body and cells do not recover in absence of deep sleep).

    Twitching sometimes pauses for a couple of hours (even calves stopped for a day), but ups and downs are horrible. For me, breathing helps a lot, CBT, NLP therapies. I have this symptom for almost 3 months (other symptoms I had at the same time: heart palpitation, fatigue, bowel problems…)

    Our body can cure almost any disease and cause almost any (mind can change emotion and start pumping hormones). There is a hope, but we need to overcome anxiety first.

    Yes, check Mg, B6 toxicity, antibodies, cortisol (indicator of stress if extreme), EMG, MRI, gluten intoletance…but Most likely it is anxiety/stress.

    P.s. I had all the tests you can imagine and in a few months have spent 10k $

    And did you know that many old people suffering from dementia who are also diagnosed with cancer can live 20yrs or more because their mind does not bother or realize they have cancer.

    Spirits up! We can win this one.


  69. A charley horse happens when muscles suddenly cramp or tighten, resulting in pain. The condition most typically happens in the calf muscle at the back of the lower leg.

  70. Hey guys,
    I’ve got a very similar story to many here, and reading through all of them definitely helped, so here is mine.

    31yrs old, very active – cycle 70 mins to work and back (round trip) everyday, as well as gym 4 – 5 times a week. First noticed twitching in my calf, it would be present for a few hours a day, and then disappear. Over a period of month it became more and more common until my calf was literally wiggling all day everyday.

    This is the point when I started to panic. I booked an appointment with a doctor, and managed to get an appointment 3 weeks in the future. During this time I noticed the twitching spreading, first my hamstrings and quads. Then my back on arms, finally my face started twitching.

    As with everyone here assumed the worst and google certainly makes in easy to think that you’re dying. The more I worried the more the symptoms spread and the less I slept, and the more I worried.

    Spoke to the Doctor, who immediately advised me to see a neurologist. The neurologist was great, within 20 minutes of being there he said its BFS. Still to ease my concerns I had and EMG and an MRI, which showed no damage, and that I was in perfectly good shape.

    Its difficult to overstate how much I was worrying. As soon as I got the diagnosis of BFS, the twitches in my face and upper body and stopped. By worrying I was making the twitching spread further.

    I still have near constant twitching in my calfs, but I can learn to live with that I think.

    Still trying to work out what makes it worse, definitely worrying and thinking about it makes it worse. I also think exercise and caffeine contribute. Im not going to stop exercise, but willing to give up coffee.

    • Hi James, I have had this since started in my right calf now everywhere. Had emgs done they say no als but cramps I legs and feet are getting worse do you have cramping

      • I do have some cramping in my calfs; although the biggest issue is I find my calfs are quite stiff / sore. I find massaging the calfs helps.

        As I said in my previous post I’m quite active so I can’t really difficult to say how much is down to BFS, or am I just sore from cycling etc.

  71. I have had this for over 25 years ever since back surgery for a ruptured disc . The disc contents had imbedded into the nerves in my spine which caused Cauda equina syndrome . This meant I had to have emergency surgery to prevent permanent damage i.e paralyses . It is now causing severe cramps at night I have pain in toes and numbness in part of my lower legs and feet . I am 62 now and finding it harder to jump out of bed at night to stop the painful cramps . I just have to put up with it and it’s so soul destroying.

  72. Hey Jonathan Cardy,
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  73. First noticed small calf twitching (one calf) around 8 months pregnant with my first child… 23 years later still twitching both legs especially noticeable in the morning!! It is 24/7 all day affair.

  74. I’ve had this for over 15 years it still makes me get really down to this day..the twitches never stops and I personally hate them..they give me really bad anxiety..obviously it’s never going to kill you but it’s sad that there ain’t anything out there that will help with the twitching I don’t just get it in my calves I get it all over but the calves are 24/7 other places in my body do stop after a few days or weeks..I’ve been told it BFS and will never go away it may and does settle sometimes but never ever always gets violent again even when standing up I feel them..I’ve tried everything too supplements magnesium calcium even tried the magnesium oil that you rub in nothing works..this is a horrible thing to have but the bottom line won’t kill you so we just have to put up with it.

  75. I am truly amazed to find you all on this post! Thank you to Jonathan for opening up this can of worms, so to speak. My fasciculations started 15 years ago when I was 48. For those connecting it to pregnancy, I feel as though it certainly could have some hormonal connection considering I was in peri menopause.
    Mine started in my eyelids. I thought I had finally found the solution when I was diagnosed with dry eye. Not so.
    That was the predominant area, along with other isolated areas. It was not until March of 2016 that it progressed to my calves. Up to that point, I didn’t consider it to be BFS.
    It has been a long journey for me that included opthomologists, neurologists, rheumatologists, acupuncture, chiropractic, endocrinologists, Botox, homeopathic…I could go on and on.
    What I hadn’t recognized is that my nervous system was slowly becoming more and more amplified. Definitely a connection. If I could figure out a way to equalize my sympathetic and parasympathetic systems, and rid this high anxiety, I think things would improve. Anyone else feel as though this may be the root of BFS?

    • For sure! I am a psychotherapist with training in neurobiology. My symptoms started after experiencing a natural disaster and then a series of stressful life events back to back at a time I was vulnerable because of hormonal instability with peri menopause. I feel this is my nervous system expressing it physically via linking with my immune system which, per my neuromuscular doctor, is actually the culprit. It’s autoimmune even though it doesn’t show up on typical autoimmune markers with bloodwork. Inflammation is a riled up immune system (from excessive exercise, latent or acute viruses, stress, anxiety, poor diet etc). I have had good success with an Auto Immune Paleo diet and a regular meditative (diaphragmatic breathing) practice. My symptoms went almost to zero after about 10 months. Unfortunately two weeks ago I had a flu shot (an immune launcher) and it seems to have stirred everything back up. Either that or I hiked too strenuously last week and I hadn’t healed to that point yet. This week I couldn’t even do the full trick o treat route with my son,

      • This is interesting! I have been dealing with BFS since 2018. Late last year it started to subside until I became pregnant. I subsequently had a miscarriage. I just found out I’m pregnant again and the spasms have started again. I’m going to try your suggestion of an anti inflammatory diet to see if it will curb the spasms and hopefully increase my chances of a successful pregnancy. I don’t know if the two are related, but it can’t hurt. I want to also mention that about 6 months after the spasms began I had an episode where I broke out in hives from head to toe, with no obvious cause. Inflammation really seems to play a part in this, for me.

  76. Wow!

    First of all what a great post! Like all the comments I’ve read im in the same boat. I’ve had this for 10 months, went through all the nerve scare etc. for me this was a sign, a wake up call. While with a toxic girl friend and toxic business I found myself traveling to Tokyo to teach door to door sales to Japanese lol. Wow what a ride. Little did I know I would be walking 8 hours a day in dress shoes. It was amazing though. However I saw this therapist who proscribed me a Benzo and sleep aid to deal with all my stress. This was a real epiphany time in my life. While I Love to work out and also spiritually connected I’ve struggled with anxiety. When I got back from Tokyo I noticed my calves faciculating and gave right in like most of you prob did. Running also made my calves sore and could not walk for long periods of time. I’ve adapted now after 10 months. I know for a fact my stress caused this and emotional anxiety was a factor. I’ve got rid of the toxic business and girl. Now I’m alone and resculpting my life. I’m 44 and in prob one of my best places in my life. What I do know from my meditations is the answer is believing you don’t have a problem. The brain gives off these Nerve signals just like moving feet, lips etc. the facilitation’s become part of our life only as long as we accept them. However it’s the quality and life changes we must make. It’s depth in our soul and recharging our focus for commanding our mind. My suggestion to everyone that has this is purely meditation. Learn to study the Tao – focus will eliminate the garbage and you will never even worry about them anymore.

  77. Hi folks

    After I redthis topic I cancled my apointment with my Dr.
    I am experiencing right now the twitching all over my body after a week vacation with my girlfriend on a my new bike.Since I didn’t do any biking the last few months because of no bike available I guess my body was experiencing something new after a ride of 48 kilometers and started that evening with twitching all over my body with fasciculations.From top till toe…..

    Of course I asked Dr.Google and that wasn’t exactly the thing I had to do.Much wrong info about fasciculations for sure and lead to dark stories but they are not suitable for sure.Feel as strong in all my muscles as before the bike vacation….

    The disease was defintely not what I was experiencing.I guess the long bike rides up against the wind would make it almost next to impossible to full fill when my muscles were gone.
    So I see now BFS is much more the thing as seen here above what fits right in my lane.

    Even after reading the section of a Neurologist with 40 years of experience I am convinced it’s OK for me.

    So “healthy stress” like a long bikeride for a week can cause twitching for sure.It seems also they concentrate from my hole body to my 2 calfes and on the rest of my body they are vanished.

    Maybe a kind of recovery of the muscles from the bike week is also possible.

    Tonight I am going to take my normal programm up again and start swimming.I will give not too much attention to it and hope twitching will dissappear.

  78. Well, I don’t want to depress you people who have had BFS for a few months or even one or two years. I have had mine with quite a lot of pain in my calf muscles since 1972. I’m now 68. I was a student of 20 when it began. It was bad to begin with and I had lots of neurological tests at a major teaching hospital in London. This drew a blank on all the nasties, MND, ALS etc. They told me I was a lucky boy and go away and it will almost certainly get better if I stop worrying about it.(doctors tended to be very patronising in those days). It has never really ‘got better’. It has been there all those years; at times it has been fairly tolerable, at others really painful. It’s really painful right now and has been worse for a year or so. Aggravating factors are now bad varicose veins (they don’t do anything about these in the UK now), Atrial fibrillation and new drugs associated with this heart condition. It has blighted my life, both career-wise and family. Sorry if this depresses you, but sometimes things don’t get better, can’t be treated (I have had loads of different drugs over the years but none really worked), and get worse as you get older. I truly hope you new sufferers don’t have to go through what I’ve been through.

  79. This website is such a relief for me, as every other website suggests I may have some serious muscle atrophy and the muscle twitching is just the start of it all. Thanks so much for starting this thread!

    I’ve been experiencing some mild twitches in mostly my legs in the calf or thigh throughout the day (and occasionally other parts of the body) especially while they are at rest. Standing and walking or using my muscles puts a halt to the twitches. Like everyone else, putting pressure on it while I’m sitting helps too. I’ve been trying to find out what could be causing the twitches, but I do believe it’s mostly my nerves setting them on fire. Most of the time if I’m too busy and particularly not paying attention to my body, there’s no noticeable twitching (not sure if it’s because I’m not paying attention or if they have stopped). It’s been approximately 3 weeks of this, and I’m hoping to find the solution!

  80. Hi
    Many thanks for all the comment and sharing your experiences
    I have had the right calf twitch for about 8 weeks i think. Had stressful time with exams, fatigue, lack of sleep as i have young kids
    Twitch is better with stretching my leg out and press it down and feels it more as i sit on a chair
    No weakness
    Occasionally happens left calf and feet but mainly right calf
    I m soooo stressed to have ALS and cry all the time
    I started walking a bit 8 weeks ago to help with my stress but i think twitches started since around that time
    I might have sciatica r side but no back pain
    Can sciatica cause this?
    Can it be ALS? Why i get it or relieve it mainly by changing positions?
    I know stress is not helping it
    Hope it is nothing nasty as i have a young family

    • It’s probably not ALS. Some nerve impingement can have overlapping symptoms. Go get all the tests for reassurance and start a regular breathing meditation to help calm the nerves As right now it’s probably hard to tell which of your symptoms are physical and which ones are being heightened by anxiety.

  81. Hi,
    I have the same experience. Mainly in the calves, sometimes outer shin (above ankle) quadriceps or bum. But that is less than it used to be.
    I have it like a year now. It seems it started after recovery from a very nasty arm fracture. It might have caused a lot of physucal stress (of course it does). That could have been a reason maybe. A few months after recovery, I suddely experienced this twitching. Very anoying. I have done accupuncture, fysiologist, I still visit a sports massage (I think it helps a bit). I used some valerian for stress relief and listen to stress relief meditation on youtube (that last one seems to help aslo if I try to relax my total body and breathing). But in the end I still have it. I hope it goes away too after maybe another half a year/year. This is all so medically weird And inexplicable…good luck all…have strength and faith!

  82. I am not sure when I first noticed the twitching in my right calf. Possibly up to 18 months ago. At the time I put it down to my right calf being different as it was affected by a bad motorbike accident 20 years prior where I lost muscle mass. However about 6 months ago I noticed that my left calf was also twitching. At that point I should have gone to the doctor but I had just had a medical (for emigrating to NZ), which didn’t uncover any abnormalities. I was also busy with the move. About a month ago I noticed that my left tricep was twitching. That freaked me out and I went to the doctor. They did blood tests but nothing was abnormal. I now have an appointment with a neurologist but even going private I am having to wait two and half months. The twitching has got much worse and has spread from the calves to my thighs, back, arms etc. I am pretty stressed about it even though rationally I don’t see how it could be ALS/MND because I don’t think I have lost any strength nor muscle mass (surely if I have had twitching for 18 months I would have noticed something?)

    My calves and now tricep are a bit sore but I assume that is because they are being overactive with the constant twitching ie not getting any time to rest.

    I am still carrying on life as normal. I walk a fair bit as we have a dog eg recently walked about 15 km with my daughter with no problem. I also play tennis every week and badminton too when I find time.

    I have tried giving up caffeine and alcohol. For many years I have lived with too little sleep but now making an effort to get at least 7 hours a night. I am trying to eat healthily and have given up sugar too. However despite these efforts the twitching seems to be getting worse, not better. So far it is annoying rather than debilitating but mentally I think it is affecting me badly. Moving to NZ was very stressful and I still worry whether I did the right thing. This is adding substantially to my stress and taking the fun out of life.

  83. This is a great website/blog post and we should all pay particular attention to this part – “googling a medical issue is a BAD IDEA! Only a doctor can tell you what your ailment is!”. Googling is exactly what put me in an ALS hole which I’ve only just got out of. It was a terrible headspace to be in and had a big impact on my life.

    I’ve had calf twitches now for roughly 6 months with occasional twitches in other random spots on my body – mostly triceps, shoulders and thighs, but almost everywhere has twitched at some point. They stop when I use the muscle just like everyone else here. They seemed to start after a strenuous gym session and coincided with a particularly stressful period in my life.

    Anyway I finally got to see a competent neurologist a couple of weeks ago and was diagnosed with BFS. He also gave me a list of reasons why I don’t have ALS and explained the latest theory on why Benign Fasisculations happen. The theory was a bit too “sciencey” to remember properly but here is the list of why I don’t have ALS:

    1. I don’t have any clinical weakness upon neurological exam. ALS is a disease of progressive weakness not twitching. If you don’t have weakness you can be almost certain that you don’t have ALS.

    2. I don’t have any other neurological signs of ALS like atrophy or reflex issues.

    3. My age – I’m in my late 20s. ALS is already a very rare disease but it’s even rarer in people pre-middle-age, especially if there is no family history.

    4. The amount of time I’ve been twitching. ALS is often very aggressive so if you’ve been twitching for a while with no other symptoms you don’t have it. If the twitching I had was related to ALS, after this much time i’d barely be walking/ struggling severely.

    I hope this helps reassure people, I know it did for me. My twitches have even calmed down since then. I don’t twitch randomly across my body as much and the twitches in my calves are much less intense – I don’t feel them most of the time now. So my advice is stay off google, see a Dr and a neurologist if you can and listen to them if they tell you that you don’t have ALS. You’ll be fine, the twitches are benign and harmless.

    • Hi JimBoJamBo,

      Your situation sounds exactly the same as mine!

      1. I have 24/7 calf twitching and those other spots you mention are where I twitch but they never last for more than a few hours, couple of days etc.
      2. I am 90% sure they started after I did heavy deadlifting last April, had been getting back in to the gym at the start of 2019.
      3. I was in the ALS hole but out of it now, have accepted it isn’t sinister just incredibly annoying.
      4. I am 29

      It’s comforting to read of someone in a similar situation to me. Can I ask you what you re doing/have done to ease the intensity of the calf twitching? I am stretching, having massaged, trying to not think about them, avoiding tea and coffee. I have thought about doing acupuncture but seems expensive. Also thinking of going back to my chiropractor who I used to see regularly. She is a very clever lady and may suggest working certain areas of my body etc to find a cause.

      Hope to hear back from you!

      • Hi OLI90,

        Yes we sound almost identical. I’m also 29 and I’m convinced mine started after a leg workout. I had been skipping leg day for a while and then went too hard to over compensate. I even specifically remember having calf pain afterwards.

        I’ve tried no caffeine, supplementing magnesium and using a calf roller to massage them but I can’t say this has had any effect. The biggest thing I notice is that when I reduce stress they get less intense and the other body twitches seem to disappear.

        My theory is that I did some sort of damage when working out but being stressed is making my nerves “fire” more, meaning more twitches or just more intense twitches. So when i’m not stressed (which currently isn’t that often) the body wide twitches stop and the calves calm down.

        I’m hoping I get lucky like the author of this article and they just stop, even if that takes 17+ months like his did. If you have any luck with anything you try let me know!

        • Thanks for the reply.

          I went to my brother’s physio. He is quite sure it is caused by my lower back, an irritated nerve. When I was doing heavy squatting and deadlift I actually started getting pain there. My physio told me to stop doing it straight away as I would be in danger of herniating / bulging a disc. Thinking about it that is when the twitching started. After a google search I found an article which sounds like it could well apply to me (google search: low back nerve twitching calf, the result with Regenexx comes up). I have been referred to a back specialist who will then send me for an MRI scan. That will then fingers crossed determine the appropriate course of action. Will keep you posted.

          • I really hope you let us know how you go with this path.

            I have had my calves doing this 24/7 for 6-7 years now. Some periods worse than others, like now is very bad and cause dull pain when laying down trying to sleep.

            I think its started after I have some bad back issues relating to physical work and having zero core strength at the time. I am very strong all over now and have been thinking that maybe some of the recent exercises has loaded my lower back to much and aggravated a nerve.

            Apart from the twitching & my calves being constantly sore to the touch. Periods of intense exercise and periods with much rest don’t change the calf muscles themselves being sore.

  84. 52 year old female spasms/twitching in legs and, not as aggressive, in arms. Started 4 weeks ago. I read a lot of the posts here. This could last for years???! Well, I guess I can deal with that instead of the alternative other possibilities (ALS, MS, etc.). Have had blood work to check electrolytes, calcium, etc. All came back fine. Have no idea was caused it. Exercise consists of treadmill almost daily. Could have done something while on it. Spasms are all day and all night. Up and down the entire leg, but mostly calf an ankle. Arms have recently started with the spasms.
    Most annoying spasms are in the calf and ankle. Sometimes muscle pulls in the thigh. Can’t sleep because they get are worse/more noticeable while laying in bed. Have been using a muscle relaxer for a week. Lets me sleep at least but leaves me a zombie and weak. Not falling down or dropping things, but I notice a difference. Extreme cramps only happen at night on occasion. Still scared it could be ALS. The internet has not been nice showing all the possibilities. Doctor thinks it could me my blood pressure med (amlodipine). Got off those couple days ago. I doubt that’s it. So happy I found this forum. Gives me a little peace when my mind starts to think the worst.
    Guess I’ll wait to see if it’s the blood pressure med causing it and then proceed to further testing. Anyone find a way to ignore/cope with the spasms?

    • It’s such a strange thing, started for me about 10 years ago. I’m 54 now. Freaked out watching them, mainly on calves. Went to neurologist who ruled out the worst, big relief. At this point I’ve been able to tune them out most of the time, but every now and then, get a flare up and am trying to figure out why? I love to exercise, do peloton, lots of walking etc…and am now wondering if this makes it worse? Has anyone had luck with taking magnesium and vitamin D supplements? I once read where someone thinks of it as a massage they are getting, for free. Thanks for all your stories, helps knowing we’re not alone.

      • For me, the exercising (treadmill) made things worse. I normally do a 5k every night. Have for several years. But when these twitches/spasms/cramps (and I get all three at once on both legs) started, the walking gave the worst Charley horse cramps. To the point of contorting my leg. Stopped the exercising and they aren’t a daily occurrence (fasciculations still there). Really want to start up again. Went on new blood pressure meds, but hasn’t stopped the fasciculations. Going to try magnesium supplements this week. Had a bad night of wild legs and couldn’t get any sleep. Family doctor said to try drinking some tonic water. Seriously? I’d have to drink several liters of it to see anywhere near the dose of a quinine pill.

    • Like you, I was very active. I slipped 2 discs in 2012 (between L4 and S1) and, after recovering (it took over 6 months to walk properly) I developed BFS. I now cannot get to sleep without Nortriptyline (low dose, 10mg or 20mg if the ‘amplitude’ is more severe than usual). I’m hoping Yoga and swimming will help longer term.

    • Hi Christine, I won’t bore you with the details but, after several years of an impaired quality of life (due to sleep deprivation) I was lucky enough to find a consultant who prescribed me a low dose of Nortriptyline. I take a tablet or two (10-20mg) around 8 in the evening and, that allows me to sleep usually from around 10ish until 6, at which time either the tremors/fasciculations or children wake me up. It has been life-changing for me, together with regular stretching (I will soon add Yoga and swimming to this). Good luck.

      • Thank you for that bit of information! The most annoying of all this is lack of sleep. I’ll try that Nortriptyline if the doctor will prescribe it. I bring to every appointment (every 6 mos.) a video of the worst spasms. She gives me cyclobenzaprine. It works most of the time, because it knocks me out which is key. Sometimes it doesn’t work. Spasms can fire up and down my legs at night so I can’t sleep. She is going to give me another drug to try: Metaxalone. We will see if that helps the bad twitching/spasms. Don’t think there will be any end in sight. She said this last visit that she can’t believe how I’ve dealt with these going on all day every day. I said there are people who are far worse off than me in life. I’ll just adapt. But some nights I wonder if I can adapt…..

        Appreciate your reply! Take care!

  85. I was just reading up after I posted a comment in August of last year. Wow, there is a large response to leg fasciculations, which I do have, though that was the last symptom that surfaced for me. I get a lot on my eyelids and sometimes, mouth and jawline. Here’s the thing with them. They are without a doubt related to sinus inflammation and TMJ. It seems that when my eyes get irritated, or my sinuses, which are now irritated due to spring blooms, I get a twitchy eye. If I am holding my jaw tensely, though not intentional, they get worse in my jaw and throat. Wish I could find a solution. This has really affected my quality of life.

  86. I’m glad I came across this site, which I found via Bing, but oddly didn’t show up in Google for “calf fasciculations”. I’m a 40 year old male, 6’1 and 175 lbs. I started noticing the calf fasciculations about a week ago. But, I know I’ve seen them in the past going back at least a couple of years. I’m in good health but this has been worrying me. I did start doing a quasi Keto diet about a year ago where I was trying to stay under 40 grams of net carbs a day. I lost about 20 pounds but never took any supplements like I probably should have for magnesium, potassium, and sodium, etc. So I’m hoping it’s an electrolyte problem or something. I drink a little coffee and alcohol but stopping those doesn’t seem to help.

    The only other thing I could think be causing it, is that I do have normal degenerative disc disease, which isn’t really a disease, just happens to people as they get older. So I’ve read maybe I have a pinched nerve causing the fasciculations?

    Anyway, thanks for everyone providing their insights in this issue. It’s been stressing me out but hope it’s nothing serious.

    • I forgot to mention that I discussed this with my general practice doctor and he thinks there is basically 0.0001% chance that it is anything serious like ALS or MS. But he said I can see a Neurologist if I want so I’m seeing him in a couple days.

    • Hi Matt
      I have it for two years mainly on my calves.
      I feel it a lot more on my left calf. I’m seeing a neurologist every 6 months, he told me almost from the beginning that it is BFS.
      I live a normal life but it’s annoying sometimes. I’ve been under a lot of stress and anxiety when all started and also had herniated discs and two surgeries in the past. I started to have Lower back pain and some nerve pain the last few months. Feels like I have a pinch nerve in addition.
      Don’t worry so much like I did.

    • I posted here back in November 2018. Now almost 46 y/o. Quick update: nothing has really changed, other than for whatever strange reason my lower legs seem to be more susceptible to getting “chilled” on the surface of the skin. Not sure what’s up with that, yet… But regarding the BFS, usually I forget about the issues unless I cramp up, which has been happening a little more often lately, and is why I thought about this enough to return here.

      I think my BFS – bilateral calves, 24/7, often going down into the middle of the feet and occasionally elsewhere – is likely caused by a variety of factors. First, I did a LOT of running/exercise in my past, and was extremely active in a variety of sports up until just a couple of years ago. I remember seeing the fasciculations in my calves maybe even 6 or more years ago and just thinking that they were telling me that my legs were “ready to go”. Second, I drink coffee. Probably a few cups per day. Maybe too much. But I do drink enough that I get headaches if I don’t drink coffee, so there’s that. Third, in my late-20s at the peak of my athleticism and strength, I injured my lower back while weight lifting. That injury was severe enough to keep my down for weeks, and I have had lower back problems ever since. It is only on thinking back, now, that my lower leg BFS might be tied to the lower back injury. At any rate, while I know people suffer from BFS in different ways and severity, I try to tell myself there are far worse things in life than BFS.

  87. Hi fellow sufferers!
    I won’t bore you with all the details of my specific symptoms as they’re pretty much the same as everyone elses on the forum i.e. twitching predominantly in the calf’s and eye lids, but regularly occur pretty much anywhere on the body and at anytime. I’m 56 and it’s been driving me bonkers for over a year now. I really thought that by now I’d have got use to it, but unfortunately my brain seems to enjoy reminding me how much it irritates me. My Doctor & the Neurologist both put it down to stress/anxiety, but I’m not convinced. I seem to recall first noticing it about 2 months after I had a major back spasm which came out of nowhere. I had an MRI which showed no issues, but I still think it could be related to that. I’ve tried all the vitamin supplements, avoidance of coffee, Pregaglin, Gabapentin etc, but with no joy. I’m beginning to think about alternative solutions – my question is whether anyone has tried either acupuncture or possibly hypnotherapy (to train the brain to ignore the twitching) – I’m thinking of giving them a go but wondered if anyone else has tried either ?

    • Hi Jason!
      Funny I just responded to you Nov 2018 post. What supplements are you still taking? I know above you said oil of oregano and berberine. See my post above for my response.

      • I was very active until i developed BFS.I now can’t do much exercise as muscles get sore and stiff after it.I have had BFS for 2 years now and it’s getting worse.
        I am now taking cannabis oil and will post again to leave update on it’s success or otherwise.

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  89. Hi All.

    More of the same. 34 years old and welcomed by 3rd child right before the new year.

    We got home on New Years eve and I realized my arms/legs were fatigued. Important distinction is that I was not clinically weak and could still do everything I needed, I just felt more fatigued. But I did spend 3 days in a hospital, not able to leave the room due to COVID and not sleeping so chalked it up to that. Still, due to my chronic hypochondria, I worried about ALS.

    A few days after those worries began, calf twitching started so I went to full blown panic. Saw a neuro who told me it wasn’t ALS, but I could get an EMG to calm me down. In between that appointment and the EMG, I saw another neuro for a second opinion who did a really full physical workup and saw no signs of weakness/ALS and agreed it was not ALS. Twitching/slight cramping was most prevalent in calves, but felt occasional hiccups in feet, thighs, biceps and forearms.

    Then I got the nerve test/EMG which did see one fasiculation on the test but determined it was benign and concluded that BFS was the correct diagnoses.

    2 Days after that while symptoms were getting slightly better my upper back (left) started twitching stronger than any previous twitches so I went back into panic. Called the dr. who had no concern. Today it seems to have tapered off and back to mostly calves, but going to a THIRD neuro this afternoon to be sure he concurs (and to show him my EMG).

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  91. You have no idea how much this has helped me. My calves have been spasming when I lye down for 3 years now. I went to the doctors and they were baffled, blood tests came back normal. My legs don’t hurt at all it’s just soooooo annoying! I even have a tattoo on my calve where some detail is a bit wonky as my muscle was spasming mid ink session. I’m not glad there is a community suffering the same annoyance as me but relieved I’m not on my own also. Thank you very much. X

  92. I was out to dinner 16 months ago and my face felt numb and tingly. I ended up having a herniated disc in my c-spine but right after the symptoms from that began, the twitching started. The twitching wasn’t just in one area and would continue throughout the entire day. I’d have one in my arm and then back and then neck and face, etc. It was rapid and constant at times. I was really anxious about it for weeks which just made it keep on, I’m sure. I later distinguished there were two separate issues happening at the same time but it was confusing to decipher initially. Nobody ever said BFS. I waited four months for an MRI which showed a thyroid nodule that ended up looking benign on ultrasound. I came across an article that described BFS and found a correlation to those working in healthcare professions – similar to what someone was describing above with respect to your body being in a constant fight or flight response. I’d also been struggling with grief for a long while so thought I had a deficiency from not being intentional and taking care like I normally would. I went full-on health nut because the twitching drives me bananas. I also felt guilty for potentially doing this to myself through neglect. I didn’t know what caused it?? Now I take supplements – athletic greens (powder you mix with water that has 72 vitamins, minerals, probiotics, probiotics), vitamin D, calcium, mag, B complex, and daily gem bites for sleep. I drink 100 ounces of water a day and do yoga 3-5 times a week, daily mediation (20 mins) and try to walk outside 5 days a week. I keep my carb intake low bc I’ve noticed an uptick in twitching when my diet is higher in carbs. There is research on keto diets improving neurological symptoms due to decreased inflammation but I need to do more reading on that tbh. I do decaf coffee 95% of the time. When I need caffeine and do it anyway – you guessed it, twitching. I even dropped my hours at the hospital and started focusing more on research and telehealth.
    The twitching is not completely gone but I’d say is now 90% improved. I think mine is a result of massive stress on my body and anxiety. I had it happen today when I was feeling anxious during a work call. Then again it can also happen when I first wake up and am the most relaxed.. Nobody knows the cause, of course, but the measures I implemented is general health promotion anyway.
    I was happy when I did come across some information about this so that is why I shared my story and what I feel like has worked for me.

  93. What a relief to find this thread. This all started for me 12 months ago, about 6 weeks into the first UK Covid lockdown my calfs started to spasm 24/7 from behind the knee all the way down into the feet. It seems worse in the left calf to me but both spasm and drive me mad. I too have tried most of the things others have to relieve the issue. Magnesium, CBD oil, eating healthier, cutting down on caffeine and alcohol but nothing has helped so far. Docs have ruled out most things with blood tests and an MRI on my back, all clear. I tried Quinine tablets for a few months which did nothing and I have also tried Amitriptiline which I thought helped at first but am now not so sure. I have been a keen runner in the past but hadn’t run for a few months when this all started so I was well rested and not particularly stressed. I was and still am working from home and quite like it so wondered if it was posture related. Picked up my office chair and that hasn’t helped either. I think we can only hope that the symptoms go away or we learn to live with them. I was doing really well up until a week ago when I went for a short but vigourous bike ride. It set the calves off again like an electric storm which got me down and led me to google again and finally I found this site. I haven’t met anyone that can relate to what I am going through so Thank you so much for writing this.

    • I’m miss running. Even a 3.5 mile walk at 3mph sends my legs into spasms. Walked for years without problems. Wondering if I will ever be able to exercise. I stopped recently for 3 months. The daily flittering of muscles has lessened. The cramps are fewer. But as soon as I get back to an exercise routine it flares up again. Still have a few fasciculations that can last a couple of days but that is only once a month. Stay strong! I tell myself there is always someone out there with far worse problems than mine. We just need to find ways to live with it.

  94. Hello,

    I’m a 30 year old male who’s still wondering whether I actually have BFS or something more serious, I was never really told I have BFS. My twitching started 8 months ago. First it was my arms then my calves then it was all over really. My twitching is mostly happening at rest, now almost all the time. They are definitely less noticeable or non existent when I’m out with friends and not thinking about them.I wouldn’t say that there is any weakness but my arms are fatigued a lot of times I haven’t done an EMG but I have done some blood tests to rule out vitamin deficiencies, and they all came back fine. My neurologist thinks it’s stress/anxiety which could make sense since it all started after my dad was diagnosed with ALS. I was on Lexapro when I started noticing the twitching and I wonder if it might be the cause of all that. I was then prescribed Zoloft which didn’t make things any better.Obviously iv been terrified from everything iv been reading online knowing the fact that ALS is hereditary and it well might be what I have. However based on everything Iv seen, ALS twitching seems to be localized in one area and usually spreads as the disease progresses and muscle wasting starts to happen. I just have a lot of unanswered questions and I’m having a hard time believing that this could be just anxiety. Did any of you guys ever find out why you have BFS? Do you guys know how I can make the twitching stop? Should I keep working out or should I stop? Continue cutting out caffeine, or it doesn’t even matter? Could it be the SSRIs the whole time? I have actually stopped taking any anti depressants and the twitching is still there.
    Your help is much appreciated

    • Doctor has one patient who started with them in her high school years. I started at 52. Family doctor doesn’t understand BFS and just thinks I should go to a neurologist. Not going unless I start presenting more systems. Been 17 months since they started. Get worse when I exercise. These doctors don’t know why it starts, how it starts, or how to fix it. Just trying to adapt my sleeping routine (no blankets on the feet-starts cramping), shoes (as long as there is arch support), don’t do anything to a extreme (biking, hiking, etc.) Legs were awful this weekend because I moved and was up and down stairs a million times. Legs were not happy. I tend to not sit much so I don’t have to feel them flittering/spasming. As far as anxiety, yep I tend to believe it makes it worse. Is it the cause? Nope I don’t think so. Over the 17 months I’ve been on highs and lows and they never have stopped. Just the degree of them. I take video of some of them so I have proof for my family doctor. She prescribes Cyclobenzaprine and most of the time it helps. Sometimes not if I’m really stressed out and the muscles are going crazy. But they are going on up and down my legs to some degree. Never is completely gone. I even got off all my meds (metoprolol, spironolactone, minocycline, birth control pills) to see if that would help or if one of the drugs was causing it. Been on all those drugs for years. Didn’t help. Good luck and share with all of us any tricks you find that makes yours easy to handle.

  95. Hey,
    So I’ve commented on here a few times now – first time March 2019. I’ve been living with BFS for 2 or 3 years now. It hasn’t gone away, although I can live with it now. I swear some days it almost completely goes away. But then I will get crazy twitches for a week.

    My twitches are mostly in my calfs, but in times of high anxiety it does spread to my arms and even my face on occasion.

    I think trying to stop it is not possible. Personally taking pills everyday is probably worse for your health long term. I think learning to live with it is much more achievable.

    I’m definitely a very active, and reading through a lot of the comments on this forum, there seems to a lot of above average active people here. So I think there is a connection between high activity and BFS.

    And this morning I stumbled across this article. It shows a link between activity and motor neurone disease (ALS) – especially in professional athletes.

    I wouldn’t be surprised to find out that a similar correlation existed between exercise and BFS.

    From what I understand there is no correlation between BFS and motor neurone disease (ALS).

    I can’t imagine I’ll stop exercising, I think the physical and mental benefits are vital. That said I have been known to push it, and work out religiously 6 or even 7 days a week. As well as cycling everywhere. So I may try and limit my workouts to 5 times a week.

    Anyway keen to hear how you guys are managing. And feel free to ask any questions

    • Hi, I just came across all these comments. My Husband had fusiculations in his arms in 2014. He was Diagnosed with ALS and passed 3 years later in 2017. Well about 4 months ago I started having them in my calf’s. They are non stop. I almost lost t my mind thinking I had ALS . I had an EMG done by a neurologist where my husband went and I am fine they said. You can image the anxiety and stress of thinking I was going to die from a horrible rare disease that my husband died from. Reading your comments and suggestions made me feel a ton better. Thank you . I have to be honest though. I still worry.

      • I am so sorry for your loss :-( That is a terrible disease to be diagnosed with. No wonder you thought you were next. I have had the spasms/twitches for 16 months now. Some get so bad they last 4 days and spasm not stop. Can’t figure it out. Had blood tests. Seen doctors. I wonder am I just buying time before the symptoms finally present like someone with ALS. I really appreciate everyone commenting about what they are going through because it helps me not feel so crazy! I still can’t sleep under covers (pressure of blankets push feet downward and start bad spasms). Can’t sleep on either side unless really knocked out with sleep aids. Flats and not high heels send legs into spasms so bad my leg bends at an angle. Guess it’s because the flats don’t offer enough foot arch support. Exercising does bring the calf muscles to spasm more at night. Using a small smooth sponge roller over the calves has helped. Using my body weight, I put my leg on top the roller and roll up and down the leg. Surprised how good it works….sometimes. Electrolytes before bed didn’t help. Quinine didn’t do anything.

  96. I have had this for many many years I find if I wear Compression Stocking all the time especially in bed it certainly helps and always do a Stretching exercise before bed . I have seen the Neurologist many times and they are all but useless so you just have to deal with it yourself and I would defiantly wear Compression Stocking the tighter the better.
    Good Luck All

  97. Around 3 years ago I woke up one morning with my left tricep muscle severely twitching which I found strange, but as a regular weight lifter, I just thought I had a muscle twitch. The only thing was that it didn’t go away and after a week if was getting painful and very annoying and I realised this is not something normal.
    I started to get twitching in other parts of my body, as well as my face, eyes along with a kind of electrical feeling flowing through my body when it was really bad. I had calf twitches from time to time, hand twitches on occasion but the worst ones which were really annoying were in my biceps and triceps.
    Like other people on this site, I did research on-line which will no doubt cause anyone who searches on-line anxiety due to the possible things that muscle twitching or fasciculations can be.
    I discovered this website and it gave me some comfort that I could have BFS instead of more serious and deadly diseases.
    I started making notes of what was happening, how often and putting the data on a spreadsheet to see if I could see a pattern, but I could not, I then started making changes to my lifestyle. First of all, I gave up all medications I was taking, but that didn’t seem to work and then I gave up alcohol, then diet Pepsi, I started making sure I slept longer and I got a really soft mattress instead of the hard mattress that I preferred to sleep on. I liked hill walking, camping and climbing and I noticed that when sleeping on a thin matt I would have far worse twitches for about a week and after about the third time of this occurring I realised that as a big guy of 18 stones sleeping on a thin matt I was compressing my muscles and this seemed to make the twitching worse. I found driving a car for long time could also create twitching and since I avoid all these things the twitching is now very sporadic, but I still get it form time to time, especially if I have a several bottles of beer at Christmas.
    I went to the doctor near where I live in Glasgow in Scotland and the first doctors I met surprisingly didn’t seem interested and said it didn’t look like I muscle atrophy but as a weight lifter my weight could go between 17 and 19 stone every few months so I was thinking would this un-interested doctor even notice muscle loss in someone my size. I was fobbed off, but I as the symptoms got worse, I kept going to the doctor and eventually I was given some tests where they do blood tests, which came back normal and then a test at hospital where they put needles into your muscles and take readings, which also came back normal.
    I went to a neurologist at Glasgow’s newest hospital, but he told me that they don’t have a clue about what causes twitching or really any other more serious nerve diseases and it seems unless you have visible and noticeable muscle weakness they are not interested and make you feel like you are a hypochondriac.
    I have spoken to some friends who work in hospital and they tell me a lot of doctors get twitching and they totally freak about it as they know it could be ALS or Motor Neurone disease and yet if you go and tell a doctor about twitching, they downplay it and are not interested.
    After 3 years, I still get twitches from time to time but it is not unusual now, but I always wonder could it turn into something else. Now I feel I can write on this page and tell people that even when you get bad twitches and spasms it does not mean that you have 12 months to live and it could just be BFS. Be prepared to take the journey alone as other people will think you are over reacting when you worry that it is more serious as all people who tell you that it is nothing to worry about are not medical professionals and even if they were how would they know for sure, as there is no easy test to prove what you have.
    I took videos of my twitching and showed it to my doctors so they could see for themselves how bad it was and one doctor then started to think it was something serous due to the crazy shape my tricep was making and I have very large triceps so the I think twitching looked worse than the average person would have.
    During all of this time, I kept training in the gym and I could still bench press really heavy weights, so I always thought, if I was seriously ill then surely I couldn’t be this strong and 3 years later I can still lift the same weights I could years ago.

    That’s all I can tell you and I hope this bit of information might help someone.

  98. I have suffered with this for many many years and it has not got any better you learn to live with it, I found the best thing is to wear NV Compression Calf Guards (compression stockings) and especially at night. There is No medication that can help and it can spread to your hands and face, in the Profession they call it Stockings and Gloves because it feels like you have them on. I really do recommend The compression calf stockings and especially at night. I have seen the Neurologists a number of times and they are No Help what’s so ever. Its self Help or Nothing.

  99. Hi guys,
    I’ve had this for about 2 months now (that I’ve really began to notice it.) I’ve had sciatic nerve pain in the past twice within a 3 or 4 year gap, the 2nd time was particularly bad with the pain in my back radiating down my left leg. I saw a chiropractor who did some tests and discovered that my left ankle reflex was absent so it seems the nerve had been damaged by the pressure I was getting from a herniated/bulging disc. After around 6 months the pain went away gradually and eventually my back and leg were pain free, we tried the reflex test again and the reflex came back very slightly after initially thinking it was gone forever. I had no more symptoms for about 2 years until this twitching has started in my left leg. I’m thinking my nerve is pinched somewhat again now and this twitching is nerve irritation. I do have it a little in my right calf aswell but the left is the worst. It twitches and cramps constantly some days not as bad but it’s always there. After exercise or I’ve been stood up all day and then rest its very noticeable. My GF recorded a video of it while I was sleeping that’s when I really began to notice it more. I’ve read numerous things online and this has been far the beat discussion I’ve found! I’m hoping eventually mine will subside or I won’t notice it anymore. I’ve always had anxiety but never any associated physical symptoms but this raises my anxiety massively as I’m a bit of a hypochondriac at the best of times! I’m trying compression socks now and It helps a little but soon as I rest I can still feel the twitching but they help it be less noticeable.


  100. I’m 53 and had this since I was in my 20′s. Often wondered what it was. I did cycle, swim and hill walk heavily back then, and am still in the pool every week. It’s never bothered me, and watching it is quiet fascinating. Glad I read all the posts, it’s been interesting and now I know it’s not just me. Thank you!

  101. Feeling a little more reassured after reading so many similar posts. I’m a 63 yr old female with AWFUL health anxiety and leg (mostly bilateral calf/ankle/foot) twitching going on every night and while at rest during the day. Last week my left eyelid started twitching too and now my lower right eyelid periodically twitches. Can’t sleep without popping a Xanax, which seems to drastically reduce the sensations. I also have a lot of arthritis from my neck down to foot. I have a slipped disc at C4 and another at L4/5. I get hip/piriformis and psoas pain too.
    I saw my GP 2 weeks ago, he did a strength test on my hands and feet and sent my off saying I’m fine and the fasciculations are coming from anxiety and arthritis issues. Obviously I consulted Dr. Google and I’m now convinced I have ALS. I’m going to see a neurologist tomorrow, so hopefully he’ll relieve my mind a bit. My strength is perfectly fine that I know of–I do arm weights 3x a week and thigh pilates ring 120 reps 3x a week. I sometimes walk with a limp because my foot arthritis hurts, but I know that’s what’s causing this. Soooo…. my age is whats scaring me because I know I’m in the age group for ALS. I know we all have to die someday, I just don’t want to be a burden to my family and die so helplessly. Anybody else have these leg fasciculations without loss of strength in my age group? I just need some reassurance. I lost my 16 yr old daughter to a brain tumor many years ago and watched her die paralyzed from the neck down and unable to speak. It was so sad. Thanks SO much for all your stories.

  102. I’ve had issues with sciatica, and success with cortisone injections. First was left leg 3 years ago, then this summer, the right. Decided another shot was worth trying. Relief is usually quick for the pain, but 2 to 3 days later started having twitches in both calves. Very uncomfortable at start, but no cramps or other areas. Though have has twitches in other parts, but nothing like calves. Went back to pain doctor, and he had no explanation. Nurse said maybe nerve is irritated. Have a Neuro appointment coming up, but not sure what he’s going to tell me. I sit here 4 1/2 months later, reading the covid and vax issues, frustrated to hear. I also had vax in October, which happy to say, nothing changed other than a constant sinus issue. Plus, got covid 2 weeks ago. At this point I’m hoping this fades away and it’s not permanent verve damage. Guess my question, has anyone else had a similar issue? Resolve? Input?

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