What Causes Uncontrolled Muscle Movements?

Uncontrolled muscle movements are among the types of movements that appear in movement disorders. They appear when the body cannot control the movement of muscles. They appear in an unintended manner quickly usually for a short duration. They can affect any part of the body such as face, neck, arms, legs or others. They have a slow onset that can progress to a worse condition in the course of time. Chorea, flaccidity, dystonia, myoclonus, etc are some of its types. They can appear due to genetic reasons, hypoxia during birth, brain injuries, brain tumors, drug abuse and many more as discussed below.

What Causes Uncontrolled Muscle Movements?

The muscles of the body function when they get impulses from the brain and spinal cord. These impulses are carried by nerves from the brain or spinal cord to the muscles. If any problem develops in this pathway, then the function of muscles is impaired leading to movement disorders.

Involuntary muscle movements arise due to neurological disorder or overuse or weakness of the muscles or strenuous exercises, too much physical activity or hot weather.
Involuntary movements may be caused by damages or injuries to nerves or the areas of the brain. These areas of the brain are meant for motor coordination that may be damaged permanently due to brain injuries. These causes are different for children and adults.

Causes Of Uncontrolled Muscle Movements In Children

  • Hypoxia– Most common cause of the appearance of uncontrolled muscle movements in children is hypoxia. Hypoxia means insufficient oxygen at the time of birth.1
  • Kernicterus– It is a condition characterized by excess production of a special type of pigment in the liver named bilirubin.
  • Cerebral Palsy– It is a neurological disease that disrupts the movement of the body and function of the muscle.2

Causes Uncontrolled Muscle Movements In Adults

  • Physical Causes
  • Loss of water and vital fluids as seen in dehydration
  • Low levels of blood sugar
  • Exhaustion after hard work or exercise is performed
  • Drug Reactions

The drugs that can induce uncontrolled muscle movements are-

  • Illegal drugs
  • Prescription drugs
  • Abused medications
  • Alcohol abuse
  • Antipsychotic medicines

Abnormal Functioning Of Part Of The Brain That Control Movement

  • Injury to the head or spinal cord
  • Tumor in the brain
  • Stroke
  • Inflammation of the brain as seen in diseases like encephalitis
  • Infection
  • Kidney or liver failure
  • Drug poisoning
  • Psychological Illness
  • Schizophrenia
  • Bipolar disorder
  • Severe anxiety
  • Severe depression

Neurological Diseases

These diseases have slow onset but progressive nature that get worse with time. They are caused due to slow degeneration of nerves of the brain or spinal cord.

Hereditary– they are inherited in the families.

Autoimmune reasons– body’s immune system acts against its own healthy nerve cells.

Uncontrolled muscle movements are the movements of the body muscles that appear in an uncontrolled and unintended manner. These movements are also called involuntary movements. These movements are jerky, quick in nature that can extend to long tremors and seizures. These movements can affect any part of the body that may even involve neck and face. These movements may affect one or more parts of the body at a time. They tend to settle quickly in a short time in most of the cases. But, they may turn into a problem which may become worse with time.

Involuntary muscle movements affect people under 40 years and may not appear after 60-70 years. Few examples of uncontrollable movement are

  • Flaccidity characterized by loss of muscle tone
  • Dystonia marked by slow or continued movements
  • Myoclonus represented by sudden jerking movements
  • Asterixis marked by uncontrollable repetitive movements

Conclusion

Uncontrolled muscle movements are represented by rapid, jerky abnormal movements that happen without intention. They are involuntary movements that remain for a short duration. Its causes involve genetic abnormalities, hypoxia during the birth process, alcoholism, drug or substance abuse, and others as stated above.

References:  

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