Thumb spasms: causes

by Alivia Nyhan
Published: Last Updated on

Thumb spasm is characterized by continually uncontrolled contraction of the muscles. A spasm occurs when the nerves connected to the thumb muscles become irritated. There are several reasons why this problem occurs. It may be due to minor muscle tension, excessive caffeine intake, the side effect of a medication, or dehydration. Often, it happens for a short period; however, chronic thumb spasms can be a symptom of a severe problem. In the following FastlyHealarticle, we explain the most common causes of thumb spasms in detail.

Repetitive motion injury

One of the most common causes of thumb spasms is that an injury has occurred that is causing this continuous and persistent contraction.

These injuries usually happen when we exercise excessively or use the thumb to carry out a prolonged and repetitive activity. Consequently, fasciculations can occur in the thumb, which is uncontrollable fine movements of a muscle group only supplied by a motor nerve fiber.

In this case, it is best to go to the doctor or neurologist to perform the appropriate tests and start the most appropriate treatment.

Carpal tunnel syndrome

Carpal tunnel syndrome is another possible cause of thumb spasms. When you have this condition, there is excessive pressure on the median nerve in the wrist, which promotes sensitivity and movement to different parts of the hand.

The most common symptoms of carpal tunnel syndrome are weakness, muscle damage in the fingers and hand, tingling, and numbness. It is common for people who constantly use their hands to work. However, several risk factors can increase the chances of developing it, such as having suffered fractures or injuries to the wrist, obesity, arthritis, the accumulation of fluids in the body, alcohol consumption, etc.

In the following FastlyHealarticle, we explain which carpal tunnel syndrome treatment should be followed in each case.

Nutritional deficiency

At other times, the spasms and cramps experienced in the thumb may be associated with specific nutritional deficiencies. This is the case of:

  • Hypomagnesemia: magnesium deficiency.
  • Hypocalcemia: calcium deficiency.
  • Hyperphosphatemia: excess phosphorus.

Too little or too much of these nutrients can cause an imbalance in the body’s electrolyte levels, resulting in thumb spasms.


Dehydration of the body can also be a possible cause of involuntary movements of the thumb. This is because the muscles need water to function, and a deficiency of water and fluids causes the muscles to become irritated, leading to spasms.

On the other hand, excessive caffeine consumption can also lead to temporary muscle spasms, which can also occur in the thumb.

A side effect of medications

Other times the tic in the thumb can be a side effect of taking some drug. Medications that can cause these thumb spasms to include estrogens, corticosteroids, and diuretics.

In this case, it is best to consult with your doctor about the possibility of modifying the treatment to be followed or the measures to be adopted to avoid this condition.

Neurological conditions

On the other hand, several neurological conditions can also cause thumb spasms. Among them are the ones listed below:

When you suffer from continuous, repetitive, or prolonged thumb spasms, you should pay attention to this symptom and schedule a medical consultation to diagnose the underlying cause and start further treatment. Appropriate in each case.

This article is merely informative, at FastlyHeal .com we do not have the power to prescribe medical treatments or make any type of diagnosis. We invite you to see a doctor in the case of presenting any type of condition or discomfort.

If you want to read more articles similar to Thumb spasms: causes , we recommend that you enter our Brain and nerves category .

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