A nervous tic is an often uncontrollable muscle spasm in the body. It can be caused by a variety of conditions, and can become much worse in situations that stress the body. Acute tics are quite common, and may be experienced by anyone. Chronic tics that do not subside may be a sign of tic disorder, which may require treatment or medication.
Nervous tics are often noticed in children who have not yet reached puberty. Commonly, these tics subside within a few months or years. Some experts believe that the rapid twitching movement is not entirely involuntary and may be able to be controlled to some degree. Anxiety and stress can reduce the body’s ability to control a tic, leading to greater frequency of tic symptoms experienced during periods of tiredness.
Most often, tics take the form of a muscle group spasming. Frequently, people will experience muscle contractions around their eyes, lips, legs or wrists. You can also experience vocal or phonic tics, leading to coughing or throat clearing. These types are called simple tics, and will often subside with rest.
Complex tics are less common and can be a sign of more serious disorders. They can be difficult to distinguish from compulsive disorders, and may take the form of repetitive large movements or compulsive shouting. Complex tics are often associated with variations of Tourettes syndrome, a genetic disorder characterized by multiple physical and phonic nervous tics.
If you are experiencing a tic caused by nerves or anxiety, get some rest. As your body relaxes, your ability to regain control over the movement will increase. Some complementary medicinal practices recommend acupuncture as a means of helping cure simple tics. If the condition worsens or does not subside after a few days, you may wish to check in with your doctor. They can determine if the condition is likely to be temporary or permanent, and may be able to prescribe medicine to reduce the spasm.
Tic disorder is often misunderstood or misidentified, leading to tremendous confusion about what a tic means or suggests. The disorder is frequently portrayed as obsessive-compulsive disorder or severe Tourette's syndrome, much to the dislike of those suffering from a recurring nervous tic issue. While some media stories attempt to portray the condition accurately, nervous tics are often treated as comical fodder and even associated with lack of intelligence or mental health issues. It is important to understand that most nervous tics are the body’s natural reaction to stress, they are temporary, and while irritating, are not usually harmful.