Jerky body movements is a condition in which people make fast movements that they cannot control and that have no purpose. These movements interrupt their normal movement or posture.
Jerky body movements; Chorea; Muscle - jerky movements (uncontrolled); Hyperkinetic movements
Typical movements of chorea include:
This condition can affect one or both sides of the body.
These movements do not usually repeat. They can look like they are being done on purpose, although they are not under the person's control. A person with chorea may look jittery or restless.
There are many possible causes of unpredictable, jerky movements, including:
Some medical illnesses that can cause chorea include:
Other possible causes of chorea include:
Treatment is aimed at the cause of the movements.
Excitement and fatigue can make chorea worse. Rest improves chorea. Try to reduce emotional stress.
Safety measures should also be taken to prevent injury from the involuntary movements.
Call your health care provider if you have unexplained body motions that are unpredictable and do not go away.
The health care provider will take a medical history and perform a physical examination.
Medical history questions may include:
The health care provider may do a detailed examination of both the nervous and the muscle systems. Tests that may be performed include:
Unpredictable movements may be treated with different medications. Your health care provider will decide which medicine to use based on your symptoms and signs.
Jankovic J, Lang AE. Movement disorders: diagnosis and assessment. In: Bradley WG, Daroff RB, Fenichel GM, Jankovic J, eds. Bradley: Neurology in Clinical Practice. 5th ed. Philadelphia, Pa: Butterworth-Heinemann Elsevier; 2008:chap 23.
Lang A. Other movement disorders. In: Goldman L, Ausiello D, eds. Cecil Medicine. 23rd ed. Philadelphia, Pa: Saunders Elsevier; 2007:chap 434.
Subramony SH. Ataxic disorders. In: Bradley WG, Daroff RB, Fenichel GM, Jankovic J, eds. Bradley: Neurology in Clinical Practice. 5th ed. Philadelphia, Pa: Butterworth-Heinemann Elsevier; 2008:chap 22.