If You're Always Shaking Your Leg, This Could Be Why

In most households, cultures, and professional settings, unconscious leg shaking while you're either sitting idle or performing some activity is regarded as a bad habit. Unfortunately, most people hardly notice shaking their legs. According to Healthline, these movements could be short subtle bounces or occur as uncontrollable tremors. Although mindless leg shaking isn't always a cause for concern, studies show various explanations for why it happens.

It comes as no surprise that the most common reason for random leg shaking is boredom. When you are in a dull environment, you may become stressed enough to initiate the production of adrenaline. Per Verywell Health, it boosts blood flow to the muscles and as a result, all the pent-up frustration and tension are released naturally by shaking your legs.

Mental health issues, such as anxiety, can also cause leg shaking. According to a 2018 study published in Psychological Studies, males who often shake their legs may pose traits of a particular personality type called neuroticism. It refers to characteristics that are highly influenced by negative behaviors and moods such as anger, depression, and unstable emotions.

Which diseases cause leg shaking?

Numerous medical conditions can also result in uncontrollable leg shaking. Restless Leg Syndrome (RLS) is a neurological disorder, usually occurring in the later hours of the day, that causes serious discomfort in the lower limbs and an extreme urge to move the legs. Living with RLS can be disturbing and may interfere with your sleep and productivity. It affects around 10% of the elderly population aged 65 years or older, according to Hopkins Medicine.

RLS in children may indicate early signs of Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD). It is associated with continuous jerks in the limbs, pain, and discomfort in the legs, particularly when the children are laid down to sleep (via WebMD).

People who have drug withdrawals from opioids dependency might experience RLS as well. Additionally, a few ADHD medications or stimulatory meds, such as amphetamines or Adderall, can cause you to shake your leg. These drugs usually trigger hyperactivity in the nervous system, leading to involuntary movements, per the International Board of Credentialing and Continuing Education Standards (IBCCES). Experts also state that random leg shaking in the form of tremors can be an early symptom of progressive neurological diseases, such as dementia or Parkinson's disease.