Some people describe it as a twitch, a flutter or even a spasm they feel deep in their chest. Sometimes so deep the concern could be a heart condition or worse a heart attack.
That thought alone can give a person an anxiety attack, another cause for the sudden sensation of a twitch or flutter felt in the chest.
Until you remember that you weight trained your chest or was lifting heavy objects the day before and think maybe that is the cause?
Chest flutters or twitches are common for people of all ages. However, there are considerations to be made when determining if the sensations you are experiencing are of a serious nature and require medical attention.
The Cause Might Surprise You
The truth is it could be any one of those things (heart issue, anxiety/stress or muscle spasm related to muscle strain) and possibly even more.
The twitch you are feeling might be a simple muscle spasm (although it seems very deep) or it could be something much more serious like a heart condition that requires urgent attention.
Weight Training or Heavy Lifting – Have you been hitting it hard at the gym? Or maybe you helped a friend move yesterday? This could easily be the source of the twitching sensation you are experiencing.
Even though the sensations seem very deep in your chest, it might feel like the twitch is coming from under your pectorals major muscle. There are two muscles under the pectorals major.
They are the pectorals minor and the intercostal muscles. Neither of them really do enough to be the cause of the twitch; however, the twitch could easily be coming from a deeper part of the pectorals major.
Anxiety or Stress – Twitches in the chest can also be a symptom of anxiety or stress. Spasms, flutters or twitches in your chest as a result of an anxiety attack are as unpredictable as an anxiety attack itself.
You may not even have any other symptoms other than the muscle twitches and you might not even be aware that you are having an anxiety attack.
There might be a few twitches or a lot of twitches. They might last a few seconds, a long time or come and go.
People that know they have anxiety are usually aware that chest twitches or flutters are a symptom of anxiety.
People that have not been diagnosed with anxiety can have a very frightening experience if they are encountering both chest twitches and other symptoms of an anxiety attack.
If you think you have experienced an anxiety attack or are having concerns that you are not coping with stress, it is important to have a more detailed conversation with your doctor.
There may be an underlying cause that is adding to your anxiety that is medically treatable.
Symptoms of an Anxiety Attack:
- Feeling a loss of control
- Chest pains/flutters/twitches
- Muscle twitches (including chest area)
- The Overwhelming sense of doom or fear
- Loss of sensation in fingers and/or hands (tingling and numbness)
- A fast heart rate
- Feeling dizzy or faint
Here are some ways to lower your anxiety at the moment:
- Stop, take a deep breath
- Recognize that you might be having an anxiety attack
- Question why you might be feeling anxious
- Visualize a peaceful and calming place you are familiar with
- Slow down and observe what is going on around you
- Give yourself a pep talk
- Focus on the present
Here are some ways to lower your stress:
- Exercise (moderately) more
- Get more rest
- Talk to someone
- Avoid alcohol, nicotine, and caffeine
- Better time management
- Consider meditation or other relaxation techniques
- Make sure you are resting properly if injured or sick
Heart Conditions – There are a number of heart conditions that could cause chest twitches.
Not the least of which is a heart attack. It can be most frightening to experience muscle twitches deep in your chest and most people’s first thought (even if fleeting) is that they might be having a heart attack.
Here are some things you should know about heart attacks:
- The most common symptom is chest pain. Most heart attacks include a pain or discomfort in the center of the chest. The pain can last for an extended period of time or can go away and then come back. The sensation can also feel like a pressure across your chest or a squeezing feeling.
- You could experience pain in other areas of the body that are indicative of a heart attack. The pain could be in one or even both arms, your neck, jaw, or back.
- You may also experience a shortness of breath or difficulty with breathing. Difficulty breathing during a heart attack can occur with or without chest pains/twitches/flutters.
- Other symptoms of a heart attack include; feeling lightheaded, breaking out in a cold sweat and/or nausea.
- Symptoms of a heart attack last longer than 30 minutes.
- The heart attack symptoms noted here can also vary between men and women. It is also worth mentioning that women are more likely to experience chest discomfort (including twitches in the chest muscle).
- If you think you are having a heart attack, the only way to know for sure is to be seen by your physician and have tested.
- If you already know you have an increased risk of a heart attack, it is important to consult your doctor if experiencing any of these symptoms as described
Chest Muscle Twitching Or Heart
Fasciculation or muscle twitching is what happens when minor local muscles contract.
Twitching could also result if one muscle group that is served by one motor nerve filament or fiber misfires.
This could happen to fibers or bundles of muscles in the pectoralis.
The twitching is usually triggered by a particular muscle that is overused causing it to suffer depletion of its required electrolytes or ions.
Muscle twitching, according to Just Answer.com is often a benign condition. The stimulation of an efferent nerve can also cause muscle twitching.
Other causes of muscle twitching include drinking undue amounts of caffeinated drinks, deficiency of B vitamins, lack of minerals such as magnesium, calcium, and potassium, and the intake of medications such as steroids and diuretics.
What Causes Heart Muscle Spasms?
The cause of heart muscle spasm, according to Healthline.com is the abrupt tightening of arterial muscles of the heart.
When it happens, the arteries will narrow preventing the blood from flowing to the heart.
Thankfully, these spasms only occur very briefly and are only temporary in nature.
But if the cause is not addressed, it may lead to more serious complications such as a heart attack.
Those who have existing heart conditions such as high blood pressure or high cholesterol levels are at higher risks than those who don’t.
Heart muscle spasms are also called contractions of the coronary artery. The common symptoms of this condition are feelings of constriction, chest tightness, pain on the left portion of the chest, angina and chest pain.
You will know if you have spasms in your coronary artery if your chest pains usually happen early in the morning or at night, or if the pains usually last from five minutes or as long as 30 minutes, or if you experience the spams while you are resting.
Muscle Twitch In Chest No Pain
WebMD.com, a medical website that offers advice on different medical conditions, says that there are 20 conditions that are associated with painless muscle twitching and palpitations. This website lists the 20 medical conditions, which are the following.
1. Pseudohypoparathyroidism – this is a rare condition that is inherited. It can cause muscle spasms, cramps and many more.
2. Aortic Regurgitation – is the consequence of the aortic valve not closing fully. It can result in serious heart symptoms.
3. Generalized Anxiety Disorder – this condition is present when a person is continuously experiencing anxiety.
4. Atrial fibrillation – this is a condition of the heart that results in dizziness, confusion, heart palpitations and many more.
5. Hyperparathyroidism – is a condition that can cause weakness and fatigue, increased thirst, bone fractures and impaired thinking.
6. Panic Attack – it is a condition wherein the affected individual suddenly feels intense and unwarranted fear that he can’t control.
7. Rheumatic Fever – this is an inflammatory disease that results in joint pains, rashes, abdominal pain, fever and many more.
8. Facial Tic – this condition usually occurs very briefly. It is the involuntary twitching of the facial muscles.
9. B12 Vitamin Deficiency – the symptoms of this condition are the weakness, fatigue, numbness, pale skin, sleepiness, and many more.
10. Premature Ventricular Contractions – this condition usually manifests as extra heartbeats that begin in the heart’s lower chambers.
11. Thyroid Storm – if a person has this condition, his thyroid hormone is in dangerously high levels. This causes sweating, very fast heartbeats, fever and many more.
12. Acute Stress Reaction – symptoms of this condition include nervousness, feelings that the world is already ending, anxiety, shortness of breath, and many more.
13. Supraventricular Tachycardia – is a condition where the heart has a fast rhythm that begins in one of the upper chambers of the heart.
14. Excessive caffeine intake – this dietary habit is the usual cause of fatigue, irritability, depression, anger, and difficulty in sleeping.
15. Atrial Flutter – this condition is actually an abnormality of the rhythm of the heart. It causes irregular and rapid heartbeats.
16. Heart Rhythm Disorder – this condition can also cause twitching of the chest muscles, dizziness, chest pain and shortness of breath.
17. Epilepsy (Partial Seizures, Complex) – people who are experiencing partial but complex seizures usually lose their consciousness briefly.
18. Low Potassium Level (Hypokalemia) – if a person’s potassium level in his blood is below normal, he may experience leg cramps, feeling of low energy and many more.
19. Tourette’s syndrome – this condition is a disorder of the nervous system that results in the production of sounds that are called tics, and other involuntary movements.
20. Epilepsy (Partial Seizures, Simple) – when an individual experiences this condition, he can be fully conscious and will be able to respond to any external stimuli.
How To Stop Muscle Twitching In Chest?
Health Hearty.com has a solution on how muscle twitching on the chest can be stopped. This website offers the following advice.
1. Drink at least seven to eight glasses of water every day. This will induce the flow of electrolytes in every part of your body and prevent muscle spasms from occurring. To fill up the seven or eight glasses, you can substitute fresh fruit juices and other health drinks.
2. Try not to lift very heavy objects. They can strain your muscles too hard and can cause your muscle twitching problems to grow worse.
3. Apply ice packs on the part of your body where you are experiencing muscle twitching. This will relieve the pain, as well as swelling or soreness.
4. Apply warm water shower or bath to the affected area to relax the muscles. Aside from relieving the spasms, this will also reduce the pain.
In addition, here is a video that shows how to stop muscle spasms quickly. This is worth watching because it shows some practical steps on how to do it.
Is It Bad For Muscles To Twitch?
According to Health US News.com, twitching of muscles should not really be a cause for concern.
This website seems to advance the notion that twitching muscles usually goes away on its own.
In cases where this condition persists, avoiding the factors that are causing it usually stops it from recurring.
The contributing factors to muscle twitching, as confirmed by this website are lack of sleep, dehydration and too much intake of caffeine.
Therefore, limiting these causative factors will also limit the occurrence of twitching muscles.
Dr. Charles Kim, a pain management specialist and an assistant professor of anesthesiology and rehabilitation medicine claim that for the vast majority, muscle twitching is benign.
In other words, he is saying that there is no need for you to worry if you experience occasional muscle twitching of the heart – unless it keeps on repeating.
There are other heart-related possibilities that could be the cause of chest muscles twitching or give the sensation that your chest muscles are twitching. They are too numerous to cover them all hear.
We have covered the most common causes of chest muscle twitches and their symptoms.
Hopefully, this information is useful for you in understanding if your chest muscle twitches require medical attention.