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 were 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 anyone 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)
- 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 in 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 in 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 tests.
- 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
There is 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.