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Vibration on the left side of chest
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Vibration on the left side of chest

Hi, I'm a 28 year old female and offlate (about 2 weeks) I've been feeling this vibration on the left side of my chest. It feels more intense when I've got my arm against the side. It seems to be more in my left breast. I mostly feel it only while I'm sitting.
Is this normal? Should I have this checked up or would it go away in a while?
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74076_tn?1189759432
Hello,

I would recommened seeing someone a doctor about it.  The reason is not that I am particularly concerned but that that I am not sure what to tell you.  There is not a serious, life threatening medical problem that I know that presents like a vibration in the chest.  I am not sure what else to tell.  Being able to sit down and talk in more detail about the type of symptoms may help to tease out the cause or at least reassure you that it is nothing to worry about.

I hope this helps.  Thanks for posting.
22 Comments
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Avatar_n_tn
I have the same thing.  It just started yesterday afternoon.  I first thought it was a cell phone in my pocket on vibrate, but it's more subtle.  Only lasts for a second or two.  I haven't timed how long it is between vibration events.  Very strange.  Please let me know if you find out anything.  Thanks.
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Avatar_n_tn
I've had that same problem for 6 months now.  I'm losing a lot of sleep over it. I've been to several specialists and none of them know anything about it.  Usually, when medical professionals cannot explain something rationally, they will assign it to anxiety.  I suspect that my irratic heart beat has traumatized muscle tissue in my chest and  the more it gets beat up the more it vibrates.

So, I hope you find out what it is and report back here and tell us; but do not be susprised if you are told that it's anxiety.

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Avatar_n_tn
Vibrations in the chest.  I've had those for a number of years, ever since first being diagnosed with focally-driven PACs and PAF.  I've undergone numerous tests, some of which were designed to rule out sources of these perceived vibrations.  There are only a couple of things that can vibrate in one's chest: the heart muscle, the esophagus, the muscular walls of an artery or the diaphragm.  Everything was ruled out, except for the heart.  The current theory is that the foci (tiny electrically active islands of tissue embedded in normal cardiac muscle) may be the culprits.  They vibrate at about 100-300 bpm, and this is constant.  You can feel them when excited, or after sudden movement, as the adrenaline surge kicks them up.  The vibration seems centered at or near the heart, and sometimes they can almost be felt by touching beneathe the sternum.  It may be that some folks can feel them more easily than others because of their location and whether they get "amplified" by surrounding nerve tissue.

I have not stumbled upon a cure.  The only thing close to that I can relate is that the vibration frequency shifted from about 100-200 to about 300+ after an rf ablation to remove some of the foci.

-Arthur


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Avatar_n_tn
Say arthur, do you have any textual references about your theory of vibrations?  I think in my case the PVCs have beaten my chest so bad that the whole area has been traumatized.  I'm looking for some written material by professionals to show my cardio that his dismissive attitude is based on ignorance.
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Avatar_n_tn
There's the rub.  I have plenty of references regarding the diaphragm as a reason for vibrations (via an irritated phrenic nerve, which just happens to pass through the heart).  There are also muscular ticks associated with the chest wall for which references can be found.  However, the most I could get out of some research-level EPs is that "many people present with such vibrations that also present with PVCs/PACs...but no clear reason has been proven."  When asked whether a focus could be responsible, the EPs have agreed that it could be possible.  Since such vibrations are generally subtle and apparently not causative of any real problems, I doubt you'll find anything better than an opinion from an experienced EP.

In the end, I scoured the literature for any and everything that could shake within the chest, and, like Sherlock Holmes, having eliminated everything else, one is left with only one conclusion.  You have to realize that a number of nervous systems run up along the back of the heart (never mind through it), along the esophagus, (up against the PV ostia, a location favored by many foci) so a tiny vibration in just the right place could easily be picked up and amplified enough to notice...but just about impossible to locate using an EKG.  If it really bothers you, there are experts in neuromuscular disorders that have equipment sensitive enough to locate the critter(s)...but what's to be done once they are found?

Let me know if you'd like at least some references on the diaphragm.

-Arthur
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Avatar_n_tn
Yes, I have read most of your other posts and I am convinced of your "theory".  My problem is to convince others (doctors) who believe that their competence comprises all there is to know, and if something doesn't fit in their little scheme of things, then it must not exist. If you can refer me to anything that is written I would appreciate it.  If you prefer to email it to me, ***@****.

I appreciate your help my friend.
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Avatar_n_tn
The topic of muscular vibrations really falls under a condition known as myoclonus.  Specifically to the diaphragm, it is refered to these days as diaphragmatic myoclonus (originally suffered in 1723 by Antony van Leeuwenhoek "father of the microscope", wherein he noted pulsations in his chest which seemed to feel like heart beats, but where clearly not).  There are many causes for such a myoclonus, usually related to an irritated phrenic nerve.  A couple of references that may help here:  NEJM vol. 289, no.26, 1390-95 (1973) and Southern Medical Journal vol. 88, no. 12, 1270-1273 (1995).  If you scour the web for "myoclonus" you are likely to find a ton of other references. Note that many may be documented for race horses, wherein a temporary imbalance of Mg due to overstressing the horse can result in a drammatic fluttering of the diaphragm. At one point I underwent a fluoroscopic exam wherein I suggested looking for a diaphragmatic myoclonus...the expert MD running the exam was clueless, in fact stating to me that he never heard of such a thing.

The problem with myoclonus is that it's generally a nervous system issue, and doctors as well as scientists just don't understand nerves and their behaviour all that well.  In my experience, any mention of a myoclonus generally ellicits a downturned mouth and a momentary glaze, followed by changing the subject.  Good luck.

-Arthur
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Avatar_n_tn
Hello,
I've been reading your posts with interest.  Do any of you carry a cell phone in your shirt pocket?  I ask because my husband has also started feeling vibrations in his upper left side above the heart and thought it was his cell phone vibrating softly, but the phone never was.  Then it even happened when his phone wasn't on him.  He has a razor phone and usually carries in his left inside shirt pocket.  Any thoughts?  I can't seem to find much on the web.  He is very healthy so he thought this was odd, and wondered if a cell phone could effect your "electrical" system of your body.  Thanks!
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Avatar_n_tn
My heart started doing the things you guys are describing. It started yesterday, 2/13/07, I was attending a conference so I wasn't under the normal stress of a job. I got the funny feeling right above my heart, but it wasn't my cell phone. It kept happening the remainder of the day. I forgot about it today but then it started back. I noticed that it was vibrating at the same time my daughter's cell phone was vibrating! Then I really felt stupid. When I felt it again I told her to check her phone and sure enough, she had a call. The vibration is not a regular beat it waits too long in between episodes to be a heart beat, but I would like a better understanding of why this started happening out of the blue. I was really glad to find this posting. I don't feel as crazy knowing other people know what I am talking about.
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Avatar_n_tn
i have been having this crazy vibration in my chest for the past 3 or 4 months and it is also driving me crazy.  I have had all the test to rule out any heart problem and all of the doctors look at me like i am crazy when i tell them about it.  sometimes the feeling is very faint and other times it is so strong it scares me.  i feel the vibration on the right and left side but mostly in the center of my chest.  it is really weird and at first i thought it was a-fib but i have been checking my pulse twice now when it has happened and it remains the same.  
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Avatar_n_tn
HI.  I've been having heart vibrations for a couple of months now, too.  I'm pretty sure I have an weak nervous system since I'm suffering from low blood volume and mitrol valve prolapse.  What's interesting is most of my symptoms come and go monthly with my cycle.  I have extreme muscle ticks and spasms, swollen lymph nodes, chest vibrations, heart palpitations, migrane (migraine) headaches, IBS, chest tightness and swollen nasal passages.  That's really just the half of it.  I sure with my doctor's could figure this out.  I'm thinking about seing a homeopathic doctor.  
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Avatar_n_tn
My daughter just started having those symptoms yesterday.  She also is getting over being sick.  She came back from Mexico fine, then a day later started with diarrhea which lasted 3 days.  She ended up with a head cold that went into her chest.  She complained that her ears were clogged from blowing her nose so much and she felt dizzy and nausea.  At the same time, she was drinking so much tea, water that I believe she may have messed up her electrolytes.  She was complaining of the vibrations in her center abdoman and down her stomach to her groin.  She also had eye pain when she turned her head.  I do believe this is all symptomatic of a nasty cold that has caused these symptoms.  I am having her drink gatorade and put some ear drops in her ears that I have at home which are for an inner ear infection and see if that helps.  If it does, it is likely the residual effects of the congestion she had from being sick.  I will post the results.  If not, she's going to see an ENT.
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Hi I have been having vibrations on the right side of my chest over the past month or so, they come at different times of the day and last for a few seconds or more. also I had a endoscopy examination on Tuesday and a Biosopy was taken. A Hiatus Hernia and Gastro-Oesophageal Reflux was explained to me after examination but would the vibration in chest be a related problem?
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Avatar_n_tn
First of all for a few months since I don't wear pockets I stuck my cellphone in my bra. After a few months I also sometimes feel a little vibration.(without the phone in there) Sometimes I just get a vibration. I realized that I have been getting almost like gas pockets in my upper stomach/chest. You could almost feel and see the movement in my chest almost like a pulse. I get it in my stomach also and somtimes my back. It moves very  quickly and it causes a vibration.I really think it a gas pocket. What do you think?      
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Avatar_n_tn
"Gas pockets" can only occur in the intestinal tract.  So if you feel something moving round down there, that's a good suspect.  Higher up, above the diaphragm, there are no gas pockets.  The vibrations folks are complaining about seem related to their predisposition for PACs and PVCs.  They are not caused by these arrhythmias, but rather, show up independently.  They can be palpable or nearly so, they are generally centered in the chest (above the diaphragm).  They can oscillate at about 100-200 bpm.  A great check is to see (while they are happening) if you hold your breath and exhale slowly, do they affect the exhale...ie, do you exhale with tiny puffs, as if the vibration has an effect on your breathing?  If so, then these critters are located near the heart, and affect the phrenic nerve controlling the diaphragm/breathing.  The location and frequency (100-200 bpm) suggest a cardiac focus.

Another completely different reason for such vibrations comes from anxiety, wherein the individual worries to the point of affecting the autonomic nervous system, so that musclular spasms show up along the rib cage, abdomen and the diaphragm.

-Arthur
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Avatar_n_tn
Hi everyone,  I have had vibration in my chest when I lay down to sleep and sometimes it wakes me up.  I also have it sometimes in the morning when I wake up.  I have had this intermittently for about two years, along with palpitations and quick episodes of dizziness.  I have had cardiac tests and motility tests that showed nothing conclusive...some PVC's  and PAC's...no mitral valve problems, no esophogeal spasms.  I do have stomach problems with pain below my sternum.     I have been athletic my whole life and am not overweight.  Recently, in the past 6 months I have had when lying down, in addition to the vibration, a pressure in the center of my chest that creeps up my neck into my face, forehead and temples.  It is quite distressing.  My blood pressure is normal as is my pulse during these episodes.  In the daytime I have chest discomfort but none of the other stuff.  I am planning to go back to the doctor but I feel like they do not take me seriously.  Any ideas?
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Avatar_n_tn
They will not take you seriously.  They will presume that anxiety is afoot.

The reality is that many folks with PACs/PVCs, if they really pay attention, should be able to notice a mild vibration centered in the chest, near the heart.  Many folks report such a vibration, apparently most folks don't notice it.  

After a few years searching for an answer, the best I've come up with (based on literature and EPs doing research) is that the vibration feeling may be coming from a focus (or foci) located in the cardiac muscle (often in the atria for PAC sufferers).  Outside of toasting the focus, there's nothing that can be done to get rid of it.  Anxiety plays a role in making it easier to feel...at least in my case, which suggests that the focus is located close enough to a mainstream set of nerves which pick up the signal.  Other clues include: the feeling increases with increases in adrenaline (like sudden movement, getting up at night, fright...)

Adopting a calm lifestyle, and understanding the problem goes a long way to lowering anxiety and making the feeling subside.

-Arthur
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Avatar_n_tn

i also keep my razor on vibrate in my chest pocket.  i noe feel vibrations when the phone is not there?
glad to hear i am not alone.
  could the razor affect electricity in the heart and cause these vibrations.
   i am no longer placing the phone in my chest pocket so i will see if the vibrations stop.
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Avatar_n_tn
I have a young daughter who has never had an medical issues. Recently she had strep but that seemed to go away fine. Today she had a check up (regular scheduled) and they said she has high blood pressure, and they heard a "Vibration" in her heart? I was told they would watch it and they did check her over for things, or appeared too, but never said anything more than that. Does anyone have any idea what could possibly be the problem or things perhaps I should look into regarding this? I guess I'm concerned that nothing was ever discovered there before and now there is? My daughter is is good physical shape, not under weight, nor over weight. Average height and weight etc.

Any idea would be greatly appreciated.
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