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Avatar universal

Feels like I'm vibrating!

I have started feeling like my body was "vibrating" - not spasms, or jerking - like there is a vibrator in my body.  Feel it most in the back, but everywhere else too.  Mostly happens when I am sleeping or relaxed - it will wake me up, but has happened once when standing. Does not hurt - just very disconcerting.  What is it?  Who do I go to for it? What words do I use to check the internet?
108 Responses
Avatar universal
First of all, keep in mind that I am unable to diagnose you because I am unable to examine you, this forum is for educational purposes.      
     The symptoms that you describe of 'vibrating' is very atypical and does not fit in a neurologic disease that I am aware of.  That being said, some people with numbness or other sensory complaints associated with multiple sclerosis, seizures or even TIAs (transient ischemic attacks) have described such strange sensory phenonenon.  I would suggest that you get an MRI of the brain with contrast to evaluate for a structural lesion (such as MS, stroke, tumor, etc).  I would also suggest an EEG (brain wave test) to evaluate for any possible seizure activity.  If the above test come back normal and you have been evaluated by a neurologist, I would suspect that your symptoms could also be due to stress/anxiety (although this diagnosis is only to be considered after the testing is done).  
I hope this has been helpful.
Avatar universal
First of all, I am 28, Male.

    I am sorry to hear that this is happening to you, but for me-I am happy to have found you at some level.
    But yes, you are not alone. Everything you say about it is like I am reading my own thoughts and experiences and I have never found anyone who understands it.
    I have seen about 9 doctors-of varous specialties-and none of them have answers. I have noticed that stressful situations can make it come on. Originally it started with only when I was lying down-this lasted for about 6 mo. It always seemed to be in my back, but then, it finally has become my whole body; but the epicenter, if you will, is the lower back.
    I have had contrast MRI studies of the brain,  c, t and l spine and nothing there indicates something weird, aside from 1 thing.
    I do have typical MS lesions in the brain and in the C-Spine. They think that I have Lyme disease instead of old fashioned M.S.-but who knows.
    I know the hell of this weird symptom, believe me, I do.  
Avatar universal
I am 56 Female with multiple medical problems.  This one is relatively new.  After several TIAs in 2002 they found a few areas on the brain - maybe MS maybe the TIAs - not sure.   Father, uncle, great uncle all  had Parkinsons.  I have fibromyalgia, arthritis, and bone spurs in several joints as well as the spine.  So many symptoms can be attributed to various reasons.  Where should I start with this "vibrating" sensation?
Avatar universal

I don't mean to piggyback your comments but I can associate with the vibrating feeling except it is located in my head.  I had a recent episode which was like my brain shaking, I can't describe this very well but it was a momemtary shudder in my head and I had to steady myself,  I got an awful full feeling in my face afterwards.  I am awaiting an MRI scan, it could take two months for this. But when I get these feelings, it feels afterwards like the world it slanted and I'm walking up hill on straight ground, anyone else got these sort of episodes? I had neurological tests, and they are normal so even the Docs are scratching their heads and holding out for an MRI scan to show what it is. I have a history of Sarcoidosis on the lung, wondering could there be neuro involvement?

Best regards
Avatar universal
I often wear a pager at work that silently vibrates in my pocket when paged.  I noticed I continued to reach for the pager long after I returned home at night and even weeks between wearing the pager. The sensation genrally occurred at lower abdominal to upper thigh area frontal area.  Always thought it was just a memory association, electromagnentic field or something equally unusual. I stopped the vibration while wearing the pager and put it on beep, but I do continue to have the sensation.  It is truly a bizarre feeling and occurs quite frequently.
Avatar universal
I am a 52 year old female with the same disturbing vibrations.  For me, it is head to toe.  I had an MRI w/wo contrast about six months ago and it was normal as was my neuro clinical evaluation.  At this point, I am so sleep deprived that I feel it has worsened the condition.  I wish I could offer insight, but I'm as lost in this maze as you are.  Sleep aids only make my symptoms worse.  I have also noticed that other stimulants (alcohol, caffein, and meds such as benadryl and tylenol p.m) increase the intensity of the "buzzing".  I hope you are quicker finding a diagnosis than I have been.  Best wishes for your continued good health.

P.S.  Do you drink diet soda by any chance?  An alternative dr. scolded me for the number of diet drinks I consume on a daily basis, and warned me of the side effects associated with aspertame (sp?)  Just a thought.
Avatar universal
I have read and heard that aspartame can cause neurological deficits. I quite them a while back-if I were any of you, I would stop.

It certainly is not helping us.
Avatar universal
For those worried about the calories/sugar (and weird chemicals), stevia is a natural sweetener and an alternative to aspartame, sacharine, etc.  Some of the stevia products add silica and other junk, but SweetLeaf (and possibly some other brands) don't.  It tastes good and can be bought at a natural foods store and even supermarkets now.  I put it in tea and coffee and think it tastes good, but some people don't like it, so try it first (it's kind of expensive).
Avatar universal
I have noiced this on antidepressants ( with meand others).Also,alow TSH ( too much thryroid hormone being produced.)
Avatar universal
It sounds like we are a lot alike. I also have MS-type lesions but I also have a positive lyme test so I'm not sure which I have. I also sometimes get the "vibration feeling." In my case, it's restricted to my left leg. I also get a pulsing sensation in that leg that only occurs when I lay down. The weird thing about this is that it is the same rate and rhythm as my pulse. I can suppress it by tying something tight around the leg (gate control theory, perhaps?) and that is how I manage to sleep at night. Like you, I tend to get the vibration feeling during periods of stress. For me though, this tends to make me more anxious which brings out more paresthesias and I get a nice positive feedback loop going. I just hope these antibiotics do the trick.......
Avatar universal
I had the "vibrating" feeling while taking Prozac, it lasted about 3 weeks after gradually tapering off.  I also had cold shooting feelings throughout my body.
Avatar universal
This came after my first attack with an unknown condition that caused topical numbness from the waist down-considerations were Acute Transverse Myelitis, Multiple Sclerosis or Lyme disease.
It started as an echo in my chest, then, became (epicenter low back) full body. While all of my other symptoms have for the most part subsided, this remains-but-is becoming less and less frequent.

I have never taken psychoactive drugs.

Hope that my contribution helps, and, despite a growing opinion-I am not playing doctor.

I am just smart and educated.

Avatar universal
So others have this too?  For the past 3 years I have had vibration in abdomen.  Feels like the purring of a cat.  Started out on left side only when I am sleeping.  Not painful but wakes me up because it feels so weird.  Past year it has spread occasionaly to right side, and sometimes entire abdomen, still only when I have been asleep.  Have been to 5 doctors, I fear they all think I am a hypo.  I continue to worry what is causing this.  Gastroenterologist told me the good news is it hasn't killed me yet.  I was not consoled.  The vibration feeling goes away if I sit up, get out of bed or change position.  Sleeping on my left side seems to bring it on sooner.  At first I only had it occasionaly but now I have it almost everynight.  Help!
Avatar universal
Just another commment on our collective weird vibrating feelings - When I was going through the worst of Sarcoidosis, at night I used to get vibrating feelings all over my body - you know like goosebumps, but uncontrollable ones that just kept coming, until i eventually fell asleep.  I took them as night chills, but they were horrible and as I said uncontrollable, I notice now in times of stress, like if I had to address an audience ( sometimes part of my work) I will get these dreadful uncontrollable vibrations and they render my limbs almost numb, like I'm going to faint.  I don't think it is a psycological symptom, but I am sure the Doctors think I am neurotic as hell!!

I have never taken anti depressants, but I was prescribed them for palpitations once. Can your body just react more nervously as you get older?

All the best
Avatar universal
I have the same "vibrating feeling." I usually feel it when I'm laying down. Whats weird is that I can't see anything shaking. I look at my hands, arms....nothing! I haven't told anyone about it. The doctor aleady thinks I'm crazy enough with all the joint pains I complain about. Hope someone can up with something on this one.
Avatar universal
An EMG and a spinal tap could possibly help reveal some infection in the spinal fluid and neuropathies.   I have the buzzing and my neuropathies are caused by what doctors think was a viral infection contracted last spring.  I had 5 hospital visits and spent months in a wheelchair due to extreme weakness, buzzing and tingling in my arms and legs.  No fun at all, I am sympathetic!
Avatar universal
Yep, they all (family) think that I make this **** up.  I don't, its true, and its annoying.  I think that you are alot worse than me, god bless you, you poor soul.  I have no answers either, just say a prayer every night hoping that it will go away, and stay away FOREVER!!!  I hope you feel better, I will say a prayer for you tonight!!!  Jennifer
Avatar universal
I am a forty year old female nurse .
For 10 years , except for the last three up until yesterday I have been going to dr's under going test after test after test, i can tell you this , it is not lyme .

I am negative for lyme disease more than once , negative for lupus more than once tsh for the last 10 years normal !DO NOT LET THEM SAY ITS FIBROMYALGIA ITS NOT !
However all they can find is , multiple brain lesions dx Possible relasping remitting MS but the lesions are never active .
I have Chiari malformation , I believe that is the culprit of the vibration.

I wll tell you why ...for three years I have done well up until now , now I am in the worsepain i have ever been in in the upper spine a pain you cannot describe not in the muscles , numbness tingling is back in the arms and hands , visionis getting screwy , and well the vibration is in my feet and legs and is most noticable after walking and it goes all the way to the buttocks , the doc said beore I told him anything just by looking at me and the way I was carrying my self you have chiari when I told him everything he said , i do not know if is worse and now we have a nerve study scheduled and mri .... As wellwas very intrestred about the vibration .

My advice Find a good Neurologist ....i you have pain in upper spine , if coughing or straining causes the most God awful pain in your head you have ever experienced in your life first bend your head forward it wil relieve it , second tell your doc, ! upper body weakness and pain 9 times out of ten with the vibration it is chiari malformation , find a good Neurologist .and internist not a family doctor
Good Luck
Ps it took me about ten neurologist and more internist before i got help !
Avatar universal
Thats amazing that you said that your problems all started after a viral infection.  I have had these feelings for 6 years now, I got really sick on New  Years Eve day in 2000, it started all of a sudden, I felt sick, weak, and very nauseous.  The nausea lasted for 3 months, went and had blood work done, doc said it was a virus.  I couldn't eat for almost 2 months, no appetite, lost a ton of weight, went down to 108 pounds.  After the nausea went away, is when the weird feelings started.  I get buzzing feelings, and cold water feelings.  I did have the vibrating feeling, but went away after stopping Prozac.  I was a very sick pup.  When I think back, I don't know I survived it.  In fact, I cry when I think back.  My husband told me it was all inmy head.  I would call my poor parents at 3 a.m., and tell them to take me to the ER.  This happened 3 times.  Had all kinds of stomach tests done, upper GI, colonoscopy, hepatabiliary scan, and scope down throat.  Nothing, everything was normal.  My brain MRI last spring was also normal, c-spine showed a bulging disk.  Its awful.  How long has yours lasted?  Do you have numbness?  I don't.  Just these weird feelings on a daily basis.  Been tested for lyme, lupus, TSH, sed rate, FSH, IPEP/SPEP, multiple myeloma, RA, and EBV.  Normal.  Its very awful, I can sympathize with you.  Thanks and take care, Jennifer
Avatar universal
Thanks Jen,

I can relate to the parinoid calls at 3am to those you love and a unexpected trip to the ER only to get a discharge note with no instructions or answers.  My family is giving up on me....LOL but I still have a good sense of humor despite my terror. Here is my story, maybe you can find something that may be of help.

Last March (2006) I started to experience symptoms of numbness, tingling, burning and severe weakness in my thigh and calf muscles. Simmultanously I also got carpel tunnel in both wrists. I was very sick from the pain found that sitting relieved my symptoms briefly but eventually they would return when I attempted to walk. Gradually I began to get sicker and my neuroligist told me after several blood tests that I had the coxsackie virus, but he was not sure the coxsackie was responsible for the neuropathies. After 5 hospital vistis including the Cleveland Clinic, 2 muscle biopsies, MRI's, CT scans, spinal tap and several rounds of rehab, all testing was negative except for original bloodwork which showed my immunogammaglobulins were out of wack and my ANA was slightly elevated. It was concluded by a neuromuscular specialist that I suffered from a post viral syndrome and she felt that I would slowly recover within a year . I am not confident that this is what caused these symptoms and am concerned that something is being overlooked. The diagnosis given was purely based on exclusion. I was using crutches, and a walker for the first 5 months and then for the final part of the year (7 months)I was in a wheelchair and unable to walk. I started walking in mid-December and have continued successfully without a great deal of pain until now. The past few days I feel the symptoms cropping up again and I am not sure if it is normal for this to happen after such a long illness and recovery. The weather is very damp here and It may be just a temporary setback, but I am searching for anyone who may have had this or knows someone who did. I need advice on how to deal with the pain. Can I recover from these neuropathies? Thanks all.
Scared to pieces.
Avatar universal
I thought it was very interesting that you have a "shaking" vibration in your head... I have had SEVERE vertigo for many years and I have had a feeling as well, like a vibration in the brain... When this happens, it almost feels like some sort of a seizure to me... I also feel as if I am moving across the room "real fast"...   It will last for a brief time and be mild to severe ( in sensation).. I have explained this to many doctors over the years and they just say, hummm, never heard of that... So, I really do not know what is the cause. I occationally get really bad pain in my neck and wonder, if due to poor posture over the years (??) it might have something to do with my neck area... ANYONE out there feel the same...? This vibrating feeling in the head is to weird....
Avatar universal
I have these vibrations also, but only when I first wake up.

Not all the time tho' I have some neck problems..bone spurs DDD and junk going on. I think the docs blame all my symtoms on this. Maybe they are righ I just dont know anymore.
Avatar universal
The internal vibrations sure do a number on your sense of control with your body connection.  I used to lie on the couch with a cold cloth over my head and pray that they would just stop.  I thought I was going out of my mind.  The worse thing is that they aren't detectible by a doctor and they think you are psychotic.  My family also thought I was making up all these weird symptoms, buzzing, stabbing pain, numbness, pins and needles.  My finger nails feel like they are being squeezed in a vice. I can't walk properly and my speech is affected.  If you first met me, you would probably think she has been sipping all day.  I am female, age 60, and had no known health problems until I came down with a virus in 2002.  They have ruled out Lyme and I have had four MRI's, EMG and an EEG, which were all normal. So, I have an undiagnosed neurological condition.  Like so many others, without a diagnosis, you are kind of lost in the maze, and have to fend for yourself.  However I knew what a normal life once was and my sympathies go out to the other people also affected by these weird troubling symptoms, while at the same time trying to keep our sanity.  God Bless and hang in there.  
Avatar universal
Yes, what you describe is similiar to mine - I had to describe it to a consultant recently and I couldn't find the words, I said; It's like an electric shock or spasm, or it feels like my brain is shaking ( he looked weirdly at me when I said that) or it feels like you are been pushed from behind and you have to reach out and grab something before you fall over - He never mentioned vertigo, although this came to me, because there is a family history of it.  
Anyway I'm booked for an MRI on the 14th - it may bring up something - although I had an MRI before and it was perfectly normal.  It is a hard thing to describe, but seizure or vibrations, it is scary when it happens.  

The neck thing is interesting too, because I always wake with a pain in my neck and can never get my head into a comfortable position at night - I regularly buy new pillows, special ones, fluffy ones, orthpediac it doesn't seem to make a difference.

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