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Rubbing sound/sensation in lower throat/upper chest

For the past four years, I've experienced a strange rubbing sound/sensation in my lower throat/upper chest area.  It occurs only whenever I twist my torso from side to side, such as when exercising, or quickly turning to the side via pivoting at the waist.  It feels & sounds like something is causing friction.  I cannot pinpoint where it is coming from, but it seems to be my lower throat/upper chest, somewhere around collarbone level.  It seems to be located within the windpipe or esophagus.  There's no pain, just a friction/rubbing sound and sensation.  The sound is especially audible if I open my mouth while twisting my torso.
Three years ago I saw my Dr about it and she ordered a chest CT scan, which was clear.  My concern is that the scan began at lung level and didn't cover my lower throat area, and that's where I think this is coming from.  I'm also concerned because since then, it has become much more pronounced...I used to only hear/feel it when I was rotating vigorously (like when doing aerobic workout), but now I hear/feel it whenever I'm simply doing daily activities and happen to turn or twist at the waist.  
Any thoughts on what this may be, or the cause?  
I have no sore throat or hoarseness or any other throat/esophagus symptoms.  I do have very occasional heartburn that responds easily to Zantac.  
Thank you very much.
236 Responses
Avatar universal
I am going through something real similar.  It is amplified at night.  At first I thought it was athma, but after many attempts of taking my inhaler, it continued unchanged.  Some nights the noise is high pitched, others it is of medium pitch. I try coughing or drinking but the throat noise does not go away or even change it.  I can tell it is not in my lungs, but in my throat.  I can breathe shallow and minimize the noise but I feel out of breath then.  My daughters say this wheeze is not my snore.They say I wheeze before the snore on intake and then exhale.  I hear the noise during the day but I really have to listen to hear it as there is always too much back ground noise.  I have already had my soft palet surgery for sleep apnea years ago with great success, but this noise is new and annoying.
Avatar universal
hi, I also have this noise that seems to echo from somewhere below my neck and out of my mouth if it's open on twisting at the waist,which is quite scary seeing as with you I am just doing normal functions, I have showed people this including my local G.P and they all say I am breathing when infact I am holding my breath and the noise is just echoing out of my open mouth, very frustrating seeing I have had chronic neck/jaw/chest pain for 2 and a half years and have been unable to work and lead a normal life, my local G.P has refered me to numerous departments at the hospital over the 2 and a half years from head and neck specialist to nueromuscular. I have only just recently managed to get anyone to look below the neck to see if the pain could possibly be stemming from elsewhere, so I am waiting for the results from a lung x-ray and a spinal and neck M.R.I, still I have mentioned this noise to every department I have been to and they all say they have never heard of such a thing, they don't even ask me to show it to them, after typing in numerous different combinations of rubbing noises into the search engine this was the only mention I could find about this sort of noise, so if you find an answer to it I would appreciate hearing back from you
Avatar universal
Count me in too.  I have these nosies daily now and more pronounced ...or shall I say, I can hear them more at night.  I tried coughing to get rid of them but no such luck.  On some rare occasions I can turn over in bed and they are less pronounced.  They are not a snore but a noise that can have a musical overture to them.  One time it sounded like a freight train and then a boat whistle.  There is no pain.  It is coming from the throat or just below the throat.  Telling a doctor...is useless.  I would just get the look....LOL  I do have 4 heart stents and I do have reflux/gerd.
Avatar universal
Hello everyone! The same thing happens to me. Just last week I discovered this rubbing sound that seems to be coming from my upper chest. I hold my breath but it sound like I'm breathing but I'm not, the sound is more audible when my mouth is open. It's scary and like some of you said you can't really hear it if there's a lot of noise around but my sister and my mom were able to hear it. If any of you find an answer please post it here. Thank you!!  
Avatar universal
Hi there, I have had the exact same problem you folks have described.   I first noticed it about 3 to 4 years ago and have never mentioned it to anyone.  I am 29/m/ 6'0 155lbs. Did you happen to find any answers?
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Just wondering if you heard anything back on this strange breathing sound.
Avatar universal
Exactly the same sensation/sound is happening to me. I hear it when I twist my body when I am exercising. I've had it for a few months now. I've also had hives since March and wonder if it's connected some how. Did you ever find out the cause?
Avatar universal
I have had this same sensation for about a year now. When I twist my body and open my mouth there is like a hollow rubbing sound that somes out and then it makes me cough. I went to the Dr and  showed him and he said in all of his 38 years in practice he has never seen this. I told him its keeping me from certain forms of exercising. He said if its bothering me to just not twist like that. I paid my co-pay and left. Have you found out anything? Thank you
Avatar universal
I'm in the same boat, good to hear there are others out there! 10 days ago I swallowed a chicken bone, the sound seemed to appear at the same time although it could well be coincidental, I was just moving around to try and move the bone, twisting at the waist certainly amplified the sound. I went for a chest x-ray and an endoscope to check the oesophagus but there was no bone to be seen. The noise is still there however so I think they may be unrelated. Does anyone remember swallowing anything that may have damaged the oesophagus?
Avatar universal
I have been experiencing the same problems that I see you all are discussing.  The noise coming from what to me appears to be my chest area.  I have been to my family doctor and also discussed this issue with my gynecologist to no avail.  I have had a chest x-ray, which came back normal.  I do have symptoms of anxiety.  As a matter of fact my pulse rate gets to 98-100 and I start feeling light headed at times.  Also I feel if I take off my bra I feel much better.  It feels as if it is squeezing me. I was on a medication for anxiety, but stopped it because  I am now on Chantix.  I don't like taking pills anyway so I did not want to take those 2 at the same time.  I know Chantix has a lot of side effects also, but this problem with the noise in my chest started over 2 years ago.  I also have been diagnosed with costochondritis.  So that makes it even more difficult to figure out what is going on.  PLEASE if anyone has any answers or suggestions let me know!
Avatar universal
I have had this same issue for about 2 years now -- it's the same as most of you have described; I hear it when I twist or move my torso from side to side.  If any of you find out anything, I would greatly appreciate any information at all. Thanks a lot!
Avatar universal
this exact thing is happening to me. I twist to crack my back and I hear a hollow rubbing sound and feel almost an extra breath. no pain, no cracks.... it's really freaking me out.
anyone know what it is?
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