Chest twitching

Chest twitching

 

Experiencing a chest twitching  can be very uncomfortable and irritating however what causes chest twitching , and could it indicate an underlying health condition? A chest twitch is caused when a muscle twitches due to an involuntary contraction of the fibers that make up a muscle. As we know nerves control the muscle fibers so actually when something stimulates or damages the  nerve, it causes the muscle fibers to contract which results  in a twitch furthermore. A person can  see or feel this chest twitching below the skin.

Down below I have tried to explain numerous causes of muscle twitches, mostly the reasons for them are harmless though no doubt some are more serious. Below you can find ways  to treat and prevent these twitches.

 

What are the common causes of chest twitching?

How to diagnosis Chest twitching?

When to see a doctor for Chest twitching?

 

 

What are the common causes of chest twitching?

  • Coronary artery spasm

It’s  a sudden tightening of the muscle within the arteries of the heart. When this happens , the arteries narrow and then prevent blood from flowing to the heart. Coronary artery spasms are very short lived or we can see brief and mostly temporary. But they can potentially lead to further serious heart complications, like a heart attack.

A person is more  likely to have these spasms if has other conditions which can affect the heart, like high cholesterol or high blood pressure. Coronary artery spasms are also called coronary artery contractions. Coronary artery spasms may also happen  in people who have atherosclerosis, it’s  a condition which occurs when plaque builds up inside the arteries, blocking blood flow and leading to hypoxia.

  • Overexertion

Strain or overuse of a muscle during exercise or during any other activity can cause twitches. As we know when a person exercises vigorously or for a long period of time , they can experience muscle twitching .

There have been many studies and they have suggested this twitching may happen after exercise for two reasons which are :

  • Firstly, to mention this exercise in general can lead to muscle fatigue and this fatigue in return triggers twitching and cramping in the overworked muscle fibers.
  • Secondly, vigorous exercise can  cause an electrolyte imbalance through sweating. No doubt electrolytes play an important role in muscle contraction. An electrolyte loss within the muscle fibers can trigger this twitching. Most commonly arms and legs are more common places to experience muscle twitching that are caused by overexertion  , this is because most worked muscles are most likely to twitch, which can include the following muscles the calf, thigh, or biceps, depending on the exercise but this exertion can cause a chest twitch too not that commonly but for sure can.
  • Not getting enough sleep

This is known to us that brain chemicals, or neurotransmitters, play a role in transmitting information from the brain to the nerves which control muscle contraction. Sleep deprivation can have an affect on how neurotransmitter receptors work. This means excess neurotransmitters may build up in the brain which can lead to twitching in general. Most common place to experience muscle twitching due to tiredness or lack of sleep is  in the eyelid but it can happen in chest too or else where in the body.

Dehydration

We know muscle mass is made up to 75 percent water. Water also helps to carry nutrients and minerals from other places to muscles to support their function.If a person does not drink enough water, they can develop dehydration and this dehydration may lead to muscle twitching

  • Caffeine

Having too much coffee, tea, or energy drinks which contain caffeine can cause twitching because caffeine is a stimulant. And when a person has too much of it, this can stimulate muscle twitching anywhere in the body including the chest twitching.

  • Calcium deficiency

The body needs to have calcium in order to support proper muscle function. Having calcium deficiency can lead to muscle twitching including a chest twitch, the deficiency of calcium is called hypocalcemia.People can consume dairy products, soya bean, tofu, nuts, and leafy greens to get the calcium.

  • Stress and anxiety

Experiencing psychological stress or even anxiety can prompt excess muscle tension and can  lead to twitching in anywhere in body including chest.

  • Certain medications

There are some medications that can lead to involuntary muscle twitching. This twitch reaction can be a side effect or due to interactions with other drugs. People should discuss side effects and drug interactions with the doctor when taking a new medication while being on other medication already.

  • Vitamin D deficiency

Nerves need some amount of vitamin D to carry messages to and from the brain to the body’s muscles. Having a vitamin D deficiency can cause muscle weakness and twitching too. Some causes of vitamin D deficiency include lack of exposure to sun light and diet lacking vitamin D.

  • Magnesium deficiency

Magnesium is a mineral that plays a role in keeping the nerves and muscles healthy. It helps in transporting  calcium across cell membranes to support nerve and muscle function. Having  magnesium deficiency can lead to muscle twitching anywhere in the body, including the face and chest . It’s deficiency is called  as hypomagnesemia.

Causes of magnesium deficiency include following:

  • Poor diet
  • Drinking alcohol
  • Diarrhea

Possible serious causes ; Chest twitching that is not explained by one of the common causes mentioned above may indicate an underlying health condition which can be serious too. Health conditions which can lead to muscle twitching include following:

  • Pinched spinal nerve

A pinched spinal nerve called radiculopathy, can cause muscle twitching and spasms there are other symptoms which include a tingling or numb feeling in the foot or leg. Herniated disk can cause a pinched nerve, which is mostly the result of trauma. When the disk in the spine is damaged by any means it may squeeze the root of the corresponding nerve leading to twitching in anywhere in the body

  • Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis

ALS is a very rare neurological condition and we know that twitching may be a sign of a this degenerative neurological condition. ALS is a conditions which causes a person’s nerve cell function to deteriorate gradually over time. Nerve cells are responsible for controlling  person’s voluntary muscle function, that allows people to move. So when a person’s neurons stop functioning, their muscles are not able to work in proper manner . This causes following:

  • Muscle weakness
  • Muscle twitching
  • Muscle wastage
  • Lupus

Muscle twitching may be a sign of lupus, however it’s important to mention it’s not that common. Lupus is an autoimmune condition where a person’s body mistakenly attacks  the healthy tissue and causes self harm .Lupus may cause inflammation of few  muscle groups and this inflammation is known as myositis. Twitching is a outcome of myositis.

  • Multiple sclerosis

Rarely, twitching can also  be a sign of multiple sclerosis . It’s a degenerative condition which affects a person’s central nervous system, common symptom  is spasticity. Spasticity is when muscles become stiff and contract involuntarily without any control . Muscle twitching can be a sign of this spasticity.

Other symptoms of MS include following:

  • Fatigue
  • Numbness or tingling
  • Weakness
  • Dizziness
  • Chronic pain
  • Changes in cognition
  • Difficulty in walking
  • Vision problems

 

How to diagnosis Chest twitching?

  • A proper detailed history will help the doctor, the doctor may ask a person to discuss when their muscle twitching started, how often it happens, and how it feels after twitching or during twitching. He will also ask about related symptoms.
  • If the doctor suspect's that a person’s muscle twitching is due to an underlying condition, they will give the individual a series of tests according to the symptoms. This may include electromyography it's a test to assess muscle and nerve function.
  • echocardiogram, it's  an ultrasound test that uses sound waves to create pictures of the heart this test is used to measure the electrical activity of the heart to check for any abnormality
  • coronary angiography, it's a special X-ray test that uses dye to see inside the arteries and measure blood flow through the heart.

 

When to see a doctor for Chest twitching?

  • If someone experiences chest twitching which one of the common causes above mentioned  cannot easily explain, they should speak to their doctor immediately.
  • It is always better to speak to the doctor if muscle twitching occurs alongside other associated  symptoms.
  • Especially if one suspect’s Coronary artery spasm he should see a doctor as in few cases it can lead to a heart attack.

 

Outlook

Twitching has many everyday common causes which are not serious like Caffeine over load, exertion , exercise. People can very easily treat these causes at home and prevent them too through specific simple lifestyle changes. Some causes of muscle twitching are very serious, however  these conditions are mostly rare.

If a doctor diagnoses someone with a degenerative condition, like MS or ALS, through series of tests they will help them to manage their symptoms as these conditions have no cure, the right treatment plan can help in ensuring  a person maintains a good quality of life at least

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