Medical Specialty >> Cardiology

Doctors Lounge - Cardiology Answers

Back to Cardiology Answers List

If you think you may have a medical emergency, call your doctor or 911 immediately. Doctors Lounge ( does not recommend or endorse any specific tests, physicians, products, procedures, opinions, or other information that may be mentioned on the Site. 

DISCLAIMER: The information provided on is designed to support, not replace, the relationship that exists between a patient/site visitor and his/her physician. Please read our 'Terms and Conditions of Use' carefully before using this site.

Date of last update: 10/20/2017.

Forum Name: Miscellaneous Cardiology Topics

Question: Coronary artery spasm?

 HNM - Thu Jan 29, 2009 12:57 am

I'm a little worried I'm hoping it's all for nothing, about a year ago I got this weird muscle spasm coming from my heart area. I'm only 19, I was 17 at the time so i honestly did not pay too much attention to it for it only happened about once every 2 or 3 months. It hasn't happened for about a year now and 2 weeks ago it happened again. Only this time instead of once every 2 or 3 months it happened once every 20 seconds. There's no pain involved no discomfort its just a weird feeling. when it happens it only lasts about a second and I'm not out of breathe or anything but if i look down at my chest i can see it moving as these spasms occur, I know this isn't normal. Ive gone to the doctor and they've taken tests, x rays, and EKG.. I just want others opinions what might this be? Ive had asthma until I was 12 other than that no other serious illness. I currently have high blood pressure for unknown reasons. I was born at 10 pounds my mother was diagnosed with gestational diabetes, yet they never told her until after I was born. When I was born my heart was racing and i was placed in an incubator. Til this day my heart still races at times, random times when I'm not doing anything, even faster when I'm involved in any sort of physical activity I hope this helps and hopefully someone has an answer for me or at least an idea..
 John Kenyon, CNA - Tue Feb 03, 2009 12:06 am

User avatar First, coronary artery spasm is excruciatingly painful as a rule, moreso even than usual pain due to heart disease. It also lasts, as a rule, for 15-20 minutes and can make you stop whatever you're doing. Second, it's not visible. What you describe sounds very much like what's called fasiculation, a spasmodic twitching of a voluntary muscle. These often occur in the muscles of the chest and abdomen, the eyelid, and the thigh. I have no idea why these areas seem more prone to this, but it's a relatively normal, very common complaint and usually means nothing.

If you're ever concerned this might be happening due to a rapid or irregular heartbeat (most people would feel that from the inside, but some do not), simply place your hand gently over the area that's twitching while simultaneously feeling your pulse in your neck or temple. If the heartbeat is regular and reasonable of rate (between 60-100) and the twitching isn't in synch with the heartbeat, then that's not what's causing it. I''m quite sure it's not anyway, but this is one thing you can do to separate the sensation from your heart, as it is most likely fasiculation of a small area of chest muscle.

I hope this helps address your concern. Good luck to you.
 babbs1st - Sat Aug 01, 2009 5:31 am

Hi I have exactly the same it's as if my whole heart is jumping like a huge jolt and I can see mine too it's like when a baby moves inside you really freaks me out
 John Kenyon, CNA - Mon Aug 03, 2009 11:17 am

User avatar For babbs1st: While you and the earlier poster may both be having voluntary muscle fasiculation, what you describe (you specifically mention your heart and the "jolt" sensation) sounds a little more like premature ventricular contractions (PVCs), which are really common and relatively normal, but can be extremely unpleasant sensations, and which often are related to caffeine intake, stress, fatigue, digestion, etc. They are normal and harmless but can really feel scary at times til they become frequent enough that one becomes used to them.

Hope this is helpful. Good luck to you.
 babbs1st - Mon Aug 03, 2009 2:49 pm

thank you very much yes it does seem like the heart is doing a summersult but with no pain at all it is rather scary though as to look at you would think a baby was in there turning 180degres lol the only thing im worried about is my dr wants to put me on concerta for adhd and im 40 and get these jolts will it be ok please

| Check a doctor's response to similar questions

Are you a Doctor, Pharmacist, PA or a Nurse?

Join the Doctors Lounge online medical community

  • Editorial activities: Publish, peer review, edit online articles.

  • Ask a Doctor Teams: Respond to patient questions and discuss challenging presentations with other members.

Doctors Lounge Membership Application

Tools & Services: Follow DoctorsLounge on Twitter Follow us on Twitter | RSS News | Newsletter | Contact us