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Getting fluttering sensation on lower back. Looking for solution

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Practicing since : 2007
Answered : 1201 Questions
I feel this flutter sensation in my back near where the ribs end on my left side. I know it's not a strain. It just started this morning and I'm not having any other symptoms. Also, it comes and goes and doesn't matter what position I'm in.
Posted Sun, 26 May 2013 in Bones, Muscles and Joints
Answered by Dr. Jorge Brenes-Salazar 2 hours later

Thanks for sharing your health concerns.

It could be related to a spasm of one of the small muscles of the region (intercostals, serratus anterior) that is intermittently contracting. If there is pain associated, perhaps a short course (3-5 days) of acetaminophen or ibuprofen can help. If it persists, then you should be seen and examined by a provider looking for other causes.

Hope this helps with your query, wish you the best health,

Dr Brenes-Salazar
Mayo Clinic MN, USA
Above answer was peer-reviewed by
Follow-up: Getting fluttering sensation on lower back. Looking for solution 3 hours later
Thanks for your reply. I just have a few more questions. From what I can find online my problem seems to be a little lower around the Serratus Posterior Interior area, but not towards the surface-deeper. I've had spasms before and it feels different than a contracting sensation...more like a pulsating feeling-not really like a heart beat...could this be suggestive of an aneurysm? I know it's hard to diagnose through email but I appreciate your response and suggestions.
Answered by Dr. Jorge Brenes-Salazar 12 hours later
Thanks for the follow up question.

Given the anatomical location of the sensation, it would be quite unusual for an aneurysm, mainly an aortic aneurysm, to be pulsating in that region. The aorta courses posteriorly in the medisatinum next to the spine and then in retroperitoneum in the abdomen again next to the spine. Intercostal arteries can have anuerysms, but they are quite rare, and usually follow trauma or surgical procedures.

Given location, potentially it could be the point of maximum impulse (PMI) of the heart, and the sensation being a mechanical transmission of the heart beat; a relatively easy way to figure that out would be to take your own pulse (in the neck) at the time you experience those pulsations, if they are concordant, then the possibility of being a transmitted heart beat is higher.

Like you say, it is difficult to come to a definite conclusion without a physical examination, thus if the symptoms persist or worsen I would advise to contact a provider who can perform a physical.

Wish you the best health,

Dr Brenes-Salazar
Mayo Clinic Rochester
Above answer was peer-reviewed by
Follow-up: Getting fluttering sensation on lower back. Looking for solution 33 hours later
Thank You so much for the information and advice!
Answered by Dr. Jorge Brenes-Salazar 14 hours later
Most welcome! Wish you the best health,

Dr Brenes-Salazar MD
Above answer was peer-reviewed by
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