Ask the expert


Fluttering in lower back of ribs

I have been experiencing fluttering sensation at the lower back of my ribs on the left side - what could be causing this?

1 March 2021

Thank you for contacting us with your question. In terms of the symptoms you’ve been experiencing, there are several possible reasons why this may be happening, one of the most common being muscle fasciculations, better known as twitching. Your rib cage is overlapped by a layer of muscles and overexcitement in an area of muscle can lead to a sensation of fluttering just as you describe.

The next most common cause of a fluttering feeling in the lower left rib area is thought to be due to activity and movement in the stomach and intestines, which lay directly beneath this area.

Thirdly, as the heart also lies within this region it’s possible that the fluttering is related to a rapid or abnormal heart rhythm (or palpitations) and this can be easily checked for you by your GP.

Under the circumstances it would be best to arrange to see your GP to discuss this sensation. They will check your pulse and listen to your heart and be able to eliminate this as a cause, or arrange to treat any underlying problem if one is identified. Rapid or abnormal heart rhythms are more commonly experienced in the chest and/or throat so this is less likely to be an issue for you but it’s worth checking, if only to put your mind at rest.

We do hope this information will be of use and good luck in getting this resolved.

Answered by the Health at Hand nurses.  

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