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Pulsing or Throbbing Muscles, Pulsing or Throbbing Sensation - Anxiety Symptoms

Jim Folk author
Written by: Jim Folk.
Medically reviewed by: Marilyn Folk, BScN.
Last updated: February 9, 2021

Pulsing or throbbing muscles, Pulsing or throbbing sensation descriptions:

  • You may feel a pulsing sensation in one or more muscles or groups of muscles, or parts of the body.
  • This pulsing throbbing feeling can be a slow, mild, rhythmic pulsing or throbbing, or may feel like a rapid gentle tremor-like sensation, or a combination of these sensations.
  • This pulsing throbbing feeling may be visible to the eye, or not visible at all.

This pulsing throbbing feeling can persistently affect one area only, can shift and affect another area or areas, and can migrate all over and affect many areas over and over again.

This pulsing throbbing feeling can come and go rarely, occur frequently, or persist indefinitely. For example, you may feel a pulsing throbbing feeling once in a while and not that often, feel it off and on, or feel it all the time.

This pulsing throbbing feeling may precede, accompany, or follow an escalation of other anxiety sensations and symptoms, or occur by itself.

This pulsing throbbing feeling can precede, accompany, or follow an episode of nervousness, anxiety, fear, and elevated stress, or occur ‘out of the blue’ and for no apparent reason.

This pulsing throbbing feeling can range in intensity from slight, to moderate, to severe. It can also come in waves, where it’s strong one moment and eases off the next.

This pulsing throbbing feeling can change from day to day, and/or from moment to moment.

All of the above combinations and variations are common.

This pulsing throbbing sensation can be more noticeable when resting, relaxing, or when trying to go to sleep.

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What causes the anxiety symptom pulsing throbbing sensation?

Medical Advisory

Anxiety causes the body to produce the stress response (also known as the fight or flight response). The stress response adversely affects the body's nervous system, which is responsible for the nerve impulses that cause muscle movements. When the nervous system becomes overly stressed, it can act in erratic and more involuntary ways. Experiencing pulsing throbbing muscles and/or muscle groups is an example of this erratic and more involuntary behavior.

How to get rid of the anxiety symptom?

Because this symptom is just a symptom of elevated stress, it needn't be a cause for concern. It's not dangerous and is generally not an indication of something more serious. This pulsing throbbing sensation will subside when you reduce your body's stress and give your body ample time to calm down. As your body's stress returns to a normal level, symptoms of stress subside, including the pulsing throbbing anxiety symptom. Therefore, this anxiety symptom needn't be a cause for concern.

For a more detailed explanation about all anxiety symptoms, why symptoms can persist long after the stress response has ended, common barriers to recovery and symptom elimination, and more recovery strategies and tips, we have many chapters that address this information in the Recovery Support area of our website.

The combination of good self-help information and working with an experienced anxiety disorder therapist is the most effective way to address anxiety disorder and its many symptoms. Until the core causes of anxiety are addressed - the underlying factors that motivate apprehensive behavior - a struggle with anxiety disorder can return again and again. Identifying and successfully addressing anxiety's underlying factors is the best way to overcome problematic anxiety.

Additional Resources:

Return to Anxiety Disorders Symptoms section.

anxietycentre.com: Information, support, and therapy for anxiety disorder and its symptoms, including the anxiety symptom pulsing throbbing.