Your heart supplies the viscera and tissues with oxygen and nutritional support. When the blood goes into the vessels, they dilate, and then narrow again. This recurrent jerky vibration is called pulse. It can be palpated on large arteries of the carotid, radial, femoral and some others.
When the heart contractions become very powerful, you can experience an extremely strong throbbing throughout the body, called the bounding pulse. It is sensed like chattering or rapid heart rate. As a rule, body beating has a short duration. A passing condition should not bother you, but if this happens regularly, you should seek medical advice.
To date, most of the bounding pulses do not require medical assistance and pass on its own. But from time to time a body beating can indicate a malignant health condition that requires urgent medical aid.
- Anxiety: a natural reaction to stressful conditions. Adrenaline and cortisone, stress hormones, accelerate heart contractions. If you have problems with stress and crisis, think about professional advice.
- Pregnancy: due to high blood pressure and increased blood circulation (since the mother carries the weight of her own and baby’s circulatory systems and delivery waters), your heart should beat more intense and faster.
- Fever: increasing the heart rate per beat per minute corresponds to an increase in temperature of 0.1℃ (0.25°F)
- Heart failure: the heart is unable to provide satisfactory blood supply and is forced to contract faster.
- Anemia: is characterized by a drop in the number of healthy red blood cells and hemoglobin. As a result, tissues do not get enough oxygen.
- Abnormal or irregular cardiac rhythms: arrhythmia occurs when electrical impulses that initiate heart contractions are not functioning correctly, causing the heart to beat too fast or too slowly or irregularly.
- Hyperthyroidism: occurs when the thyroid gland produces too many hormones and can provoke hypertension and a strong pulse.
- Hypertension: blood vessels become stiff and rigid, and the heart needs to strain the muscles to push the same volume of blood.
- Aortic valve insufficiency: when the aortic valve is damaged, some amount of blood comes back to the heart chambers, and your heart contracts intensively to accelerate blood circulation.
- Cardiopathy: the cardiac walls become rigid and cannot contract.
- Digitalis toxicity: condition occurs when the patient takes too many pills used to treat heart disease. To supply your tissues with oxygen, the heart begins to pump faster.
- Patent ductus arteriosus
- Aortopulmonary window
- Pulmonary heart
- Hepatic cirrhosis
- Vitamin deficiency
- Paget’s disease
You might feel that your heart is pumping faster and forcefully than usual. You might feel the pulse in your neck, hands, or even your whole body. You can easily palpate it on your arm or throat, and sometimes even see pulsating vessels under your skin. You might also feel like your heart beating is irregular, or that it might miss or add extra strokes.
Most of the bounding pulse goes back and forth for a short period of time and does not cause problems. Emergency medical aid is needed if you have a CVD in your medical history or if the bounding pulse is related to the following symptoms:
- Labored breathing and apnea
- Unconsciousness, stiffness, pressure, heaviness or pain in your neck, jaw, hands, precordial region, or upper back
These signs might be hits of a heart attack. Do not ignore them!
Diagnosis and treatment
Bounding pulse might give an idea of the main reason, but often this happens without any trigger. Preliminary history might also allow your GP to narrow down the proposed health problems. Palpation of the thyroid gland might be useful in overcoming off hyperthyroidism. First, CBC and simple urine test are recommended.
Another test might include:
- Hormone Panel. The test is performed to calculate the rate of various hormones and exclude the hormonal dysregulations.
- ECG and echocardiogram. The procedures are ordered to identify the function of the heart muscle, the validity of operation and possible valve diseases.
Usually, medical care is not required if your bounding pulse is not caused by any medical disorder.
Stress and anxiety are part of everyday life, and learning about its relief can be important. Use the following hints to reduce stress:
- Normalize the weight of your body. The excess weight might lead to bounding pulse, hypertension and diabetes mellitus.
- Walk regularly and join a gym or a swimming pool to lose weight and release endorphins. Thus, you will feel happier and relaxed.
- Get along with others and join local circles to keep motivated.
- Laugh more often.
- Spend time with beloved.
- Improve your sleep to brighten your mood and help your body and brain relax.
- Limit the amount of caffeine and energy drinks.
- Turn to a nutrition advisor to improve your diet.
- Avoid alcohol and reasonless medication.
- Meditate to calm your mind.
Ask your GP about stimulant medications that you can take and about any alternative options. Strive to adopt a healthy lifestyle and to avoid any conceivable causes of pulsations in the neck.
- Raval, Mehul V., et al. “Patent ductus arteriosus ligation in premature infants: who really benefits, and at what cost?.” Journal of pediatric surgery 42.1 (2007): 69-75.
- Durando, Mary M., and Lesley Elissa Young. “Cardiovascular examination and diagnostic techniques.” Current Therapy in Equine Medicine (Fifth Edition). 2003. 572-585.
- Frykberg, Robert G. “A summary of guidelines for managing the diabetic foot.” Advances in Skin & Wound Care 18.4 (2005): 209-214.