Pounding heart when laying down

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Submitted by Dr T on February 29, 2012 – 9:58am

Question: 
Whenever I lay down flat on my stomach my heart pounds so hard that I can feel it in my chest, neck and head for up to several minutes.  I can hear it pounding so much that it makes it difficult to hear other things.  I seem to remember it happening to some degree for a very long time but it seems to be more prominent now. I am a 30 year old female. My blood pressure is mostly normal though I have had some elevated readings at appointments occasionally.

Hi A,
You need to see your doctor and be tested under those conditions. I cannot judge whether you just feel your heart more because it drops a little closer to your chest wall when laying prone, or whether you have an abnormal heart rhythm. Your heart is protected within your chest cavity by your pericardium (heart sack), which normally has a little fluid in it that acts as a buffer when your body shifts position. This allows for some heart motion that also normally occurs when your heart is beating and contracting.

Hope this helps,

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