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De Musset's Sign (Head Bobbing) - Anyone?


targs66
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I don't have POTS - I have neurally-mediated hypotension and pretty severe CFS. I have been going through a bad patch since mid-July, probably triggered by anxiety/stress (the source of which is still unresolved).

Like with any flare, all of my usual symptoms, especially unremitting exhaustion and weakness, have been worse. However, one thing that is relatively new is almost-constant head bobbing in time with my heartbeat. I've had this before, but it only seemed to occur when I was especially tired or had overdone it. It's now almost constant (as I sit here typing, it's doing it).

I've looked it up, and I think it's referred to as "De Musset's Sign." It's not an extreme motion; just a gentle bobbing of my head in synch with my heartbeat. I am able to stop it if I consciously hold my head still, but if I'm relaxed, it starts. I've said for ages that my heart "pounds" (not tachycardia - my HR rarely goes over 80 - but a feeling that my heart is really thumping in my chest). The heart pounding is especially bad when I'm lying down trying to sleep; of course, my head doesn't bob then!

A bit more online research indicates that this can be a sign of aortic insufficiency or aortic regurgitation. However, I had an echocardiogram done last January that was supposedly normal.

Is this yet another one of those "don't worry about it" things?? Any insight would be greatly appreciated.

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I have experienced this symptom. It's not my head only, but my upper body will gently rock in time with the heartbeat. I don't think it would be visible to others, but I can feel it. I do have tachycardia with the POTS, but also get the hard heartbeats you describe. The heart feels like it's beating forcefully with lots of pressure in the chest, but it's not going fast. I also feel pulsing in time with my heartbeats in other parts of my body like my back, neck, or abdomen. Sorry - I have no insight, but can relate to the symptom.

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Head-bobbing can be a sign of parasympathetic involvement - look up information on "essential tremors" - it kind of sounds like that but, I'm not the expert - I had a friend with this type of symptom and I've worked with at least 2 other females who have had them -

Irregular, pounding heart beat is also a symptom of dysautonomia. When cardiac nervous tissue is involved, you can have "pounding", irregular beats, and funky rhythms - In my case, my heart has slowed down and some of my normal pathways are gone so, the electrical impulses jump around trying to find an open pathway in which to travel causing pounding, and many irregular rhythms - unnerving at times and always annoying....

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Thanks Naomi - interesting that you have this symptom, too (we seem to share a number of symptoms). Oddly, you can see the motion of my head (my husband verifies it). The other day I made a (rare) excursion to the hairdresser and could see in the mirror that my head was gently nodding.

Thanks, too, ESoskis - I'll do some homework and look into essential tremors.

I suppose this may just end up in the list of "other weird symptoms that hopefully won't kill me."

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  • 6 years later...
On 10/25/2012 at 7:10 AM, targs66 said:

I don't have POTS - I have neurally-mediated hypotension and pretty severe CFS. I have been going through a bad patch since mid-July, probably triggered by anxiety/stress (the source of which is still unresolved).

Like with any flare, all of my usual symptoms, especially unremitting exhaustion and weakness, have been worse. However, one thing that is relatively new is almost-constant head bobbing in time with my heartbeat. I've had this before, but it only seemed to occur when I was especially tired or had overdone it. It's now almost constant (as I sit here typing, it's doing it).

I've looked it up, and I think it's referred to as "De Musset's Sign." It's not an extreme motion; just a gentle bobbing of my head in synch with my heartbeat. I am able to stop it if I consciously hold my head still, but if I'm relaxed, it starts. I've said for ages that my heart "pounds" (not tachycardia - my HR rarely goes over 80 - but a feeling that my heart is really thumping in my chest). The heart pounding is especially bad when I'm lying down trying to sleep; of course, my head doesn't bob then!

A bit more online research indicates that this can be a sign of aortic insufficiency or aortic regurgitation. However, I had an echocardiogram done last January that was supposedly normal.

Is this yet another one of those "don't worry about it" things?? Any insight would be greatly appreciated.

Hi There did anybody ever figure out what it is? I really need to know. I’ve been suffering from this for 4 years. Doctors look at me like I came from a different planet. Lol. If somebody has some kind of info I would really appreciate it. 

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