Chest Pain Anxiety Symptoms
Chest Pain Anxiety Symptoms description:
- Chest pain anxiety symptoms can feel like a pain, sharp shooting pains, or persistent chest pain in the chest area.
- It can also feel like you have muscle twitches and spasm in the chest.
- It can also feel like you have a burning, numbness, stabbing pain, an uneasiness, fullness, or pressure in the chest area.
- Some describe it as having a chest tension, odd pressure, or sharp pains in the chest and abdomen areas.
- Some describe it as having a persistent radiating and migrating pain in the chest and upper back.
Chest pain anxiety symptoms can persistently affect one area of the chest only, can shift and affect another area or areas of the chest, and can migrate all over the chest area.
Chest pain anxiety symptoms can come and go rarely, occur frequently, or persist indefinitely. For example, you may feel chest pain once and a while and not that often, feel it off and on, or feel chest pain all the time.
Chest pain anxiety symptoms may precede, accompany, or follow an escalation of other anxiety sensations and symptoms, or occur by itself.
Chest pain anxiety symptoms 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.
Chest pain anxiety symptoms 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.
Chest pain anxiety symptoms can change from day to day, and/or from moment to moment.
All of the above combinations and variations are common.
Chest pain anxiety symptoms can seem more disconcerting when undistracted or when trying to rest or go to sleep.
Chest pain anxiety is common among overly anxious people.
Because there are many medical conditions that can cause anxiety and anxiety-like sensations and symptoms, including this one, we recommend that all new, changing, persistent, and returning symptoms be discussed with your doctor. If your doctor concludes that your sensations and symptoms are solely stress related (including anxiety-caused stress), you can be confident that there isn't another medical reason for them. Generally, most doctors can easily tell the difference between stress- and anxiety-caused sensations and symptoms from those caused by other medical conditions.
If you are uncertain about your doctor's diagnosis, however, you may want to seek a second and even third opinion. But if all three opinions concur, you can be assured that stress (including the stress that being overly anxious can cause) is the cause of your sensations and symptom, including this one, and not some other medical or biological problem.
What causes chest pain anxiety symptoms?
Behaving anxiously activates the stress response. The stress response immediately causes specific physiological, psychological, and emotional changes in the body that enhance the body's ability to deal with a threat - to either fight with or flee from it - which is the reason the stress response is often referred to as the fight or flight response.
Part of the stress response changes include tightening the body's muscles so that they are more resilient to damage. This can include the muscles in the chest area and rib cage. This chest pain symptom is an example of how the chest and rib cage muscles can feel when we're anxious.
When stress responses occur infrequently, the body can recover relatively quickly from the physiological, psychological, and emotional changes the stress response brings about. When stress responses occur too frequently and/or dramatically, however, the body has a more difficult time recovering, which can result in the body remaining in a semi hyperstimulated state, since stress hormones are stimulants. A body that becomes stress-response hyperstimulated can exhibit similar sensations and symptoms to that of an active stress response. This symptom is an example of why the body can experience symptoms simply from being overly stressed.
Moreover, stomach and intestinal distress can also cause chest pain symptoms. Another part of the stress response changes affect how the stomach and digestive system function. So being overly anxious can cause stomach and intestinal upset, which can cause chest pain.
How to get rid of chest pain anxiety symptoms?
When chest pains anxiety symptoms are caused by an active stress response (triggered by being anxious, nervous, apprehensive), calming yourself down will bring an end to the stress response, which will bring an end to the stress response changes. As your body recovers from the stress response changes, anxiety chest pain symptoms should subside. Keep in mind that it can take up to 20 minutes or more for the body to recover from a major stress response. But this is normal and shouldn't be a cause for concern.
When chest pain symptoms are caused by persistently elevated stress, it may take a lot more time for the body to recover and to the point where these chest pain symptoms subside. We talk more about this scenario in the Recovery Support area of our website.
When the body has fully recovered from being anxious and stressed, chest pain anxiety symptoms completely disappear. Therefore, anxiety chest pain needn't be a cause for concern.
You can speed up the recovery process by reducing your stress, practicing relaxed breathing, increasing your rest and relaxation, and not worrying about this chest pain symptom. Again, when your body has recovered from the stress response and/or sustained stress, anxiety chest pain symptoms completely disappear.
If your anxiety chest pain is caused by stomach and/or digestive system upset, there are some over-the-counter digestive aids that can relieve anxiety-caused stomach and digestive upset while your body is recovering from stress-response hyperstimulation.
If these remedies aren't working, you may want to connect with our Natural Nutritional Therapist for nutritional support. Oftentimes are diets are contributing, if not entirely causing, our digestive problems. Making healthy dietary change can make a world of difference.
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, coach, or counselor is the most effective way to overcome anxiety and its many symptoms. Until the core causes of anxiety are addressed - we call these core causes the underlying factors of anxiety - a struggle with anxiety unwellness can return again and again. Dealing with the underlying factors of anxiety is the best way to eliminate problematic anxiety and its symptoms once and for all.
For more information about our Anxiety Therapy, Coaching, Counseling option; our Available Anxiety Therapists; to Book An Appointment with one of our anxiety therapists; common Anxiety Symptoms; our anxiety Recovery Support area; common Anxiety Myths; and our Anxiety 101 section; or click on the appropriate graphic below:
Return to our anxiety symptoms page.
Authors: Jim Folk, Marilyn Folk, BScN. Last updated June 2015.