Can Anxiety Cause Chest Pain? Know Truth in 5 Minutes

Can Anxiety Cause Chest Pain? Know Truth in 5 Minutes

One of the looming questions at the back of our minds in this modern era is: “Can anxiety cause chest pain?”

The chances are that if you’re one of the 40 million Americans who suffer from a severe anxiety condition, you’ve also gone through physical or emotional symptoms, especially if you’ve had a panic attack or other anxiety-related episodes in addition to mental and emotional ones.

The physical signs of anxiety can sometimes be uncomfortable, frightening, and painful. Unusual Pain in and around the chest is one symptom that can be particularly troubling.

1. What is Anxiety?

Anxiety is a mood disorder that can range from mild to severe and includes feelings of concern or fear. Anxiety is a common emotion that affects everyone occasionally. For instance, an exam, a medical checkup, or a job interview could cause you to feel apprehensive.

 1.1)  Explanation:

Some people who suffer from anxiety experience this sensation frequently during anxiety or panic attacks and question Can anxiety cause chest pain? It is reasonable that soreness in this area could make you anxious because the chest is home to vital organs like the heart and lungs.

Sadly, this may increase anxiety even more. Instead, we wrote this manual to help you relax. You’ll discover in this article the causes, symptoms, duration, treatment options, and more of anxiety chest discomfort. Additionally, you will find the distinction between chest shooting pain brought on by anxiety and chest pain brought on by a heart attack and when you should consult a doctor.

Yes. Chest tightness/ pain is a common symptom of anxiety, mainly when the condition is acute or when panic attacks occur.

Even though it can be unpleasant and painful, anxiety patients can find some solace in knowing that there is a physiological explanation for this unsettling symptom: Your brain and body are attempting to defend you from an actual or imagined stressor.

2. How Does Anxiety Contribute to Chest Pain?

Chest pain is a common symptom of panic and anxiety episodes. While anxiety attacks can be less severe, they are similar. While panic attacks can occur without a clear trigger, anxiety attacks typically have a connection to a particular stimulus in the person’s life. Stress hormones, which set off a person’s fight-or-flight reaction, are to blame for the symptoms in both situations. However, it can also signify a heart attack or pericarditis, so a person should seek immediate medical attention.

Additionally, this results in other symptoms like respiratory problems. Frequent panic attacks or worry episodes may indicate an anxiety/mental disorder. Anxiety disorders come in various forms, including panic disorder and generalized anxiety disorder.

To determine whether a patient has one of these diseases, a doctor must confirm that their symptoms align with those listed in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders. Panic disorder, PTSD, generalized anxiety disorder, particular phobias, and other mental disorders fall under anxiety.

3. Symptoms of Anxiety-Related Chest Pain:

Some people experience chest pain from anxiety differently. You can manage your worry and comprehend the cause of your chest pain symptom if you have a correct diagnosis from a doctor or certified therapist. The following are examples of chest-related physical symptoms:

  • A stabbing, shooting, or sharp Pain
  • Ischemic Pain
  • A dull ache that lasts forever
  • Pressure, or a tightness
  • The feeling of burning
  • Tingling in specific places
  • The twitching or Spasms
  • dizziness \sfaintness
  • Breathing difficulties
  • Significant variations in body temperature
  • Feeling uncontrollable under the circumstances
  • Tingling and perspiration in the hands and feet
  • Chest ache, palpitations
  • Acute chest pain

These unsettling emotions may start to feel uncomfortable gradually or suddenly. However, it is more typical for chest pain to appear during panic or acute anxiety attacks that begin suddenly and for the patient to feel apprehensive before the chest pain starts.

The sternum, also known as the breastbone at the centre of the chest, the diaphragm (an internal muscle sheet that spans the bottom of the rib cage), the breast muscles, and the rib cage are all parts of the chest region.

This symptom may impact one region of the chest, move and impact one or more additional areas, migrate and impact numerous areas of the chest, afflict the entire chest region, or cause chest tightness. This symptom may show up infrequently, frequently, or continuously.

This symptom might appear on its own, or it can come before, along with, or after increasing other anxiety symptoms.

It can also happen “out of the blue” for no apparent reason, or it might come before, after, or accompany an episode of worry, Anxiety, dread, or stress. From mild to severe, frequent anxiety-related chest pain can vary in intensity. Additionally, it may arrive in waves, becoming weaker after becoming strong.

This symptom may vary daily, moment by moment, or continue the entire course of your anxiety illness. All of the pairings mentioned above and tweaks are typical. This symptom may appear more unsettling when not distracted, relaxing, practising deep relaxation, trying to sleep, or waking. These signs are frequently taken for cardiac issues or a heart attack.

Non-cardiac Chest Pain is a common name for this symptom. Anxiety and chest pain means that such patients experience cardiac tests unnecessarily. They are immediately concerned with the doctor if they feel persistent chest pain. Signs of Anxiety in the chest Anxiety chest pain frequently begins quickly with a stabbing pain in the chest area, and it may start even if you’re sitting still.

Rate your degree of anxiety using our free, one-minute, instant-result anxiety tests for anxiety disorders or hyperstimulation to see whether anxiety may contribute to your symptoms. The higher the grade, the greater the likelihood that concern is generating or exacerbating your anxiety symptoms, especially signs of impending doom.

4. Additional Elements:

Additional elements that cause anxiety and chest pain are given below:

   4.1)  Lethargy:

Many anxiety-like symptoms, such as:

  • Thinking difficulties
  • Head fog
  • Lightheadedness
  • Dizziness
  • Unsteadiness
  • Pain
  • Palpitations of the heart
  • Trembling
  • Memory loss
  • Muscle weakness
  • Shortness of breath

   4.2)  Sleep Deficiency:

Sleep deprivation can have a variety of adverse effects on the body, including:

  • It prevents the body from adequately refreshing itself.
  • Stresses the nervous system
  • Impairs brain function
  • Increases blood pressure
  • Increases blood sugar
  • Improves mood and chronic Pain
  • Cortisol levels rise to compensate for fatigue (cortisol is a powerful stress hormone). These side effects can both cause and aggravate anxiety symptoms.

   4.3)  Drugs:

The release of stress hormones is how stimulants provide their stimulating impact. Anxiety symptoms can be induced or worsened by increasing the body’s stimulus.
Many medications used for recreational purposes can exacerbate and cause anxiety. In particular, those that impact the nervous system.

  4.4)  Medication:

Anxiety symptoms can be mimicked, triggered, or made worse by prescription and over-the-counter drugs. The types of Pain an anxiety attack involves acute chest discomfort that slowly gets better, whereas a heart attack causes sudden chest pain.
If you are unsure if your symptoms, including this one, are being caused by your medicine, talk to your doctor and pharmacist about it.

5. Is Anxiety-Related Chest Pain So Common?

Are you feeling anxious and thinking, can anxiety cause chest Pain? Or is there something else going on?

 According to research, 30% and 40% of persons with low-risk chest discomfort who visit the emergency department do so because of anxiety, but the others have increased risk.

We can become nervous just by thinking about experiencing chest pain. However, one typical anxiety symptom is experiencing uneasiness in the chest area. Any chest pain seems dreadful because people associate it with heart issues or heart attacks in the worst situations. It’s crucial to understand the difference between chest pain brought on by anxiety or panic attack times when it can be something more. To do that, you must comprehend how anxiety-related chest pain often feels. A quarter to half of the individuals with low-risk chest pain who visit the emergency room

6. What Causes Chest Pain in Anxiety?

Anxiety is the body’s reaction to a stressor, an actual event imagined, and panic attacks can result in various physical symptoms and mental anguish. When you feel worried, your body shifts into what is known as a “fight or flight” response/condition, getting ready to help you fight against (or flee from) something that could injure you. Pain caused discomfort

Your body accomplishes this through various mechanisms, such as raising your blood pressure, heart rate, and breathing rate and inducing the release of adrenaline and noradrenaline. Chest pain is a common side effect of several “fight or flight” reactions. Chest discomfort frequently results from:

    6.1)  High Blood Pressure:

As a result of the increased blood pressure, the smaller blood arteries may become more stressed, and the heart’s need for oxygen may increase.

    6.2)  High Heart Palpitation:

Heart palpitations, coronary spasms, and a sense of your chest beating can all be caused by an elevated heart rate.

   6.3)  Hyperventilation:

Results from shortness of breath may affect the blood’s carbon dioxide level.

   6.4)  Muscle Tension:

The chest muscles may feel tight due to this, which is often brought on by stress. Tight chest muscles can give you strange agony. Chest tightness is the result of anxiety. When you experience frequent anxiety, it will lead to muscle tension. To reduce muscle tension, do the workout. Check ” The Most Effective 8 Back workout at home “

   6.5)  Stress Response:

Our bodies naturally respond physically to feelings of anxiety. Your body may tense up, sweat, have trouble breathing, or have difficulty breathing, and your heart may race. Other physiological changes may occur due to your brain activating a stress reaction.

  • There are, moreover, occasionally psychological or emotional reactions. It’s possible that while you’re feeling worried, you’ll find that you’re suddenly quite hostile or violent or quickly upset. Fight-or-flight reactions are the popular name for these reactions. In risky situations, they allow your head and body to take control. Your body can take much longer to heal if you frequently have fight-or-flight reactions. Extreme muscle strain in your chest may be the outcome. When you experience this tightness with the potential for an elevated heart rate (another anxiety symptom), you could start to question whether you’re experiencing just anxiety in your chest or something far more.

 7. Significant Differences between a Heart Attack and a Panic Attack:

Only 2-4% of persons with chest tightness who visit a doctor are diagnosed with a heart condition, even though heart attacks affect 805,000 Trusted Source Americans annually.

Even yet, experiencing chest pain can be concerning because it may still be a sign of a heart attack. It’s crucial to understand that while there are some substantial parallels between chest discomfort from worry and Pain after a heart attack, there are also some essential differences.

A separate cause results in a heart attack. A person’s coronary arteries become blocked, which causes it to happen. Additionally, when a person is at rest, they typically experience chest pain from an anxiety or panic attack. A coronary artery spasm is a brief tightening (constriction) of the artery’s wall muscles that supply blood to the heart.

In addition to the chest, the arms, jaw, shoulders, and are common locations for heart attack pain to radiate. Alternatively, anxiety-related chest discomfort is a persistent sensation. A heart attack’s chest pain, frequently described as a squeezing, heavy pressure, may seem sharper than anxiety’s chest pain.

Heart attacks and panic attacks have different groups of people they affect. Women are more likely to get panic attacks than men are to experience a heart attack.

8. Do Anxiety Attacks lead to Heart Attacks?

A panic attack cannot bring on a heart attack. A blockage brings on a heart attack in one or more of the blood arteries leading to the heart, which prevents critical blood flow.

Stress and anxiety may contribute to the onset of coronary artery disease, even though a panic attack won’t result in a heart attack. Coronary arteries are blocked if it happens continuously. An anxiety condition or a series of individual panic attacks is also possible.

According to several studies, can anxiety cause chest pain? Or heart attack, reduced heart rate variability in patients with anxiety problems may raise their risk of heart disease (HRV).

HRV is the interval between beats in the heart.HRV is the interval between moments in the heart. The heart rate should change throughout the day in response to an individual’s activities and emotions.

A high HRV shows that an individual’s heart rate changes effectively throughout the day, depending on their actions. Additionally, it shows that their autonomic nervous system is functioning correctly. A person’s heart cannot shift into other gears as quickly if their HRV is low. According to specific research, having a low HRV raises your risk of developing heart disease.

When the researchers analyzed studies that looked at HRV in patients with various types of anxiety disorders, including panic disorder, the findings showed that the participants had a higher HRV than those who didn’t have an anxiety illness. The fact that having a panic episode does not automatically translate into having a heart attack must be understood. Someone with panic disorder can have recurrent panic disorder or seizures, but further studies are required to determine whether panic disorder raises the risk of heart disease.

9. Comparison of Anxiety Attack with Heart Attack:

Although chest pain related to an anxiety attack and Pain from a heart attack can sometimes seem the same, some differences between the two might help you figure out what you may be experiencing.

For instance, even though anxiety and chest discomfort can range from person to person, it usually just affects the chest.

As opposed to this, most of those with heart attack chest pain describe it as a squeezing, heavy, or painful ache that spreads to their arms, shoulders, and jaw (also known as angina).

   9.1)  Common Symptoms of Anxiety Chest Pain:

Anxiety chest pain frequently begins quickly with a stabbing pain in the chest region, and it may start even if you’re sitting still. Additionally, it could strike after you’ve already experienced other anxious symptoms. Usually, it lasts only around 10 minutes until it starts to fade.

   (i)  Additional signs could be:

  • Feeling weak
  • Trembling
  • Uncontrollable feeling
  • Pounding in the heart
  • Shortness of breath and a sense of euphoria
  • Thermoregulation of the body
  • Being cold
  • Sweating

   9.2)  Common Symptoms of Heart Attack Pain:

On the other hand, heart attack symptoms usually appear when you are active. Back Pain and exhaustion are two symptoms that some people list as heart attack symptoms. Most people who express their anguish say it:

  • Move from the chest to other body parts, starting with the chest (like the shoulder, jaw, or arms)
  • Slowly increase after beginning large
  • Feel as though there is intense pressure or a squeeze

(i)  Additional Signs of Heart Attack Pain:


Can anxiety cause chest pain? Anxiety and chest pain can feel scary, but they will pass quickly. The duration of Pain is about 10 minutes, but additional symptoms of anxiety or a panic attack (such as dizziness, breathlessness, or nausea) may continue longer.

Call your doctor, go to an urgent care facility, or make an appointment for a telemedicine evaluation immediately if your symptoms persist, worsen, or are alarming.

In addition to experiencing Pain in the chest area for a few hours following the attack, some people who experience panic or anxiety attacks also experience muscle contractions in the chest wall.

10. Ways to Manage Anxiety Chest Pain:

It would help if you addressed your anxiety at its root to relieve anxiety-caused chest pain.

Happily, there are basic methods you can employ and lifestyle modifications you can make to assist in controlling your anxiety or panic, many of which are free and quick to complete.

   10.1)  Deep Inhalation:

A panic or anxiety episode can be stopped by taking calm, deep breathing from the diaphragm, which also helps to lessen anxiety by decreasing the heart and breathing rates.

Even though there are numerous other breathing exercises available online, the following is a quick but powerful exercise: Lie on your stomach with one hand and your chest with the other.

Allow your belly to push out the hand resting on it while you inhale slowly and deeply through your nose. Keep your hand firmly in place across your chest. Let the needle on your tummy move inside once more, forcing all the air out as you exhale through pursed lips—ten times in a row. Deep breathing is the source of calmness to the body.

   10.2)  Introspection:

Meditation and other relaxation techniques (such as counting, writing, and visualizing) might be helpful to quiet the brain and reduce racing thoughts.

Even a few minutes of meditation can help relieve tension and reestablish inner serenity. Meditation is a discipline that has been practised for thousands of years. Unrequited guided meditations are available for free on numerous websites, including YouTube.

   10.3)  Do Workout:

One of the best methods to relieve anxiety is to begin moving, and regular exercise is a fantastic approach to managing generalized anxiety.

Exercise not only helps to relax the muscles and raise serotonin and other anti-anxiety neurochemicals, but it can also serve as a pleasant diversion from racing thoughts.

   10.4)  Avoid Smoking, Caffeine, and Alcohol:

While it may seem like smoking cigarettes, drinking alcohol, or getting a caffeine fix will help you feel less anxious, research suggests that all three of these activities might worsen your anxiety. Alcohol triggers the heart rate and blood pressure.

If you don’t want to give up any of them, keep track of what you ate or drank before you start feeling nervous to see which might harm you. Then, limit how much of that substance you can have at a time.

   10.5)  Take Enough Sleep:

Sleep may be the furthest thing from your mind during a panic or anxiety attack, but it’s crucial for controlling your anxiety.

Anxiety, depression, and other illnesses have all been related to inadequate sleep. For optimal health and performance, adults should strive for seven to nine hours of sleep each night.

11. Treatment of Chest Pain Caused by Anxiety:

Professional assistance can significantly improve the lives of those suffering from anxiety and panic attacks. These conditions can lower a person’s quality of life if left untreated.

However, treating panic disorders is successful when combining medication and cognitive behavioural TbehaviouralT).

With the help of CBT, one can learn to reorganize their thinking and recognize and stay away from particular anxiety triggers. Without the use of medication, this form of Therapy can assist patients in reducing and managing the symptoms of panic disorder.

Additionally, a person can take action in the comfort of their own home to control and lessen anxiety symptoms, such as chest pain. Seek medical attention if you observe any symptoms within yourself.

Chest pain treatment anxiety People who suffer from panic attacks and anxiety can make a significant difference in their lives with professional assistance.

Patients with low-risk chest discomfort who are anxious are more likely to return to the emergency department. To quickly assess if you have cardiovascular disease, the Heart and Vascular Institute can perform diagnostics in-office.

    11.1)  Search for a place of Refuge:

A person should look for a haven. If they are driving, they should think about pulling over.

   11.2)  Recall that It is Only Temporary:

Keep in mind that if you are feeling chest pain, it should only last a few minutes.

   11.3)  Try to Maintain a Cheerful Attitude:

During a panic attack, concentrating on tranquil or uplifting pictures may assist patients in lessening the severity of their symptoms.

   11.4)  Do Count:

Focus can be improved by counting backwards from backward to 10 during a manic episode.

   11.5)  Score the Attacks:

Some individuals discover that rating their overall mental state during a panic attack on a scale of 1 to 10, with ten being the most severe and 1 being a hardly perceptible experience, can help them cope with their worry.


12. Therapy Of Anxiety Chest Pain:

Unknown and ignored underlying reasons contributing to anxiety problems are the leading cause of anxiety disorder and its continuing symptoms. Dealing with your anxiety problems is crucial overall because of this.

Since behaviour (the behaviour thinks and acts) accounts for most of the stress, addressing the root causes of anxiety disorder can lessen and eventually remove the unhealthy stress that frequently results in hyperstimulation and symptoms, including this one.

Remember that getting rid of your anxiety symptoms doesn’t imply that your anxiety troubles are resolved. Stress symptoms include signs of anxiety. Getting rid of your anxiety symptoms means that the unhealthy tension generating them is no longer there. Online Therapy is convenient for Anxiety and chest pain. Online Therapy varies from age to age.

13. Conclusion:

 Can anxiety cause chest pain? Yes!

Both panic attacks and anxiety disorders can cause chest pain. Those who experience these attacks regularly may suffer from an anxiety disorder.

These ailments can be cured. To ensure that a patient receives the best care possible, it is crucial to have a doctor evaluate them.

To rule out a heart attack, someone should seek emergency medical attention if they suddenly experience chest pain.


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Mariam Hafeez
I'm an experienced medical specialty writer who has created a lifestyle and medical material for health websites all across the internet. I am currently exploring health content research and assisting people with health and general life difficulties. "I hope to become a professional mental health specialist in the near future."
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