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A clear understanding of the fact that can Anxiety cause Chest pain

A clear understanding of the fact that can Anxiety cause Chest pain

Anxiety is a normal emotion. Moreover, it involves prolonged fear and intense emotions. Similarly, various other physical symptoms also appear. Furthermore, individuals with anxiety lack the passion to engage in varied useful activities. Different types of anxiety disorders have their adverse effects on the body. However, if you want to know more about how can anxiety cause chest pain, then read this article. Moreover, you will also be familiar with the association between anxiety and chest discomfort. You will get the answer to your question that stress and anxiety cause chest pain. In addition, you will better understand how to relieve chest tightness from anxiety. 


Anxiety is a common mental illness that makes it difficult to get through the entire day. This involves persistent feelings of fear, stress, and unconsciousness. Moreover, different physical changes also appear in the body. Persons suffering from anxiety disorders usually experience recurrent thoughts. Primarily, different studies have reported that approximately more than 40 million US adults suffer from anxiety disorder. 

Anxiety disorders

Different factors are responsible for the onset of anxiety disorders. Read the following types to determine the can anxiety cause chest pain. Some most common anxiety disorders include:

Generalized Anxiety disorder

Generalized anxiety disorder occurs if the stress period is extended for a longer period. In most cases, GAD also results the various other anxiety disorders.


This involves the fear of certain places or people. Some people have a fear of heights or water. Severe agoraphobia can lead to chronic anxiety or depression.

Social Anxiety disorder

Affected persons prefer to stay away from social activities. They don’t contribute to productive activities due to feelings of shyness and embarrassment. Furthermore, they are overly concerned about their personality traits and remain in fear of being judged.

Substance-induced anxiety disorder

Excessive intake of drugs, alcohol, or certain medications can also cause the development of anxiety disorders.

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Separation anxiety disorder

This type of anxiety disorder is more common in childhood stages. Children usually have a fear of losing their parents or loved ones. 

Symptoms of Anxiety

Both anxiety and chest pain are interlinked. The mentioned symptoms can better explain the fact that can anxiety cause chest pain. Anxiety results the varied body symptoms which include:

  • Increased blood pressure
  • Shaking of hands
  • Elevated heart rate
  • Nervousness
  • Unconsciousness
  • Most often sweating
  • Sense of tiredness
  • Difficulty in sleeping
  • Stomach issues
  • Difficulty in paying attention
  • Loss of interest
  • Lack of passion
  • Intrusive thoughts
  • Trembling
  • Preference of isolation
  • Chest pain due to anxiety
  • OCD symptoms

Can anxiety cause chest pain?

Although anxiety is a mental illness but can induce various physical symptoms in the body. Numerous studies support the fact that can stress and anxiety cause chest pain. Both anxiety and chest discomfort are interlinked. You will get familiar with can stress and anxiety cause chest pain. Different studies have reported chest pain under the influence of anxiety. Different individuals suffer from anxiety or depression in normal day-to-day life. If the anxiety remains in a normal range, it cannot cause adverse effects rapidly. However, if anxiety or depression persist for a longer period, it can cause functional disability. An anxious brain is unable to perform effective body coordination. In the absence of brain-controlling signals, anxiety takes over the brain control which in turn can affect the function of different body parts. In addition, altered physiological conditions then result in different body symptoms. 

Misdiagnosis of Chest pain

Chest pain is one of the common symptoms of anxiety, depression, or panic attacks. However, in most cases, people misdiagnose their condition. A person should be familiar with all symptoms to know better what can anxiety cause chest pain. If they are suffering from other underlying body conditions, they think that they are having chest pain. As in most cases, the person feels nervousness or unconsciousness and considers this as chest pain. However, in reality, situation occurs differently. They just panic more and consider their unconscious state as chest pain. Persons experiencing chest pain should not avoid this situation. As it can lead to various lethal cardiac disorders and ultimately heart attacks. Therefore, it is essential to have complete awareness regarding anxiety and chest pain. It is extremely important to contact the health care provider on an immediate basis. 


Most people misdiagnose asthma attacks as anxiety attacks. Both conditions involve short breaths and chest pain. Likewise, different environmental stress factors trigger chest pain. However, the asthma can also cause asthma attacks. Most adults avoid considering their condition which mostly occurs at adult-onset asthma. Furthermore, if you are experiencing wheezing and coughing, consider them an alarming situation. Stay familiar with all symptoms to find that can anxiety cause chest pain. 

Polycystic ovary syndrome

Most of the females facing the issues of polycystic ovary syndrome also misdiagnose their condition as panic attacks. The symptoms of this situation exhibit a close resemblance to panic symptoms. Moreover, this condition results in certain conditions that retain the ability to develop anxiety. 

Inflammatory conditions

Most of the inflammation pain is also considered pain that occurs during anxiety attacks. Likewise, inflammation at the ribs and pelvic girdle generates the pain that radiates towards the chest cavity. Therefore, most of the time, it is difficult to characterize chest pain. 

Neurological conditions

Due to similar symptoms such as involuntary tremors and headaches, different cognitive issues are also considered as anxiety. It is also significant to understand the neurological issues that can anxiety cause chest pain. Moreover, they also result in an increased heartbeat. Stiffening of chest muscles during neurological issues is considered identical to chest pain. 


Fibromyalgia is a severe body condition that results the persistent pain in different body parts. Anxiety and chest pain are strongly linked. Persons with fibromyalgia experience the following symptoms such as emotional instability, muscle stiffness, and body aches. However, after knowing this, they can better understand that can anxiety cause chest pain. Most physicians initially think that the person is a victim of anxiety or depression. 

What happens to the brain during anxiety?

Any distressing situation can cause the onset of anxiety symptoms. Several studies reported that can anxiety cause chest pain. This can alter the normal brain state to an undesired anxious state. However, three different brain parts are mostly involved and influenced by anxiety which includes:

  1. Prefrontal cortex
  2. Amygdala
  3. Anterior cingulate cortex
  4. Prefrontal cortex
  5. Hippocampus
Chemical imbalances

The body’s sympathetic system gets activated under the effect of stress. This results in the activation of fight and flight response. Under this effect, some stress hormones are released which include cortisol and adrenaline. Moreover, stress hormones cause various changes in the body. Breathing and cardiac rate are also elevated. Moreover, it also affects the gastrointestinal tract. Furthermore, chronic stress conditions can also cause the degeneration of the brain.

Normal Brain Scan vs Anxious Brain

If the anxious brain is compared with a healthy brain, numerous negative alterations can be found. It can also be easy to find the answer to questions that can anxiety cause chest pain. The size of the amygdala is increased. While, on the other hand, the hippocampus gets shrink. The ability of the hippocampus to process and store memory is also affected. There is a diverse range of memories. However, anxiety signals send instructions to the brain to retain only negative memories. Memories related to any trauma, danger, and trauma are mostly stored in the brain. While the brain avoids the memories of happiness, pleasure, enjoyment, or any success story of life.

The link between a panic attack and a heart attack

Various people think that panic attacks have a strong connection with the heart attack. They also have a strong belief that can anxiety cause chest pain. There are reduced chances that panic attacks cause heart attacks. But this situation is possible. Emotional triggers act as a bridge between panic attacks and heart attacks. While on the other hand, some people think that emotional stress factors only result in panic attacks instead of heart attacks. Likewise, persistent anxiety is also linked with hypertension which then directly causes heart attacks.

Chest pain in anxiety attacks and heart attacks

People always think that can anxiety cause chest pain when breathing. Anxiety attacks and heart attacks exhibit various similarities. There are various facts associated with the can anxiety cause chest pain. Both involve a sudden rise in heartbeat and chest pain. Moreover, the breathing rate is also increased. Apart from these similarities, there are some major differences. The activation of the sympathetic system is a major factor that develops anxiety. The release of stress hormones can cause the onset of anxiety symptoms.

However, on the other hand, a heart attack is caused by a blockage in blood vessels. Specifically, the coronary artery is blocked by the blood clot. Moreover, chest pain also appears in case of a heart attack. Another major difference is that panic attacks can occur in a resting phase. At the same time, the occurrence of heart attack is higher in the case of physically strenuous activities.

Duration of attacks

The duration of panic attacks and heart attacks is also varied. Panic attacks last for a short period. Within a few minutes, the person can recover. However, the duration of a heart attack is greater.

Extent and location of pain

In case of heart attack, chest pain can radiate to arms and shoulders. However, the chest pain during panic attacks remains confined to the chest. Furthermore, the person feels more pressure on the chest. In most cases, a burning sensation also occurs.

Speed of heart rate

The speed of the cardiac rate is also increased during panic attacks. The heart rate gets elevated to 200 beats per minute. Increased heartbeat also results the difficulties in breathing.

Can anxiety cause chest pain when breathing?

Chest tightness during anxiety or panic attacks exerts a strong pressure on different body parts. Different researchers have different beliefs regarding the causes of chest tightness during anxiety attacks.

The strain on the Body’s Muscles

When the person panics, chest muscles get stiff. After experiencing the pressure, you can identify that can anxiety disorder cause chest pain. Moreover, if the pain radiates to the bones, then the pain intensity is also increased.


Two different concepts are related to hyperventilation and anxiety. Most of the time, hyperventilation can cause anxiety. While on the other hand, anxiety can initiate the hyperventilation phenomenon. Hyperventilation is considered the major cause of anxiety attacks. In addition, hyperventilation comes after the anxiety attack. Under the influence of hyperventilation, shortness of breath occurs. Moreover, the normal levels of carbon dioxide are also altered. When this situation gets worse, the person feels strain around the chest.

Self-diagnosis of anxiety causing the chest pain

If there is no medical facility in your surroundings, you can also self-diagnose the anxiety causing the chest pain. You can get an answer how can anxiety cause chest pain? You should be familiar with the symptoms related to cardiac or breathing disease. Skilled physicians can better evaluate the associated symptoms.

Cardiac symptoms are mostly analyzed in case of chest tightness. Moreover, other symptoms that can be self-diagnosed include:

  • If the chest pain lasts for more than 10 seconds, chest pain is caused by an anxiety attack.
  • Occurrence of all anxiety symptoms
  • Pain that is radiated towards the arms and shoulders.
How to relieve chest tightness from anxiety?

If you are feeling chest tightness and you have no immediate medical facility, then you should be familiar with the following strategies.

Initial recognition

Before taking any health care strategy, it is important to recognize the initial situation. A person should be familiar with all symptoms of chest pain. After recognizing the situation, the second main step is to accept the situation. Effective recognition assists in making appropriate decisions.

Control on Breathing

As anxiety causes shortness of breath. Therefore, it is important to regulate the breathing process. Moreover, remain aware that can anxiety cause chest pain. Different breathing exercises can amazingly regulate elevated breath. When the breathing rate decreases, the extent of anxiety is also lessened. Most common breathing exercises involve belly breathing and box breathing techniques.

Cognitive Behavioral Therapy

Different psychotherapists suggested different talk therapies or psychotherapy to overcome anxiety or depression. The main role of talk therapy is to stop the intrusive thoughts that negatively alter the person’s life. Moreover, they also ask certain questions that can anxiety cause chest pain.

Mind Relaxaing techniques

Diverting attention to pleasant things is the best coping strategy for anxiety. Different mind-relaxing techniques are used to get temporary relief from panic disorder attacks. Make a habit of staying safe from the fact that can anxiety cause chest pain. Moreover, affected persons should keep this thing in mind that chest pain is not life-threatening. A reliable treatment can result in immediate and positive consequences.

Find a secure place

Migration to places that are close to nature can also provide relief from anxiety. Instead of taking stress, affected persons should move to spaces that release happy hormones. Moreover, if there is difficulty in moving, then communication with loved ones is also a useful option.

Healthy diet

The diet also plays an important diet in controlling brain activity. Intake of fresh and healthy fruits, vegetables, or low-fat diets reduces the chances of panic attacks. Doctors always recommend avoiding caffeine or other harmful drinks to avoid the onset of anxiety symptoms. Likewise, smoking is also harmful, as the tar-containing substances not only affects the body but also the brain. Stay secure from harmful substances if you know that can anxiety cause chest pain.

Adequate Sleep

Rest after performing any strenuous activity is also important to overcome anxiety. Likewise, a night’s sleep of approximately six to seven hours is also helpful for those who are struggling with anxiety. So focus on your daily sleep schedule and begin your healing journey of anxiety.

Read More: Is eating disorder a mental illness?

Medication management

Teenagers can use anxiety medications as compared to children, as they are more prone to developing side effects. A highly professional and licensed therapist can recommend the best anti-anxiety medications. However, in most of the cases, they can pose serious life threats via side effects. You need to stay secure from the concept that can anxiety cause chest pain.

The most common types of medications include:


FDA has approved different antidepressants to treat anxiety symptoms. The most commonly used antidepressants include:

  • Serotonin-Norepinephrine Reuptake Inhibitors
  • Selective Serotonin Reuptake Inhibitors


Certain medicines that reduce the blood pressure are called beta blockers. Moreover, they block the action of different stress hormones and reduce the symptoms of anxiety. Furthermore, they are also responsible for the sudden body reaction.

Anti Anxiety medications

The most common anxiety medications include benzodiazepines. Their mild dosages work in an ideal manner against acute anxiety attacks. Common anti-anxiety medications include:

  • Ativan
  • Klonopin
  • Xanax


Aromatherapy involves the use of different fragrances to treat anxiety. Strong smells can target certain regions of the brain.  In addition, aromatherapy causes the activation of the senses of smell. Then the nerves that are linked to the brain are activated and send messages to the brain. Furthermore, utilize any treatment therapy to know what can anxiety cause chest pain.

3-3-3 rule

This is one of the renowned therapies to treat anxiety symptoms if your anxiety chest pain not going away. The main steps of this therapy include:

  1. Whenever you feel panic, simply look around yourself and observe any three things. Try to deeply observe these three things and figure out their ceratin characteristics including color, texture, and duration or age.
  2. Secondly, try to move to any park and hear any three mesmerizing voices. Focus on their pitch as well as the frequency of sound.
  3. If you are feeling any chest pain, then move your body in different directions. Moreover, you can also touch your different body parts including your head, legs, foot, and thumb. Employ this strategy to treat the situation that can anxiety cause chest pain.

Regular Workout

A daily workout schedule can do wonders for persons facing anxiety. Any useful strenuous activity can activate the brain cells. Moreover, if you are unable to go to the gym, then you can also ride a bike and dance for a few minutes. This will result in the burning of your excessive calories. Likewise, you will also feel reduced anxiety symptoms. Make a healthy workout routine if you know that can anxiety cause chest pain.

Concluding thoughts

Anxiety is a serious mental health problem that involves strong and uncontrollable feelings of stress and emotions. This disorder can affect both physical and mental health. Anxiety symptoms vary from person to person. However, depression and anxiety mostly affect teenagers. The majority of the persons suffering from anxiety disorder also experience chest pain. They feel mild or severe pressure on their chest cavity. Moreover, various medical conditions induce chest pain. There is a varied range of medical conditions.

Under stressful situations, the body generates the response by stimulating the sympathetic system. The occurrence of chest pain during anxiety or panic attacks is common. However, if you feel any pressure on your chest during your anxiety attacks, you need to take the immediate therapy. You might have felt the chest pain due to anxiety. Our Inland Empire Behavioral group experts can perfectly analyze your anxiety symptoms and provide effective treatment based on your internal body conditions. You will get completely familiar with the fact can anxiety cause chest pain. Don’t worry if the anxiety and chest pain do not go away. Seek help from our mental health professionals and enjoy your mental well-being without any physical or physiological symptoms.

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Dr. Reri Uku


Dr. Reri Uku is a board certified psychiatric mental health nurse practitioner (PMHNP-BC). Her expertise lies in her ability to provide quality, compassionate, and comprehensive mental health
services including medication management to adolescents and adults. Her practice is guided by evidence-based treatment approaches that are tailored to meet individual needs and preferences. Her role is multidimensional, including educator, mental health advocate, and therapist.

As a PMHNP, she has a passion for bringing healing to patients who have traumatic and stressful life experiences.

As an adjunct faculty at California State University, San Bernardino (CSUSB), she values interdisciplinary education and inter-professional collaboration for a student-centered learning approach to provide safe and effective patient care.

She earned her Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) from Azusa Pacific University in 2018 and her Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner from National University in 2019. She graduated from California State University, San Bernardino master’s program with majors in Nurse Education and Advanced Community/Public Health in 2014. She became a registered nurse in 2010 and her background includes experiences in Medical Surgical Nursing, Neurology, Oncology and Psychiatry.

Her interests includes trauma focused care and integration of behavioral health medicine, with a goal to facilitate better outcomes for patients’ with mental health disabilities

Adaobi M Adimorah


Adaobi Adimorah is a highly skilled and professional psychiatrist. Adaobi is significantly contributing to commendable health care services at the  Inland Empire Behavioral Group in Riverside, California. Furthermore, her services at the Brainiac Medical Corporation in Colton, California are also breathtaking. She started her academic career with her Associate degree in Nursing at Nnamdi Azikiwe University Teaching Hospital in Newi. Then Adaobi grabbed more excellence with her graduation in Nursing at Grand Canyon University in Phoenix, AZ. Later on, Adaobi pursued his academic career and got a Doctorate in Nursing from the Psychiatric Mental Health Specialization Center.

Adaobi has retained expertise in diagnosing and treating anxiety, depression, AHD, and numerous other mental disorders. She has a strong belief that the effective implementation of cognitive behavior and enormous mindfulness techniques can foster mental well-being.

Mohammad I Hussain


Mohammad I Hussain is an experienced mental health expert. He has set the records by offering commendable mental health services. Mohammad I Hussain is renowned for his effective strategies against several mental health disorders. Mohammad I Hussain perfectly entered into the medical era by completing the graduation from Walden University. He also obtained an Associate Degree in Nursing from Pasadena City College. His diverse work experience at different medical institutes is the actual representation of his incredible psychiatric skills. Mohammad I Hussain is perfectly familiar with all the effective strategies against varied mental illnesses including ADHD, anxiety, depression, OCD bipolar disorder, etc.

Dr. Carla. MD


Dr. Carla Chambers Hammond, M.D. is a competent psychiatrist.

Dr. Carla is presently serving at the Inland Empire Behavioural Group. She retains the specialization in child and adolescent psychiatry.

Dr.Carla has been extremely proficient from a young age. She completed her schooling at the UT Southwestern Medical School in Dallas, Texas. She acquired excellence in the mental health field by getting a medical degree from New York Medical College. Her psychiatric internship in New York was the main turning point in her medical career. Dr. Carla also obtained various diplomas in the medical profession. As ABAM Diplomat in Addiction Medicine, she turned heads with her exceptional performance. Her therapeutic approach is phenomenal.

Wesley Wong


Welsey Wong is a renowned marriage and family therapist. Wesley is currently providing his exceptional services at the Inland Empire Behavioral Group in Riverside, California. Wesley acquired excellence in both academic and professional fields. After completing his graduation in psychology, he was enrolled for a Master’s in Marriage and Family Therapy at the California School of Professional Psychology in California. Wesley gained immense fame in employing his strategies of Adlerian theory and Cognitive Behavioural Therapy.

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Welsey offers incredible services to treat varied mental health disorders. Among them, Bipolar disorder and Schizophrenia are his promising domains. If you are striving for the finest solutions regarding your personal life, you can consult him. What you need to do is simply schedule a call and book your appointment. Wesley’s health care services are significant to direct you towards reliable and permanent mental health resilience. With just a few sessions, you will cherish sound health.

Khadija Hamisi


Dr. Khadija Hamisi is an extremely passionate and experienced mental health expert.

Dr. Hamisi provides astonishing psychiatric services at Inland Empire Behavioral Group in Riverside, California.
She completed her Bachelor of Science in Nursing from California State University San Bernardino. Then to pursue her career, Dr. Khadija obtained a Master’s in nursing and adult psychiatric Mental Health. Brandman University transformed Khadija into an inspiring psychiatrist.

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