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Chest Pain from Stress and Anxiety

Chest Pain from Stress and Anxiety

Chest pain is often related to heart diseases. But, did you know that it can also be one of the side effects of stress and anxiety? Here is detailed information on the nature of chest pain caused due to stress.
Madhura Pandit
Last Updated: May 11, 2018
In common cases, chest pain is a symptom of heart-related problems, or diseases related to the respiratory tract like pneumonia and bronchitis. Therefore, when people experience pain in the chest, they usually jump the gun and conclude that it must be due to a heart attack. Not many people may be aware, but, chest pain from stress and anxiety is fairly common. But, it is not to be ignored. It is recommended to consult the doctor and have your symptoms diagnosed as early as possible.
Chest Pain and Stress
The modern-day fast-paced lifestyle is one of the reasons for stress. There can be numerous reasons for stress like job stress, stress related to family, finances, relationships, etc. It affects a person physically and mentally, leading to several health problems. Chest pain is one of the major symptoms of stress, and is usually accompanied by dizziness or sweating. So, how are chest pain and stress related to each other?

➡ When in a stressful situation, the adrenal gland releases adrenaline. This leads to an increased heart rate, increased blood pressure, alertness, and muscle contraction. These sudden physical changes can result into chest pain.

➡ Secondly, stress is one of the factors for causing high blood pressure or hypertension. Pain and discomfort in the chest is a symptom of hypertension. Therefore, increase in the blood pressure, due to stress, can cause chest pain.

➡ Thirdly, stress is also one of the reasons for acid reflux disease or Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease (GERD). People experience heartburn and chest pain when suffering from acid reflux disease. Hence, acid reflux disease, and indirectly stress, is one of the lesser-known and minor causes of chest pain.

➡ Anxiety is a permanent state of worry or fear. It could be a symptom of a psychological disorder. Anxiety causes a large number of symptoms like shortness of breath, trembling, discomfort while breathing, etc. Due to breathing disorder, right amounts of oxygen does not reach the heart. This can lead to muscle contractions and spasms. All these factors cause pain in the chest.

Now, an already stressed and anxious person when experiences chest pain, mistakes it for heart attack and feels more anxious. This again causes discomfort in the chest. Therefore, chest pain and anxiety form a vicious cycle.
• Pain in chest due to stress can be found in both, men and women.

• The nature of chest pain caused by stress and heart attack is very much similar.

• Chest pain, without any known medical cause, is usually considered as a symptom of anxiety or stress.
Other harmful effects of stress include chronic headache, backache, disorders of the heart, pain in shoulders, etc. Although stress is a minor cause of chest pain, and does not usually lead to any long-term effects, it is not to be ignored. It is recommended to consult the doctor immediately and undergo a checkup.
A stress test helps in determining the function of the heart in stressful conditions. In this test, a person is asked to walk on a treadmill, while the functioning of the heart and breathing rate are monitored. The test also helps the doctor in diagnosing the cause of chest pain, whether it is heart-related, or caused from stress and anxiety. If the cause of chest pain is other than stress, the doctor will prescribe related treatment method for it. Anxiety disorders can be treated with therapy and professional assistance. On the other hand, if it is caused due to stress, you can follow the given methods to overcome it.
How to Reduce Stress
☞ Relaxation techniques like massage, yoga, meditation, etc., help in reducing stress. Having a peaceful or fun time with your friends also helps you to relax.

☞ Exercising is also believed to be one of the best stress busters. You can follow any exercise type and carry it out every day for 20-30 minutes.

☞ Having a good sleep every day is very essential. You should sleep for 6-7 hours every day to relax your brain and reduce stress.

☞ Planning and organizing your work properly, allotting time for healthy meals, and managing time effectively are some of the things that can be put into practice immediately.

☞ Lastly, note that taking a break from work, taking a vacation once in a while, spending time with your loved ones, etc., are some methods that can be undertaken to deal with stress.
If you feel a recurrent fleeting pain in the chest, you should seek medical help and get yourself checked immediately. Take care!
Disclaimer: This article is for informative purposes only, and should not be used as a replacement for expert medical advice.