Chest pain, left arm pain, back pain! Docs... - Anxiety Support

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Chest pain, left arm pain, back pain! Docs say anxiety!

kelsleigh profile image

I have been to the hospital emergency room 2 times this month with symtoms of heart attack:

Chest pain

Left Arm Pain

Some lower achy jaw pain

Back pain (between shoulders)


First time they hooked me up to heart monitor for the whole time I was there (9 hours) did blood test (2 of which were on my heart when I first got there, and another of the same test closer to when I left) they also did a chest xray and everything came back normal... they sent me home with 4 of .5 of ativan. BUT

ever since a little over a month Ive been having presistant chest pain and achy arm like it seems to always linger so I went back to the ER. This time they just hooked me up to heart machine thing for a few mins, did the same blood tests (2 on my heart) and made me wait for 6 hours for results which again came back normal. He prescribed me Effexor 75mg which I havent started yet.

I just dont understand why I am always in physical pain like most of the day every day. 3 or so years ago I was diagnosed with Generalized Anxiety disorder and had been to the hospital and had EKGs and they were also fine but the pain seems to be much worse this time.

Can my Anxiety disorder really be hurting me this much? If i was having a heart attack id never know because ive always been told its my anxiety / panic attack and when I do to ER for a bad attack thinking its a heart attack they always treat me like im crazy so now im scared to look for help. I am a 29 year old female but I am overweight and even still the doctors say I am a perfectly healthy 29 year old woman. Ughh I dunno so scary and frustrating. I wish my mind would just shut up!!

31 Replies

Well i could definitely tell you that im having a scare myslef right as i type this and im having some what the same physical symptoms you named. I first started feeling chest pains like near my breast area like a sharp pain that come and go, then i started feeling like something was rumbling under my heart area , then my legs started feeling heavy like i could not walk or else im gonna fall down. Then my vision is feeling wierd like fuzzy, hands started shaking, head feel wierd, feel unbalanced. I am so scared because im at work. Im a waitress and as i was walking to a table i felt like i could fall out. I had to stand for a second hoping i will not pass out. Plus my acid reflux is bothering me too. I have the burning sensation and burping. This is all happening to me now. Im so scared. Plus my muscles are aching like it hurst to walk. I got scared about 30 minutes thinking something is happening with my heart and from there it feels worse. I want to go the the er so bad. I dont know whats going on. But i was told i have GAD too.

I am also a waitress and have had this exact same experience! It sucks when you're carrying five plates on your arm and you feel like you're going to fall out! Your post literally sounds just like me speaking! Hope you feel better my friend ☺

Hi there. Well things have been better. Still a rollercoaster ride with this and trying to accept as anxiety but I've gotten better. I dont waitress any more since I posted that a year ago I had to quit working for a while and then I started back working but only for a few days a week because my anxiety was so up and down and I wasn't handling it well. But now I am back to working in a salon. I've had my stylist liscense for years but I was back and forth working as a stylist and a waitress. But now I think I'm giving waitressing a rest. I like working back in a salon because it's not much moving around and having to carry plates and drinks while having high anxiety and trying to deal with customers like that. Hope all is better for you. 😊

I also am a waitress and have these exact same symptoms, you also sounded like me talking.

Yes, anxiety can definitely do things to your body that we would never imagine. But it is definitely "normal" I have all his physical symptoms and more. However, I'm learning to just let them pass and not get terrified when I feel them. They always pass. Do not be alarmed, your body is simply going to nerve pain. Hope you feel better! Stay strong!! We are all rooting for you!❤️

3JsMommy profile image
3JsMommy in reply to Lalakeyss

You just made me feel so much better. It’s so hard for a person like me (head always on swivel,paranoid, worry etc) to not think the worst. Like you said all these symptoms plus more. It’s calming to know I’m not the only one and we’re all ok.

Perhaps try a chiropractor. When I have a rib out of place, I get those symptoms.

Thanks for the advice you guys. Xx

Icanbeathis2016 well at least you know yoi arent alone. after I go to the ER and get checked out I feel a little better but it doesnt last long with the condition we have..or at least I dont think it does. pretty sure its some kinda health anxiety but what you are having at work sounds like a panic attack. and they suck literally thats how I feel pretty much all the time not even exaggerating... and sadly doctors dont seem to wanna prescribe me a benzo which do help in calming me down when the attacks are severe so I have to struggle through them (or go to the ER) but I know crazy I look going back there all the time and if you dont get a doctor who doesnt believe in anxiety going to ER wont help (just temporary like I said :( I hope you feel better tho hun...and I hope you were able to calm down. Xx

and also lately ive been finding it hard to like swallow or feel a choking sensation. ITS HELL to think you are dying all the time :(

Yes ive have the difficulty swallowing thing since i first started going through this in July of last year. I would out of nowhere cant swallow. its times my throat feel tight or closing up too. And im surprised im able to respond right now because the way i felt 45 minutes ago was terrible. Yes definitely felt and feel like im dying. Im constantly thinking i am. Well ive been trying to get through this without meds. But lately ive been thinking of trying like a xanax myself just to see how it would actually make me feel. Ive heard so many people say it definitely works but they dont want to get addicted to it. At this point i could care less if i get addicted. Hey ive never had an addiction to drugs alcohol or anything so this can be my first. It is hell to think you're dying all the time. I still refuse to believe that was a panic attack i felt like i was going out of it.

Ktbm profile image
Ktbm in reply to kelsleigh

I havent eaten soild food for 3 months i chocked on one of my meds and ever since i cant swallow food througj fear of choking its hell. I have really high anxiety too and panic it drains me everyday. Not easy when u have 6 kids 3 that depend on you. I have a high phobia of eating.

Kelsleigh, after those extensive and thorough tests combined with the fact that you were diagnosed 3 years ago with anxiety disorder you can be 150% sure that this is non-cardiac pain. Chest pain extending to the arm is pretty common among people experiencing anxiety disorder as indeed is the feeling of an obstruction in the throat (it even has a name Globus Hystericus).

So forget about your heart, this is tension of the muscles in your chest area and I suggest you must now accept that diagnosis. Maybe ask your doctor again for a small prescription of benzos but stress you only want to take them ocassionally and only when needed as they are very effective in countering the pain, you have to 'prove' that you would be a responsible user by stressing that you know the dangers of addiction if taken in a regular basis and how they become less effective thereby encouraging users to increase the dosage ever upwards, say it stops you rushing of to ER on a regular basis.

In the long run to bring about your recovery free from relying on medications maybe you should look into self help therapies like the Acceptance Method that has been around for 50 years and was first set out by Doctor Claire Weekes in her first book 'Hope and help for your nerves'.

kelsleigh profile image
kelsleigh in reply to Jeff1943

Thank you so much! This reply actually made sense for once and made me feel better. Xx

Jeff1943 profile image
Jeff1943 in reply to kelsleigh

This could make such a difference to your life, kelsleigh, I'm going to say it again and then I'll shut up: if you only read one more book in your life make it 'Hope and help for your nerves' by Doctor Claire Weekes available from Amazon new or used fir a few dollars. Weekes herself suffered from anxiety disorder as a young woman and developed her Acceptance method for recovery to cure herself, then in this her first book she explained the method to others. It was written 50 years ago andin that time has helped hundreds of thousands of people to recover, if you check the hundreds of reader reviews on Amazon you will see that over 90% rate it Very Good or Excellent, the phrase 'saved my life' crops up regularly. The book which remains a best seller all these years is life changing, I commend this book to you.

DeeM3 profile image
DeeM3 in reply to Jeff1943

I started it finally! Definitely helping!

I can relate oh so we'll to your post!! I too have been to the e.r for chest pain and definitely thought I was having a heart attack! Every time I get checked out the doctors say it's just anxiety.ive been dealing with this for over 11 years and cannot get those negative thoughts out of my head.

kelsleigh profile image
kelsleigh in reply to Ajrea2

oh man it sucks so bad :( but know you arent alone and just having people to talk to helps me and I hope it helps you too!!!!

Ajrea2 profile image
Ajrea2 in reply to kelsleigh

I just joined this group last night and it's been such a help already! Knowing there are others that are going through similar situations and have similar anxiety's as I do makes me feel less alone!!

Agora1 profile image
Agora1 in reply to Ajrea2

Hi Ajrea2, It's nice to hear that you feel you've gotten help already by just joining. I knew from the moment I joined 2 years ago that this forum was different. It contained the warmth and personal touch that you usually don't find in on line support groups. As you interact with other men and women of all ages, you will find yourself less alone. Knowing that others understand what it's like is a huge comfort. Looking forward to talking with you. Know that someone is always on line to respond to any concerns you may have. :)

Maebell1978 profile image
Maebell1978 in reply to Agora1

I completely agree! It always makes me feel a little better knowing I'm not alone ☺💪❤

Agora1 profile image
Agora1 in reply to Maebell1978

Maebell, we have this unspoken bond with each other because

finally, someone understands and cares. :) xx

I know me too!!! Seriously I love this group and check it all the time. I am so glad I am not the only one who has these pains and what not. The doctors think we are crazy and we think they are !!! Panic disorder sucks.

Agora1 profile image
Agora1 in reply to kelsleigh

Hi kelsleigh, I'm glad you found this forum. If anything, in not feeling so alone and so different anymore. I can relate to all the issues you have been diagnosed with. Agoraphobia being the one that was the hardest to break through. As you interact with others who are in the forum, you will find ways to help yourself as well. Sharing is a big part of the healing process. Support, comfort and understanding is what this forum is all about. Welcome kelsleigh, looking forward to hearing more about your daily struggles. We care. xx

I'm 27 years old and I just had my first ever panic attack over a month ago. now I get heartburn stomach aches chest pain and the worst of all headaches , it feels like my head is gonna drop! I've been to the emergency room ova 20xs they took my urine and blood everything came back negative , then they ask me do I see or hear things I say no, then they ask me if I do drugs I say no I nvr had. so now they coming up w any excuse , because they do think we crazy , it's not our fault we feel these things , It felt like I was gonna pass out in the ambulance , so I ask for oxygen , the guy tells me your oxygen levels are at 100 but if you want it I'll give it to you! so it can also be illusions, that anxiety gives us, and I'm like how is it when we know what we are feeling in our bodies . we do need to start eating healthier , and have a good sleeping pattern , because these nights are troubling for me that's when all the symptoms all at once wants to bother me. now I really don't think you will have an heart attack , because if everything comes back okay , that means your heat is strong , and won't give up on you, don't worry I feel and also think the same, but if everything comes back negative u hve nthin to worry about , and just cut down on alot of food that isn't good for you, don't worry I will be practicing what I preach !

Chest Pain : I look at it like this : if you bunch both your hands into a fist, and squeeze tightly, and keep squeezing...not allowing any let up in the pressure, your hand will begin to throb, and to ache. If you keep squeezing your fist for hours, you will start to get stabbing pains, and shooting pains in your hands. If you keep squeezing, your hands will get other strange sensations like muscle spasms and pins and needles.

The key is: this is what's happening to our chests everyday if you suffer from Anxiety and stress. Without realising it, when we are anxious a lot of our muscles around our body are in a continuous state of tensions, just like the clenched fist example above. And just like the fist example above, if the chest muscles are in a continuous state of tensions for hours, days, month is common for to get stabbing pains, spasms, aches and even crushing feelings.

Always get yourself checked out, but I find information and knowledge helps a lot when combating Anxiety.

Hope that helps someone .

Hi kelsleigh one of the hardest things about anxiety is not knowing if it's a panic attack or is something really physically wrong . for example i actually do have a tumor in my throat- had biopsy last year and so far it's not malignant, but dr monitors it via MRI and it grows a little every year, but i'm too scared to undergo surgery to remove it. so for now just monitoring it's growth. but since feeling tight throat, hard to swallow, is anxiety symptoms- then i never know , is it anxiety or the tumor in my throat? same for other symptoms i get- bc when i get panic attack i feel like it's a seizure.

I've called 911 several times and the medics sometimes recognize me, and they come check me out and tell me to take my med, its a panic attack again. but sometimes i don't know. part of my anxiety comes from living alone, so in the future i'm looking into going to assisted living , but i have to move out of state to find better care for mental health- long story. but that's extreme- in your case if living alone is hard, as it is for me, maybe find a roommate. sometimes when i'm anxious just having another human present helps those physical symptoms go down. but you didn't really state the main cause of your anxiety, so not sure what would help, i guess counseling might help work thru some of it-- my counselor helps me. find the root cause of your anxiety and hopefully find ways to manage it.

my root thing is i can't stand being alone anymore-- i tried unsuccessfully to find roommate hence, i've come up with another plan, to move to another state, where it will be easier for me to get into assisted living . in TX they won't really take psychiatric diagnoses for assisted living, and you have to wait till you're in your 60's, so i'm trying to move to CO where many places do take psychiatric diagnoses, at any age. i pray you and all here , find relief and healing

There is a book called "The Worry Trick "... read it. Right now your best tool is knowledge. Read below:

SynopsisAre you truly in danger or has your brain simply "tricked" you into thinking you are? In The Worry Trick , psychologist and anxiety expert David Carbonell shows how anxiety hijacks the brain and offers effective techniques to help you break the cycle of worry, once and for all. Anxiety is a powerful force. It makes us question ourselves and our decisions, causes us to worry about the future, and fills our days with dread and emotional turbulence. Based in acceptance and commitment therapy (ACT) and cognitive behavior therapy (CBT), this book is designed to help you break the cycle of worry. Worry convinces us there's danger, and then tricks us into getting into fight, flight, or freeze mode--even when there is no danger. The techniques in this book, rather than encouraging you to avoid or try to resist anxiety, shows you how to see the trick that underlies your anxious thoughts, and how avoidance can backfire and make anxiety worse. If you're ready to start observing your anxious feelings with distance and clarity--rather than getting tricked once again--this book will show you how., Do you spend endless amounts of time worrying and feeling anxious? Are you worried about how much you worry? In a word, chronic worry can be exhausting. It can cause us to question ourselves and our decisions, and fill our days with emotional turbulence and dread. And if that weren't bad enough, worry convinces us there's danger and tricks us into exaggerated responses-even when there's no threat. So, how can you avoid having your brain hijacked by worry? Using powerful, evidence-based therapies, The Worry Trick is designed to help you break the cycle of anxiety and worry. Filled with tips and techniques, this book will show you how to identify the "trick" that underlies your anxious thoughts and help you keep worry from getting the best of you. With this book, you'll learn to observe your anxious feelings with distance and clarity-and finally conquer worry once and for all. Book jacket.

Girl. I am aldoo 29 year old female who is going through the exact same thing as you. I try to rest assured through prayer and faith that the docs were right when they did all the tests and said my heart was healthy but it feels so unnatural and feel exactly like the medical professionals tell you that a heart attack would feel like and to go to the E.r. But when I do they treat me the same and do the exact same blood tests and things and get exactly the same results everything is normal. But it's not normal to have left chest arm neck and central upper back pain for over a month except for a couple days that I had some peace. I am trying to put my trust in God alone because after all of this I have no confidence in doctors. I have missed so much work and need to go back tomorrow but I'm afraid to try and make something worse. I am not cleared by the doc and I am undiagnosed. My tests that are scheduled aren't for another month and a half.

Did u ever get any answers? Been to thw hospital 20 times in 6 weeks. I'm going crazy 😔

Since all tests came back normal likely you have GAD .Activan is a long term addictive advice seek your doctor for a change of medication ..xanax is a better alternative ..its a wonderful drug .within 20 mins after taking when you got attack ,you will feel calm relax and seems back to normal ....but you must also keep a healthy life diet .reduce weight daily walk .target to reduce weight ..this is imortant as yiu are grossly overweight ...long term going to create other issues like dibetis .change your lifestyle .lead a less stressful life .i am sure you can do it .just do it !

I am having these exact same symptoms!! I'm so afraid to go to the doctor and them tell me it's something bad! Its all I think about lately.

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