Chest & Arm Pain: Having Dull chest pains... - Anxiety Support

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Chest & Arm Pain


Having Dull chest pains behind left breast and a weird squeezing pressure down my left arm feels like something running throgh my veins to palm is this anxiety? Uncomfortable feels a bit tingly or numb on and off

23 Replies

I get those symptoms and so many more too

Hidden in reply to Cherbear811

Do you think it’s a heart attack or heart related 😣 so worried

Cherbear811 in reply to Hidden

ABSOLUTELY NOT, please believe me, you are way too young. I used to worry everyday about having a heart attack, anxiety does create so many physical symptoms. I can pretty much promise, as long as you have no other major health problems you are not having a heart attack dear. Im 37 yrs old and been thru hell and back in it now, you will be ok!!!

Hidden in reply to Cherbear811

Thank you very much. I live with my girlfriend. I am having a tingling feeling in and off down my left arm a bit and feels full over my diaphragm. My girlfriend is going to sleep and I’m laying here feeling afraid cause of my symptoms are causing me distress I really don’t want it to be a heart issue. I’m 22 years old. I’m a bit afraid. I get chest pains often and my left arm is feeling like it’s weaker than usual when trying to clench my first idk could be anxiety and cause it’s late here almost midnight. I just am having some slight back pain as well worried don’t want it to be a heart problem 😣😣😣

Do you you have anyone as support, do you live alone?

I'm glad you are not alone but please believe me, it's not your heart. It usually never is when you think it is. You are ok

Hidden in reply to Cherbear811

Thank you. I appreciate that. Jut scared to sleep right now because of the uncomfortable feeling. My whole chest from neck down below breast area by diaphragm feels discomfort

Hidden in reply to Cherbear811

Also my heart rate monitor app on my phone keeps showing my heart rate going really low. Usually mine is at 80-95 bpm resting now it shows 72

Between 60 and 100 is normal, see you WILL be ok

Hidden in reply to Cherbear811

But mines never this low. Scary

Hopeful-Tinkerbell in reply to Hidden

If you are going to sleep your heart rate will lower a certain amount. Most everyone’s does! Yours is normal!

Maybe you are actually subconsciously calm, remember people like us obsess, because we are so lucky :( so you are fixated on a number, a normal number. You probably are calm between me telling you and your girlfriend, you know somewhere inside yourself that you are OK

Hidden in reply to Cherbear811

Thank you very much. I guess I will try to sleep now. What time is it where you are? It’s 12:14 AM here in Ontario, Canada. Have to get some rest now. Hope I can talk to you tomorrow feel free to send me a private message if you wish :) thanks for your replies and help I really appreciate it

Cherbear811 in reply to Hidden

Same time here in Cleveland, ohio. Canada is beautiful, went there many times as a child. No problem, you are welcome

Hi PDiVenanzo,

From the Calm Clinic where you can do an online test

Suffering from anxiety can be a serious challenge. It can also lead to some incredibly unusual and troubling symptoms. One of the stranger issues caused by anxiety is tingling hands.

That tingling feeling often leads to further anxiety, because it makes people worry that something is wrong with their head or nervous system. It's a fair worry, because tingling hands can be caused by nerve issues, vitamin deficiencies, liver disease and more. Yet it can also be caused by anxiety.

Tingling Hands = Anxiety?

Tingling hands is a very real anxiety symptom. It can also be caused by something more serious, such as diabetes or carpel tunnel syndrome, or it can be caused by anxiety and stress.

Much of it depends on your other symptoms and what your doctor says.

Tingling hand can be a frightening anxiety symptom. Some people experience tremendous fear that something is wrong with their heart or brain. Others worry about something less serious, but still a very real problem, like carpel tunnel - especially if you work in retail or with computers/typing.

But tingling hands can genuinely be an anxiety symptom. One thing that's true though - tingling hands almost always comes with other anxiety symptoms.

What Causes Tingling Hands?

First, it's important to remember that even the "tingling hands" experience may be different for different people. Some might call it crawling hands, others may see it more as hand numbness. There are even those whose hands become somewhat in pain.

The more serious you feel it is, the more you should consider seeing a doctor. Despite the likelihood that tingling hands is caused by anxiety, only a doctor can diagnose you for certain, and it's always a good idea to rule out more serious conditions.

When other issues have been ruled out and anxiety becomes the likely culprit, that's when you need treatment. But what causes tingling hands? The answer is almost always hyperventilation.

Understanding Hyperventilation in Those With Anxiety

Hyperventilation is one of the least understood anxiety issues. It occurs when you breathe out too much carbon dioxide. While your body does need oxygen and generally breathes out CO2, your body needs a healthy amount of CO2 as well. When you hyperventilate, those balances are thrown off.

Most people think of hyperventilation as "breathing too quickly," and indeed that's definitely a potential cause. When you have an anxiety attack/panic attack, you'll often find that you're breathing incredibly fast, and that may cause you to hyperventilate.

But hyperventilation may also occur for other reasons, including:

Thinking About Breathing

When you think about your breathing, your breathing is no longer in your body's natural control. That may cause you to take in or breathe our more air than your body would naturally, leading to hyperventilation.

Taking Deeper Breaths

During an anxiety attack, you may feel like you're not getting enough air, and that may cause you to try to take deeper breaths. Unfortunately, in many cases you did already have enough air and that sensation was misleading, so your response makes your hyperventilation worse.

Poor Breathing Training

Another unusual situation that seems to occur in those with anxiety is that their breathing simply changes. They start to breathe in more from their chest and a bit faster. In those cases, hyperventilation occurs more slowly, until some symptoms occur. Then the person usually thinks about their breathing or tries to take deeper breaths as a result.

Anxiety can often lead to hyperventilation, and when it does it can cause a number of different symptoms, including tingling sensations in the hands.

Other Causes of Tingling Hands

Hyperventilation is the most common reason that tingling hands occur in those with anxiety, but it's not the only reason. Stress itself can have an unusual effect on hands, and so it's possible that stress causes hand sensations in unknown ways.

Also, tingling hands can occur every day for reasons that are not health related. For example, if you are sitting on your hands a certain way or pressing on a nerve it can make your hand start to tingle, and if you have anxiety, you may think about and worry about that tingling more than someone that doesn't have anxiety. It's not unusual for anxiety to cause normal sensations to feel much worse.

Anxiety Over Health

Many types of anxiety can actually cause health anxiety, which is one of the reasons that tingling hands can feel so frightening. Panic attacks, for example, can make people over-sensitive to their own physical sensations, and when they experience some of these symptoms - like tingling hands - they experience this wave of anxiety that feels uncontrollable.

Anxiety can create your tingling hands, and it can make you react very strongly when you experience them. Anyone that says living with anxiety is easy has likely never tried it before.

How to Stop Tingling Hands From Anxiety

Since tingling hands is most commonly caused by hyperventilation, you should start by gaining control of your breathing. Take slower breaths is a start. Also, try not to breathe in through your chest as much. It may feel like you're not getting a full breath, but remember that hyperventilation causes the feeling of needing more air, even though the opposite is true.

You should also start walking. Make sure that you're getting good blood flow. As the muscles work, your breathing will often become a bit healthier, and your hyperventilation should decrease. Once you've got your tingling hands under control, it's time to work on the anxiety itself.

Hi! I worked in the cardiac intensive care unit and on the rescue squad for 14 years. Both of my parents have had severe heart disease as well and I have taken care of them. For someone to say absolutely not your heart I believe is very premature. It may very will be only anxiety but I think there is a concern. I would like to ask you a few questions.

1. Do you have a family history of heart disease?

2. Are you having any other symptoms? Sweating, shortness of breath dizziness etc? Your pulse is normal Mine runs low lower than that More than the number at times it is the symptoms accompanying it though obviously extreme highs and lows are not good Yours isn’t but I’ve had many people that normally just run very low or high but are asymptomatic

3. How old are you? I relooked at Post. 22. That is young but Not quite as important. I have seen many young people that are healthy over the years suffer heart attacks.

4. In general how is your health, anxiety etc? Is this new for you or have you experienced this before? What is the severity of your pain I’m sure if increasing in intensity anxiety over the pain will exacerbate it

I am not trying to scare you by any means. This can help me relieve your anxiety. I know how hard anxiety can be! All too well! If pain has subsided and you are now resting that is a very good sign. Have you tried taking something for anxiety. With chest pain it is very important to understand your pain, risks etc. I have been admitted twice with severe chest pain only to end up with a diagnosis of anxiety. I have just seen way too much. I did see you are 22. The more you worry the worse the pain will be. That is typical with anxiety. Were you undergoing something stressful or anxiety producing when it started? Maybe extremely physical? How long have you been having the pain consistently this time? So many symptoms of anxiety are the same as heart disease. We cannot tell you 100% that it is not. I would have to do a thorough work up to do that. When my mom suffered a massive heart attack there was no doubt. The pain was off the charts! Many people describe it as having an elephant sitting on your chest and pain radiating down your left arm. Some people experience back pain. I have seen many people who have had a heart attack and didn’t even know depending on the location of the occlusion. Then go to doctor for check up and find out. There is no set answer for heart disease or anxiety. I prefer to be cautious due to the extensive history in my family. I am also almost the age my mom had her first heart attack. Personally I have learned to recognize my anxiety and use coping skills to determine whether I have relief or not. I don’t want you to worry more. I feel like having been through this before you are familiar with the feeling and anxiety is quite possible but without more info we can not give you a definitive answer. I saw that you said you were laying down. Was something upsetting you? I have been woken from sleep with horrible anxiety from dreams. I take anxiety medicine every night. My mom has to because her heart will race at night if not with anxiety but it is very hard on her heart when she is anxious. Feel free to private message if that’s more comfortable. I have had anxiety just like that. I’ve also seen heart patients. Trying to calm your self if possible would help if at all possible. I’m sorry. I know this won’t help but I would be remiss if I didn’t ask questions. I personally would rather be safe than sorry. You could try getting fresh air, taking a relaxing bath or shower, reading a book etc. A good book can transport you and take your mind off things. Calming music or Music that you enjoy or makes you feel good with headphones so you don’t disturb your girlfriend. If nothing else please document symptoms, duration, activity leading up to it etc along with and questions you have with your doctor. I’m here in Virginia ready to help if needed. Much love and God bless! I will for sure say a pray for you! Have you by chance tried and relaxation techniques or coping skills? What was the result? I know I may have mentioned something’s twice. I’m well educated but have my own anxiety which disrupts my concentration. I do know what I’m talking about. I just don’t communicate as well as I would like anymore. I’m sorry.

Hidden in reply to Hopeful-Tinkerbell

Hi Shawny,

Thanks for your reply.

1. Yes, My Papa (Mom’s Dad) Had his 1st heart attack at 35 then had another later in life. My Mom has a bit of an Irregular Heart Beat, My Grandpa Passed of a heart attack at 65

2.No sweating, I always have a bit of trouble catching my breath now and then but I think it’s from anxiety and if I focus on breathing too much.

3. I’m 22 years old.

4. My health is okay. Just went for a physical a week ago and she said my heart and lungs sound good. Only concern is my “weight” I hold more in my stomach and don’t mean to but it’s always been that way. I’m 5’5 and 210lb but you can’t really tell. Been struggling bad anxiety all my life but been worse recently in the past few months. The chest pains have been happening to me and scaring me the past few weeks or so. Last night I had dull achey type pain behind my breast area stretched across my chest slight back pain and my arms felt like they were pinching down them or something. I am awake this morning and have some dull achey pains still behind my breast almost like a cold feeling a bit. It’s so hard to explain it. The pain hasn’t gotten any worse or anything it’s more of a discomfort.

I try to just stay calm and not think about it because the more I do the more it gets me all worked up and last week o was convinced I was having a heart attack or stroke and called my Mom on the phone and was going to go to the ER but I feel like I’m there all the time so I just calmed down and eventually was ok again. I’m going for blood work this Friday will that be able to tell me if I have any heart related issues to worry about? Thanks for your reply I so appreciate it :

Hopeful-Tinkerbell in reply to Hidden

I’m glad you are seeing someone. The doctor telling you your heart and lungs sound good is a very good thing! Try to take comfort in that! I’m glad you are seeing a doctor. It sounds to me like you are doing everything right with that. You definitely seem to be having some some bad anxiety. Personally I always think it is better to be safe than sorry. I know there are things I can try to rule out cardiac like trying to calm myself. Bubble bath, breathing exercises, coping skills etc. if I get any relief or I know I am stressed that helps. My mom blamed her chest pain on stress for years and when I finally convinced her to get a checkup she was rushed to surgery that day on her heart. Stress and anxiety are hard on you. I’m overweight for sure. That’s hard. You have some minor risk factors but it sounds to me like you are fine! I just hate to assume with all that I’ve seen and know. My doctors often tell me I know too much and that can actually be a bad thing. I know taking a walk, breathing fresh air and stopping to smell the roses or enjoy the beautiful colors of fall is one of the best things we can do for ourselves. I don’t do it like I should by any means but when I do it is so freeing. It can also help with weight which can help with cardiac risk factors etc. It’s like a step ladder. I need to take my own advice so I know how hard that can be! I’m rooting for you though! Make sure you discuss all your feelings with your doctor. That’s so important! It can also give you the relief you need to know that you are okay!

Hidden in reply to Hopeful-Tinkerbell

Hey Shawny89,

It’s PDiVenanzo :) I had to make another account (this one) cause someone on the PDiVenanzo one was giving me problems. Thank you so much for your reply to the heart related evaluation you gave to me. I appreciate your feedback so much. So based on what I said to you you figure I’m okay heart wise then? I know you said I have some minor risk factors..What exactly are those? Just so I know :) I will definitely do those things you suggested thank you so much. The chest related pains always go away once my mind is off of them so I assume they are anxiety. :) thanks again for your reply feel free to

Follow me on my new account if you wish thanks

Hopeful-Tinkerbell in reply to Hidden

Weight, family history once removed. You said your mom has some irregular heart beats but that could be from just caffeine, nerves etc. I would have to know her exact diagnosis and look at her EKG. Stress, anxiety and depression or just mental illness in general effects every part of our bodies! My skin, my GI system, my weight, everything! Especially your heart. I would not actually call the effects on our heart minor. Over time it is hard on us. That is a risk factor. I cannot tell you 100% that you do not have heart disease or problems. I’ve never seen you. No one can on line. From what you said your doctor said your heart and lungs sound good. You have had similar experiences in the past that were anxiety related. It eased up while resting. You told me you were going to the doctor next week. That will be so benificial to help with your anxiety. A lot of what you said sounds like heart disease symptoms, but the symptoms of heart problems are just like the symptoms of anxiety disorder. There is no replacement for a check up with your doctor. If you are concerned you should always see your doctor. I can’t give you that kind of advice without seeing you myself and your test results etc. It’s impossible to do that when it’s so much the same. Your age is a positive. You have a lot going for you. You are definitely young enough to change your circumstances and many if your risk factors. It starts by working with your primary doctor on healthy living, your psychiatrist and therapist on your mental well being which for me is one of your biggest risk factors. If it scares which I am trying not to do I am very sorry. None of us need more stress! Now us the time to change things. Diet, exercise, healthy living etc. Don’t give up like I have! You have a whole life in front of you with your fiancé to make beautiful loving happy memories. I did quit smoking just over 3 years ago. I want to lose weight but I’m not doing anything productively to do it. My risk factors are much higher than yours. I wish you good health! Mental and physical! Don’t forget to communicate all of your feelings with your doctor and any concerns you may have!

Hidden in reply to Hopeful-Tinkerbell

The amount I weigh is very deceiving the number is large but you really can’t tell looking at me I don’t look like I’m 200lbs at all, just hold some weight in stomach,always have. I don’t know the name of my Mom’s heart condition, I just know the valve doesn’t open or close properly something like that idk. I’m just going for blood work on Saturday. I don’t even know how I’d go about getting my heart checked I have no idea how to do that. I got a physical from my dr and she half assed it tbh. My Blood pressure is usually 80-84 resting and by bed time usually in 70’s. When I was at the hospital for head pains the dr told me it’s super rare for a 22 year old girl to have a Stroke or Heart attack but I still worry obviously from the anxiety. My Dr told me to be exercising 3 times a week for at least 40 minutes and to take Vitamin D. I haven’t been exercising though cause since the Zoloft reaction to the medication I was on it’s made me just stay in bed all day and not feel normal. For the past 2 months I’ve been doing this really struggling. I only feel this way on my home when I go out to a concert or the mall etc I feel absolutely fine. It’s so strange....The other reason I haven’t been exercising is cause I’m scared if I have a heart issue or something I have heard stories of people having strokes while working out too hard and I have a huge fear of stroke or heart attack so I just avoid it. Tbh with you I have a pretty shitty dr she looks like a deer in the headlights if I ever ask questions about my health and she scrambled around the office...I’m switching to my gfs dr in the Spring once she’s done maternity leave and will be taking patients. She’s really nice apparently so when I go to her I’ll definitely be taking much better care of my health cause I’ll believe her more lol. I don’t wanna like get my anxiety going over heart issues all the time though it’s a little hard for me to talk about here because I’m already super terrified of it and I just feel like I’m putting it in my head more now...

PS women have a higher risk of heart disease as well. Somethings we just can’t change. Change what you can. That’s all you can do if you are worried. Hugs! You got this!

You dofinitely are putting it in your head more. You said your BP was between 70-85. I’m assuming that’s the systolic. That is a little low if so. Normal for systolic is 100 plus your age not to exceed 150. Is your diastolic normal? Usually 60-80? I was talking to my mom today about you. No names but being a very severe heart patient she has a lot of perspective and also worked in cardiac care. She said her heart attack, the second, radiated to her back and down her arm. Pain was off the charts. You said you feel better when you go out. I have panic attacks every time I have to. Then when I finally leave I feel better. Our safe space can turn into a tomb. It’s just hard to see because the thought of leaving scares us to death. That is how I feel anyway. It’s easier to stay here. When I go out my mind opens up a lot! That when you go out you feel better says a lot to me. If it was heart I don’t think that would happen. If you are not comfortable with your doctor, CHANGE! Until then make sure she is fully aware of what’s going on though. I can’t possibly say that it definitely is not. No one can unless they’ve evaluated you and run tests. Knowing that you feel better you need to get up get out and get active! I actually joined a meetup group with that name. It was just a little too active. I have limitations physically. I don’t know where you live but I live in Virginia. There is a you can look up and see if it is near you. I was in a girl group that was so fun and it opened my mind and helped me so much. You can find groups for everything! Singles, married, any any hobby you can think of is on there. It is so cool. I joined one with a life coach. We met a group of woman with similar stories to mine. It was so awesome! They are usually free to join. Occasionally a group will charge a very small yearly dues but I’ve never joined one. My girl group “lipstick and heels” and no we didn’t wear heels was all about having fun. Dinner, bowling, movies etc. It got me to step out of my comfort zone and try new things. Everyone was so nice and I kind of felt like I had friends but I moved. I felt better when I went out. There was anxiety prior of course but once I got there I had so much fun. You know when you go out you feel better! Try to set a goal to do it more often. Start slow if needed. Once a month. I’m sure your girlfriend would love a date night even. Just keep moving. It’s the best medicine there is! Easier said than done for me but you have a huge life ahead of you! So get out and enjoy as much as possible.

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