Q. Am I getting facial tightnesss because of anxiety?

Answered by
Dr. Aida Abaz Quka
and medically reviewed by Dr. Divya Banu M
This is a premium question & answer published on Feb 10, 2020 and last reviewed on: Feb 11, 2020

Hi doctor,

I am a 25-year-old male. I do not have any medical history. Been always healthy.

For the past 3 months, I have been experiencing this facial tightness which comes pretty often throughout the day with different intensity. The facial tension usually comes half an hour after I leave the bed. The tightness on my face happens to be on both sides of my face but usually more intense on the right. At times, I can feel it from my neck all the way up to my face. As of recent, I have been feeling this slight burning sensation on my chest to my shoulders as well. Prior to this facial tightness, I have been suffering from this burning feeling on the centre of my chest for about a month. It was my first time experiencing heartburn and I thought it was heart related. Went for X-rays and echo heart ultrasound. Everything came out fine. I have a healthy heart. What made the burning chest sensation go away temporarily is lying down, eating, exercising and drinking alcohol. And the weird part is the same thing helps me relieve my facial tightness temporarily is the same thing as that for the burning chest sensation; lying down, eating, exercising and drinking alcohol.

Since having this facial tightness, I have paid numerous visits to different doctors, even the neuro-specialist and they all said it was anxiety. The doctors did facial senses test where they take a piece of fine cotton to touch different parts of my face. I had to close my eyes and tell them where the spot is. I have no troubles at all. I did blood test. It came out normal. They told me I do not need to do any scans and that it was merely anxiety and it will go off by itself.

I convinced myself that I had anxiety because of the one month heartburn ordeal that I was suffering from. Even though the facial tightness was there, I tried my utmost best to ignore it. I do not think that I have any anxiety in me now as I try not to think of the weird tightness sensation. However, it has been 3 whole months and now I am getting alarmed and worried that it is still here and with newer sensations as I described above. In all honesty, I do feel that the intensity of the facial tension as compared to I first experienced it, is less. However, it is always there even as when I am typing this. I do not see any physical change on my body. Not sure if it is neuro damage. I am worried sick.

Hope I can get some form of advice and diagnosis.



Welcome to

I read carefully your question and would agree with your Doctor on the fact that all your symptoms are suggestive of anxiety. The fact that your symptoms are relieved by lying down, alcohol or physical activity is another argument in favour of anxiety. Anyways, before coming to this conclusion, I would recommend checking vitamin D plasma levels for possible deficiency and blood pressure for possible imbalances. It is also necessary performing a cervical spine X-ray study, in order to exclude any possible bulging disc in the cervical vertebral column, which could lead to burning sensation in the neck and shoulders. In the meantime, I would recommend taking magnesium supplements, to help relieve the muscle spasm.

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