Q. Can chest pain occur due to anxiety?

Answered by
Dr. Anshul Varshney
and medically reviewed by Dr. Vinodhini. J
This is a premium question & answer published on Feb 20, 2020 and last reviewed on: Feb 24, 2020

Hello doctor,

I went to the E.R twice in the past two weeks and I went to two different hospitals. I am 20 years old. The first time I went to the ER with chest pain, they did an EKG, x-ray, blood work and put me on the monitor for two hours. Everything came back fine and they sent me home. The doctor said everything looked good.

Well, the second time I went to a different hospital and did all the same tests and the doctor came back and said everything looked great and I should not worry. He sat down and talked to me and my husband for about 30 minutes. He said he is pretty sure of what I am feeling is bad anxiety because I was in a bad car accident about five months ago. I hardly leave the house and he said it might be a depression sitting in with anxiety because I am just sitting at home and not doing what I normally do and go out. He said another thing, I have two small kids and lifting them and playing with them can cause aches and pains.

My chest still hurts only when I am lifting something or moving my arm or body in the wrong way. I also think I am a hypochondriac because ever since my chest first started hurting that is all I think about, then new things pop up like headaches, back pain, neck, shoulders, ribs and I keep having to use the bathroom and it is runny. I keep thinking something is wrong and my husband and family keeps telling me I am fine. Two doctors said I am fine and I am just over reacting which is making my body tense into thinking something is wrong. Can that really happen? I do not have any health insurance so it is hard to just up and go to the doctor. I just want some reassurance.

Dr. Anshul Varshney

Critical Care Physician Diabetology General Medicine Internal Medicine Medical Gastroenterology Nephrology Pulmonology (Asthma Doctors) Rheumatology


Welcome to icliniq.com.

Such chest pains during stress occur because of anxiety only and we label then non-specific cardiac chest pains. But we should always keep in consideration cardiac chest pain and acid reflux. It is important to differentiate between the all. However, the cardiac chest pain is severe and crushing in nature. It increases on activity like walking, exercising. It is also radiated to the left arm.

In such a scenario, you should get an ECG (electrocardiography) and chest x-ray done. If they are normal, I would advise you to go for a treadmill test and echo. If they are also normal, then the pain is not due to cardiac issues.

For acid reflux, I would advise you to take a combination of Pantoprazole and Domperidone once a day. For anxiety, you would be treated with antianxiety drugs like Etizolam.

Share my opinion with your doctor before acting upon it.

I hope this helps.

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