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Anxiety is the body’s natural response to stress. Psychology Today explains that “anxiety is built into our primate origins as a warning system,” and according to the Mayo Clinic, having occasional feelings of anxiety is an unavoidable part of life. As defined by the American Psychological Association (APA) anxiety is “an emotion characterized by feelings of tension, worried thoughts and physical changes like increased blood pressure.” Anxiety will manifest differently in different people, which can make detecting or understanding its symptoms difficult. Chest pain associated with anxiety, for example, can develop on a gradual basis for some, while for others it may present suddenly and unexpectedly. Healthline provides other ways in which anxiety chest pain has been described, such as:

  • Sharp, shooting pain
  • Persistent chest aching
  • An unusual muscle twitch or spasm in the chest
  • Burning, numbness, or a dull ache
  • Stabbing pressure
  • Chest tension or tightness

Chest pain is a common symptom of anxiety, as according to 2018 research, an estimated 25 to 50 percent of patients who come to the emergency department with low risk chest pain (chest pain unrelated to a heart attack) reported experiencing moderate to severe anxiety.

Why Does It Happen?

Anxiety triggers the “fight or flight response,” which causes your brain to send a surge of adrenaline and cortisol through your body. These stress hormones act on the same parts of the brain that regulate cardiovascular functions. Verywell Health explains that both hormones have different effects on the body:

  • Cortisol: rapidly increases blood glucose (sugar), providing a prolonged burst of energy to cope with acute stresses more effectively.
  • Adrenaline: amplifies energy output by expanding the airways, increasing heart rate and blood pressure, and redistributing blood to muscles.

The sudden spike in heart rate and blood pressure can lead to chest pain, sweating, and/ or difficulty breathing. Hyperventilation during acute anxiety attacks can also contribute to chest pain by placing extreme stress on the intercostal muscles of the chest wall. The fear that accompanies anxiety can further magnify the perception of pain. Chronically high hormone levels may induce more frequent panic attacks (causing symptoms that mimic those associated with a heart attack) and increase one’s risk of cardiovascular disease.

Treatment In Calabasas

Calabasas is a city in California. It is a well-known suburb of Los Angeles, located west of the San Fernando Valley and north of the Santa Monica Mountains. Over the past decade, the city of Calabasas has grown in its reputation for luxury as well as for privacy which makes it a hidden gem for residential living for society’s elite, and one of the most desirable destinations in Los Angeles County. It is also home to a plethora of highly qualified mental health clinicians providing an array of therapeutic services and treatment options. 

The information above is provided for the use of informational purposes only. The above content is not to be substituted for professional advice, diagnosis, or treatment, as in no way is it intended as an attempt to practice medicine, give specific medical advice, including, without limitation, advice concerning the topic of mental health. As such, please do not use any material provided above to disregard professional advice or delay seeking treatment.

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