All About Anxiety Chest Pain

Anxiety chest pain causes a series of symptoms that can make the sufferer feel like they’re dying. That's why it’s important to know the causes that trigger anxiety attacks in order to control it.
All About Anxiety Chest Pain
Diego Pereira

Reviewed and approved by the doctor Diego Pereira.

Written by María Vijande

Last update: 27 May, 2022

When a person is having a panic attack, they may experience different symptoms, such as a feeling of suffocation or loss of control of their own body. Also, some people suffer from anxiety chest pain.

Anxiety chest pain can be very bothersome. People who suffer from it can even feel like they’re dying. However, before we focus on this pain, it’s important to know a little more about the cause that triggers it: anxiety.

What’s anxiety?

A woman with anxiety.
All people suffer from episodes of anxiety to a greater or lesser extent. Anxiety is part of the body’s adaptive responses.

It’s basically a defense mechanism. It’s an alert system for situations that are threatening to the patient. Anxiety is universal: it affects everyone. It’s a normal and adaptive mechanism that improves performance, anticipation, and response.

The function of anxiety is to mobilize the body and keep it alert and ready to intervene when faced with risks and threats to reduce their consequences or make sure they don’t happen.

However, in some cases, this mechanism works in an altered way. In other words, it creates anguish. Instead of helping us, it incapacitates us. An alteration in this mechanism can be due to some of these predisposing factors to anxiety:

On the other hand, we should mention that there are different types of anxiety. Here are some of them:


People who suffer from it fear places and situations that can cause panic or create sensations of being trapped, helpless, or embarrassed. Therefore, they avoid these types of places.

Generalized anxiety disorder

Characterized by a feeling of persistent and excessive anxiety and worry about activities or events, even common everyday ones.

The worry is disproportionate to the current situation, is difficult to control, and it affects the way the sufferer feels physically. It often manifests along with other anxiety disorders or depression.

Panic disorder

A woman having a panic attack.
People who suffer from panic disorder experience sudden and uncontrollable anxiety and fear.

It’s characterized by repeated episodes of sudden feelings of intense anxiety and fear that peak within minutes. These episodes are known as panic attacks. Here are some of the symptoms these attacks can cause:

  • A sense of impending doom
  • Shortness of breath
  • Anxiety chest pain
  • Elevated heart rate or palpitations

These panic attacks can make the person worry that they’ll happen again or will avoid situations in which they’ve happened.

The symptoms of anxiety chest pain

As you’ve seen, anxiety chest pain is the pain sensation the somatization of an anxious state causes. A crisis doesn’t have to happen for it to occur. The perception of ongoing stress can also cause anxiety chest pain.

People who’ve suffered it have presented any of the following symptoms:

  • Hyperventilation
  • Numbness in the extremities
  • Loss of body control
  • Sensation of death

Also, it’s sharp and intermittent and causes a prickling sensation. However, this type of discomfort usually disappears in a short time, after approximately 15 minutes.

Another characteristic of anxiety chest pain is that it doesn’t disappear due to movement. The sensation is the same, whether they move or not.

Treatment of anxiety chest pain

A woman with chest pain.
To relieve anxiety chest pain, you need to find an effective treatment for the anxiety states that trigger it.

As anxiety chest pain is a consequence of another problem, treatment has to focus on the triggering cause: anxiety.

In most cases, patients will need to analyze what external and internal factors cause or favor marked anxiety episodes to address them.

Medical professionals also recommend relaxation and breathing exercises. Likewise, muscle relaxation techniques are useful. Doctors may prescribe anxiolytics (anti-anxiety drugs) for patients who require them.

When this type of problem becomes this serious, the patient should see a professional for treatment and advice.

Anxiety chest pain: See a professional

Anxiety chest pain causes a series of symptoms that can make the patient who suffers it feel that they’re dying.

You need to know what triggers your anxiety attacks and continuous stress to avoid these types of complications. See a professional to regain control and learn more about these types of anxiety problems.

All cited sources were thoroughly reviewed by our team to ensure their quality, reliability, currency, and validity. The bibliography of this article was considered reliable and of academic or scientific accuracy.

This text is provided for informational purposes only and does not replace consultation with a professional. If in doubt, consult your specialist.