Chest Pain Stress
For many people, chest pain stress-related factors have everything to do with their overall ability to deal with the situations life throws at them on a daily basis.
Stress relief is a key way for dealing with this kind of chest pain.
But how do you know what’s causing it?
It’s a scary thing to have pains in your chest.
We’ve all read about the warning symptoms of heart attack
When that type of discomfort strikes, you want to be in a place where medical people will take care of you.
And you should seek medical attention if you are experiencing these symptoms:
- Chest pain or discomfort, especially if it feels like a crushing pain
- Pain that travels up the neck to the jaw, shoulder pain, or discomfort going down the arms—particularly the left
- Increased sweating
- Nausea or vomiting
- Lightheadedness or a feeling that you might faint
- A feeling that your heartbeat is slower or faster than normal.
Possibly you’ve been to see your doctor, or even visited your local emergency department, only to be told that there’s nothing wrong with your heart. That’s good news! The next step is to pinpoint the source of the pain.
If you experience high levels of stress, your body might internalize your anxieties so that you feel physical pain.
Many researchers believe that when you are stressed, your body reacts so that you are ready for a fight-or-flight response. The brain releases neurotransmitters such as adrenaline, noradrenaline, and cortisol into the blood stream to prepare you for this. Because our human body did not change that much in the past milenia, we experience the same physiological changes as cavemen of long ago. Even if the risk is not always life threatening.
These neurotransmitters stimulate your respiratory rate. Your blood flow is redirected from internal organs like the stomach to your arms and legs so that they are ready to punch or run. Your pupils dilate so that your vision is sharpened. You will also notice that muscles tense up in preparation to respond, and your impulses are sharpened.
We don’t have to worry about life threats like the cavemen, but we do have other perceived stresses. Maybe it’s the boss pressuring you to get that project done on time, or possibly you’re getting your finances in order to close on a new house next week. Even so, physical or mental changes like these can easily result in chest pain stress factors.
Other research studies point to additional causes. The tensed muscles we noted above can tighten up the chest-wall muscles, which easily can be mistaken for heart symptoms.
There are other physical causes of chest pain. GERD, also known as gastro-esophageal reflux disorder, can be a culprit. Hernia, injury to the ribs or the muscles supporting them, or even pneumonia can cause chest pain.
Some biologists have pointed out that pain receptors in the spinal cord for chest pain are nearly adjacent to those for heart pain, so the signals can cross over and confuse us. It’s possible for a disk of the cervical spine to press against nerves that lead to the cardiac area.
If you are experiencing chest and shoulder discomfort that comes and goes, you might have episodes of hypertension associated with your stress. Mitral valve prolapse occurs when the valve that controls the blood flow on the left side of your heart doesn’t close properly, and it also causes chest pain. People also experience discomfort when their clogged arteries diminish the blood flow, inhibiting adequate oxygenation. But all of these causes are cardiovascular in nature.
People physically affected by stress tend to be middle aged with a higher body mass index. Studies have shown that men usually remain more physically active than women. Women are more susceptible to depression and anxiety than men. But even if you don’t fit this profile, your chest pain might be stress related.
If you think you are experiencing chest pain stress induced, then your physician needs to eliminate any cardiovascular, musculo-skeletal, or digestive problems. And patients with unexplained chest pain compound their stress with worry of impending sudden death. Once you’ve gotten an otherwise clean bill of health, you can focus on stress relief techniques.
Most people can resolve chest pain stress if they become proactive about relaxation breaks throughout each day. Take a few moments several times a day to put your head back, close your eyes, and breathe deeply. This will help if muscle-tightening tension is causing the pain.
If your pain comes from the biochemical and adrenaline overload that we described, then exercise will help you run it out of your system. If you’re a workaholic, get a hobby. When life’s worries accumulate all at once, remind yourself that they, too, will pass.
One of the most important things to remember when you’re dealing with chest pain stress is that the pain is real, even if the doctor says he cannot identify physical causes.
Many patients feel frustration because their doctor could not validate their symptoms. Stress relief techniques will help you to gain relief from these unnecessary pains.
From Chest Pain Stress to the main page about Stress Symptoms