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Can Anxiety Cause Muscle Pain

Stomach Pain Or Uneasiness In The Abdomen

Can stress cause breast pain? – Dr. Nanda Rajaneesh

That sinking feeling in your stomach is one of the most recognizable signs of depression. However, when your abdomen starts to cramp, its easy to write it off as gas or menstrual pain.

Pain that worsens, especially when stress arises, may be a sign of depression. In fact, Harvard Medical School researchers suggest that stomach discomfort like cramps, bloating, and nausea may be a sign of poor mental health.

Whats the link? According to those Harvard researchers, depression can cause an inflamed digestive system, with pain thats easily mistaken for illnesses like inflammatory bowel disease or irritable bowel syndrome.

Doctors and scientists sometimes refer to the gut as the second brain, because they have found a connection between gut health and mental well-being. Our stomachs are full of good bacteria and if theres an imbalance of good bacteria, symptoms of anxiety and depression may arise.

Eating a balanced diet and taking probiotics can improve ones gut health, which may enhance mood, too, but further research is needed.

Digestive problems, like constipation and diarrhea can be embarrassing and uncomfortable. Often caused by food poisoning or gastrointestinal viruses, its easy to assume that gut discomfort stems from a physical illness.

But emotions like sadness, anxiety, and overwhelm can disrupt our digestive tracks. One 2011

Are Emotions Stored In The Hips

Our bodies respond to our thoughts, whether past or present. The iliopsoas muscles run alongside multiple organs as well as the female reproductive system. These muscles can tighten as a result of stress, trauma, thoughts, memories and experiences, and then have difficulty releasing. Tension on the iliopsoas can also affect the functioning of the diaphragm, the ability to take deep breaths, and turning off the bodys stress response.

Stress And Joint Pain

It is natural to develop joint pain as you get older. Your joint pain could also be the result of some injuries from exercise or sports. However, many people find it quite surprising that your mental health can also affect the health of your joints. In fact, there is a direct connection between stress and joint pain. Stress can affect your body in many ways you might not know, and the joint pain caused by stress can actually have significant effect on your day-to-day life.

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Other Causes And Aggravators Of Anxiety Chronic Pain


Stress, especially chronic stress, can cause problems with inflammation.

If your stress has been elevated for an extended period, such as from chronic worry, it could be contributing to inflammation problems, resulting in chronic pain.

Inflammation is another common cause of chronic pain.

Medication Side Effects

Some prescription and over-the-counter medications can cause anxiety-like symptoms and aggravate existing anxiety symptoms.

You should talk with your doctor and pharmacist if you suspect a medication might be playing a role in your chronic pain symptoms.

Recreational Drugs

Some recreational drugs stress and stimulate the body, which can cause and aggravate anxiety symptoms, such as chronic pain.


Ingesting stimulants, such as caffeine, stimulates, and stresses the body.

This increase in stimulation and stress can cause anxiety-like symptoms and aggravate existing anxiety symptoms, including chronic pain.

Sleep deprivation

Stress, including anxiety-caused stress, is a common cause of sleep deprivation, such as insomnia.

Sleep deprivation causes an increase in cortisol, a powerful stress hormone. Elevated cortisol stresses the body, which can also cause issues with pain.

Sleep disruption also reduces pain tolerance, which can make pain feel worse.

If your sleep has been regularly disrupted, it can cause problems with chronic pain.

Hyper and Hypoventilation

Low Blood Sugar

Nutritional Deficiencies


Hormone changes

How Stress Affects Sleep

How To Get Rid Of Chest Pain Due To Anxiety?

This infographic from Insider Living shows how stress affects sleep.

  • 26% of women report trouble sleeping at least once a week compared to only 16% of men.
  • 19% of individuals ages 25-64 admit to losing sleep due to stress a few nights per week.
  • 54% say that stress or anxiety increased their anxiety about falling asleep at night.
  • 52% of men and 42% of women reported that stress affected their ability to remain focused the next day.

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Anxiety Chest Pain Symptoms

Anxiety chest pain can feel different to different people. Symptoms in the chest area can be described as:

  • Sharp, shooting, or stabbing pain
  • Persistent, dull aching
  • Twitching or spasms

These uncomfortable feelings can come on gradually, or all at once.

It is more typical, however, for chest pain to present itself during panic or anxiety attacks that come on quickly, and for the sufferer to already feel anxious before the chest pain starts.

Muscle Weakness Anxiety Symptoms Can Feel Like:

  • A muscle or group of muscles feel unusually weak, tired, heavy, rubbery, or odd.
  • Some people describe this symptom as their muscles feel wobbly, numb, shaky, and tired.
  • A muscle or group of muscles seem difficult or impossible to move, relax, or loosen.
  • It feels like a muscle or group of muscles seem unusually frail, fatigued, and underpowered. No matter what you do, their weakness doesnt change.
  • It feels like a muscle or group of muscles arent properly supporting your body or movements due to feeling limp, listless, and worn out.
  • Others describe their muscles as feeling like they wont work right or too limp to use correctly.
  • Others describe this symptom as feeling like their muscles are unusually heavy or numb feeling.
  • Others describe this symptom as that they dont have confidence in their muscles because they dont feel as strong as they used to.
  • Others have said that their muscles feel so weak that they are unsure their muscles will support their body.
  • Other descriptions include weak hands, feet, legs, arms, neck, back, head, and face muscles. They can feel so weak that you become concerned you have a serious medical problem, such as MS, ALS, or Parkinsons Disease.

The degree and intensity of this muscle weakness anxiety symptom can vary from person to person. For example, one or a group of muscles can be only mildly weak for one person, whereas the weak and tiredness can be intensely noticeable and severely restricting for another person.

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Can Anxiety Make You Shaky And Weak

Most people feel weak in their knees as if there is no strength left in their legs when they are nervous or anxious. This is because the anxiety of panic attacks can stimulate your fight-or-flight center in the brain. Stress hormones can increase your heart rate and cause your chest and other body muscles to be tensed and tightened.

Your whole body in response to stress becomes activated. Your muscles become super active leading to muscle trembling, shaking, and twitching. You might experience psychogenic tremors .

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Identifying And Easing Anxiety

How does anxiety affect pain? – Dr. Hirachand Mutagi

It’s possible to become so fixated on the physical effects from your anxious state that you don’t even realize you were anxious to begin with, says Dr. Barsky. So, how do you know if anxiety is causing your symptoms? And if it is, how can you feel better? Dr. Barsky offers some tips to help you interrupt this cycle.

Stop and assess. “The first step is to pause for a second and observe what’s going on with your body,” says Dr. Barsky. Think about what you are experiencing and whether it relates to a feeling of emotional upset or a reaction to something alarming or stressful. If your symptoms followed a stressful event or period of time, it’s possible these emotions triggered your symptoms. Also, be alert to signs that you are tensing your muscles, which can also indicate a stress reaction.

Relax your body or work it. To relieve stress, try some deep breathing or relaxation exercises. There are numerous online resources and smartphone apps that can help guide you through relaxation techniques. Physical activity can also help you relieve tension. Try to squeeze in a daily walk or a run.

Reassure yourself. If you believe your symptoms are being caused by anxiety, reassure yourself that what you are experiencing is not harmful or fatal. “They’re not serious, and they don’t signal an impending medical disaster,” says Dr. Barsky. The symptoms will pass when the anxiety eases.

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Why Does Anxiety Cause Chest Pain

Anxiety is the bodys response to a real or perceived stressor, and anxiety and panic attacks can produce a number of physical symptoms in addition to mental turmoil.

When youre anxious, your body enters whats typically referred to as a fight or flight state, preparing to help you battle against something that could hurt you.

Your body does this in many ways, including increasing your heart rate, breathing rate, and blood pressure, and by triggering the release of adrenaline and noradrenaline.

Many of these fight or flight responses can cause chest pain. Common causes for chest pain include:

  • Muscle tension: This is typically a result of stress and can manifest itself as tightness in the muscles in the chest.
  • Increased heart rate: This can lead to feelings of pounding in the chest, heart palpitations, and coronary artery spasms.
  • Hyperventilation: This is a result of shortness of breath, and can cause changes to the level of carbon dioxide in the blood.
  • Increased blood pressure: This can increase oxygen demand in the heart and put a strain on the smaller blood vessels due to increased blood flow.

How To Diagnosis Of The Major Stress

One of the significant examples of stress-related chronic pain is lower back pain. This condition is usually not diagnosed by many medical professionals. However, the mind-body experts who understand the impact of stress on the human body do not find it difficult at all in diagnosing the lower back pain and the cause of it .

When the process starts for diagnosing stress-related lower back pain, the other possible reasons in this regard are ruled out by the mind-body expert. The majority of these patients suffering from chronic lower back pain are diagnosed with the condition known as sprain-strain.

After this particular diagnosis, the patient can then form a possible connection between lower back pain and stress. A fruitful dialogue with the physician can then take place by the patient. A physician would later adopt a meaningful cure in addressing the relationship between stress and the back pain of the patient.

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How To Avoid B12 Deficiency

B12 is naturally present in animal products such as meat, offal, milk, fish and eggs, but the richest sources are liver, clams, kidneys and oysters.

Harvard Health notes: Vegans can develop vitamin B12 deficiency because they lack vitamin B12 in their diets.

In patients with bulimia or anorexia nervosa, vitamin B12 deficiency can also be related to diet. However, your liver can store vitamin B12 for up to five years, so its rare for diet to cause this anaemia.

Injections are sometimes administered to individuals with long-standing deficiencies or those who are unable to absorb the nutrient properly.

Elderly people sometimes suffer a shortfall of intrinsic factor, the protein secreted by cells of the stomach lining, making them prone to deficiency.

Intrinsic factor is crucial for synthesis because it attaches to vitamin B12 and takes it to the intestines to be absorbed.

People who undergo weight loss surgery can also suffer decreased levels of intrinsic factor, which may warrant supplementation or injection with B12.

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Understanding Hip Pain From Stress And Anxiety

Can Anxiety Cause Muscle Pain?

The bodily reaction to stress is a very primal one: it goes back to our instinctual response when we are in danger our fight or flight response.

Stress and anxiety both evoke a very similar reaction to primal physical danger, especially in the hip flexors, which are designed to help us flee from a predator or dangerous situation.

When our brains are introduced to even minor stress, like running a few minutes behind in the morning, our body still causes pain and tightness within our muscles to keep us safe. Whether our stress is related to the hip or not, it could contribute to tension in the iliopsoas or hip flexor muscles.

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Common Signs And Symptoms Of Stress

  • Frequent headaches, jaw clenching or pain
  • Gritting, grinding teeth
  • Tremors, trembling of lips, hands
  • Neck ache, back pain, muscle spasms
  • Light headedness, faintness, dizziness
  • Ringing, buzzing or popping sounds
  • Frequent blushing, sweating
  • Cold or sweaty hands, feet
  • Dry mouth, problems swallowing
  • Frequent colds, infections, herpes sores
  • Rashes, itching, hives, goose bumps
  • Unexplained or frequent allergy attacks
  • Heartburn, stomach pain, nausea
  • Constipation, diarrhea, loss of control
  • Difficulty breathing, frequent sighing
  • Sudden attacks of life threatening panic
  • Chest pain, palpitations, rapid pulse
  • Frequent urination
  • Diminished sexual desire or performance
  • Excess anxiety, worry, guilt, nervousness
  • Increased anger, frustration, hostility
  • Depression, frequent or wild mood swings
  • Increased or decreased appetite
  • Frequent crying spells or suicidal thoughts
  • Feelings of loneliness or worthlessness
  • Little interest in appearance, punctuality
  • Nervous habits, fidgeting, feet tapping
  • Increased frustration, irritability, edginess
  • Increased number of minor accidents
  • Obsessive or compulsive behavior
  • Reduced work efficiency or productivity
  • Lies or excuses to cover up poor work
  • Rapid or mumbled speech
  • Frequent use of over-the-counter drugs
  • Weight gain or loss without diet
  • Increased smoking, alcohol or drug use
  • Excessive gambling or impulse buying
  • The Link Between Anxiety And Chronic Pain

    Excessive and persistent anxiety is considered a strong root cause for back pain, neck pain, and virtually any other kind of chronic pain, as well as an array of other physical symptoms. Anxiety is believed to amplify existing pain perception and suffering, but it gets worse it may actually cause pain we wouldnt otherwise feel by making us more prone to inflammation.

    Unfortunately, this can create a negative feedback loop. Chronic pain leads to anxiety as sufferers stress about how bad the pain will get, how long it will last, and how it will impact their lives. This growing anxiety then further compounds the effects of chronic pain, and so on.

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    What Is The Best Remedy For Stress

    There are a few herbal remedies that can be used to calm the symptoms of mild stress, anxiety and hyperactivity, the gentlest of which is Avena sativa. This is made from freshly harvested Avena sativa herb rather than oat grains which is used in food. This makes it naturally rich in B vitamins which, as Ive already discussed, are important when we are feeling stressed.

    When Should You Be Concerned About Leg Muscle Pain

    How to Prevent and Reduce Muscular Back Pain

    Ill start by saying that this is honestly a hard question to answer. There is never never in medicine. Practically, this really does mean that if you are worried, you should talk to your doctor, even if you cannot find your problem in the list here. But still, some symptoms raise concern more than others. Here are a few considerations:

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