Anonymous asked in HealthHealth & Well-BeingPain & Pain Management · 2 months ago

Constantly worrying about my heart?

So a doctor told me I have quite moderate anxiety. I went to see a doctor as I had a panic attack and ever since then I had really bad chest pains. She put it down to the tension from the panic attack and that was that. The chest pain obviously went away with time but every now and then I get little sharp pains where my heart is, and I completely overthink it and think it’s something serious, when I know deep down it’s not. I even went to A&E because of it and my ECG was absolutely fine. Blood test was fine also. My work requires me to sit a lot and I do tend to sit hunched over and I have pretty bad back/neck pain and bad posture. When I press certain parts of my sternum, that hurts too. Sometimes I get sharp pains that radiate down my left arm (left side is pretty bad tension wise), and because I’m an obsessive symptom Googler, I know that’s related to heart problems. As I said, I know deep down it’s due to bad posture and stress, and sitting hunched over all the time (the knots in my back are ridiculous for a young woman) but I still can’t help but think there’s something wrong with my heart. My question is, how do I get over this? Should I go see a doctor to ease my mind? I don’t necessarily want to go due to the current climate of the world right now...


Forgot to mention that the pain only comes when I lay down. On my back or on my side. Not when I’m going about my day or exercising.

5 Answers

  • Edna
    Lv 7
    2 months ago

    Chest pain that is caused by problems with your heart don't just "go away"  and they're not "every now and then" - they're constant. They're usually felt in the center of your chest, in the area of your sternum.  It would make no difference no matter what position you were lying in or when you were going about your day or exercising - it would still hurt.

    If you wish, your doctor can order extensive,  sophisticated, and non-invasive cardio tests (stress test, echo cardiograms, etc.) in order to rule out heart problems and ease your mind. 

  • Anonymous
    2 months ago

    UK answer

    Do see your GP again to get a referral for cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT). In some areas you can self refer for free talking therapies through the IAPT scheme or check your local mental health trust's website to see if you can self refer for therapy through them.

    Your symptoms are not cardiac so your GP will not refer you to a cardiologist for either an echo or holter monitor as you don't need them. They also won't refer to an orthopaedic surgeon or neurosurgeon (lol) for aches and pains. I can also assure you that you won't be referred to a neurologist for an EMG - which hurts btw. 

    You do not need to rush to A&E every time you have sharp chest pains as you've been given the all clear and anyway a heart attack feels like an elephant is sat on your chest, it's not a sharp pain, and also if it's recurring pain it's definitely not a heart attack as you won't survive more than one without medical attention.

    You probably could benefit from seeing a physio and in most areas you can self refer online but that's not happening right now. Once things have calmed down pandemic wise you can see a physio and treat yourself to a sports massage but for now stop stressing, if you can, as it's likely some or all of your pain is psychosomatic.

    The following NHS guide to sitting correctly at your desk should help as even having your computer monitor at the wrong height will cause neck and back pain. 

    Also have a look at Tietze's syndrome and costochondritis to see if you identify with the symptoms. Both can be very painful and take ages to go away but they aren't serious and you can't die from them. Take ibuprofen, have hot showers and use an electric heat pad at night to treat your pain. 

    You can treat your health anxiety yourself at home by practising mindfulness techniques and self taught CBT. If you do need medication for your anxiety and panic attacks then your GP can prescribe you propranolol but they won't refer you to a psychiatrist as you don't need one.

  • Tavy
    Lv 7
    2 months ago

    Heart attack does not come and go, it stays, You have bad posture, rectify that by exercising.

  • 2 months ago

    If the ECG was negative but you're still concerned, how about getting a referral to a board-certified cardiologist (heart specialist), such as for an echocardiogram (ultrasound of the heart) and/or getting a portable holter monitor test, which the latter may be for one or two days (usually at home).

    I'm not a doctor myself, but it's my understanding that radiating pain down the arm *might* be symptoms of a pinched nerve in the neck, for instance, and you did mention having trouble with your neck and posture (and/or back).  For those in the U.S., either a board-certified orthopedic surgeon or board-certified neurosurgeon may help provide a diagnosis for those with neck (and/or back) pain.  

    An EMG (electromyogram) can test for pinched nerves in the neck and/or back.  A board-certified physiatrist or board-certified neurologist may administer an EMG test.

    For those with neck and/or back issues, for instance, physical therapy (or physiotherapy) may be prescribed by someone's doctor.  Before one receives physiotherapy, though, I'm presuming that having a medical diagnosis or suspected diagnosis from a medical doctor is preferred or required.

    Please, however, do *not* try to provide a self-diagnosis or self-treatment and instead talk with a medical doctor.

    You'd mentioned having anxiety issues and symptoms of panic disorder, so please do make an appointment with a licensed mental health professional too.

    Not to cause a panic, but if having severe and/or sharp pains in the chest, for instance, perhaps one may consider going back to the emergency room.

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  • Rick B
    Lv 7
    2 months ago

    Your EKG and cardiac lags were normal.

    Should you go see a doctor?  You already did.  Twice.  Move on.

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