Is the pain I'm in all from anxiety?

Posted , 5 users are following.

I've posted on here a few times but since I've gotten new symptoms and been to several doctors.  In the past I've had GAD and been on meds but have been off for almost 10 years.  I just need some reassurance that the pain I'm feeling is all from stress/anxiety because it's unlike anything I've experienced before.

Background: It started out with me getting super stressed out about a bump I found on my forehead.  I was positive it was melanoma or a bone tumor.  I let weeks go by without going to the dr and had many panic attacks and depression over it. I finally went to my PCP and dermatologist a month later who both said I was fine.

A week later I developed the worst headache of my life right above the bump in my left temple.  It was a constant head pressure that burned at times and no pain meds could take it away.  I had a brain CT and MRI which were both normal so they labeled it a tension/stress migraine.

After 6 weeks of this headache I decided to try a chiropractor. I went in for a whole spine adjustment and the next day my head presure was gone but I began to feel pins and needles all over that started in the neck/shoulders. I talked to chiro said nothing to worry about that body trying to adjust to new alignment.  The symptoms though continuted to progress and not go away so I went to several doctors.

Continuous Symptoms (7 weeks post adjustment)

·      Prickly/ Electric zaps all over every time I move, quick stabbing needle like pain that occurs sporadically in legs, arms, chest, back, feet

·      Very uncomfortable but not one excruciating pain spot

·      Feels like every nerve in body is irritated

·      Gradual numbness in feet like they are falling asleep, hands/fingers.  When walking sometimes feels like stepping on nails. 

·      No painful specific spot besides an inflammed muscle in neck that since subsided. Have full motion and strength

Tests I've had done:

Brain MRI & MRA - normal

Neck CT, MRI, MRA - normal with some degeneration and reversal of cervical lordosis

Lumbar MRI with contrast - mild buldge and small annulear tear at L1

EMG Nerve conduction - normal

Blood Panel – B12, Copper, Protein, SED, Thyroid, A1C1 Diabetes - normal

Chiro – Xrays normal

I've seen by the ER, my PCP, EMG dr, and two neurlogists

Since nothing major has show on any of the tests they are telling me its stress/anxiety.  It's hard for me to comprehend that anxiety could cause this constant pain I feel no matter what I do including sleep/relaxing and not thinking about it.  Lately, I've felt more frequent pain (every few seconds and more numbness in my feet).

My symptoms mimik periperhal neuropathy but the neurologist did blood tests that ruled out common causes.  I fear my nerves are being damaged from the constant pain I'm in. It's like my nervous system is in overdrive and won't calm down.  I'm thinking the chiropractor aggrevated nerves that were already tense that fired off everywhere in my body. The foot numbness is the most concerning to me though.

Has anyone been in extreme and constant pain only to be told its all anxiety/stress?  

0 likes, 15 replies

Report / Delete

15 Replies

  • Posted

    A long while ago I had extensive Chiro as I had a car accident and had a neck injury that the NHS could not treat, Eventually they had adjusted c1, c2,c3 and I had all the problems of trapped nerves. 

    That was the beginning of my PsA. 

    If you feel you have trapped nerves you need to arrange some Physio. The neck consists of several disks, if displacd can cause the feelings you have, although sometimes after manipulation it will take time to correct itself back to the original positions.

    All I can advise is you talk to a Rhumi to make sure the neck is not pinching the disks and nerves that run down from the neck and arms etc

    If they have checked all that it would seem you could have been sensitised to the pains you had. In my case I had over two years of tests and second opinions before they worked out a cause, and my disability was diagnosed.

    If you are sure their is something wrong and it is not anxiety you need to be persistent, and if you do feel more Chiro will work get your GP to write a not to their Clinic. I my case we payed for treatment until diagnosed and a Health Insurance picked up the tab. Eventually the NHS through my GP had the proven disability treated and I cannot praise the health service enough for their diligence.

    My condition is not very common and is very persistant

    The reason I have told you this is that necks can be a real problem.

    Report / Delete Reply
    • Posted

      Thanks for the advice. I did have neck pain for about a week after the adjustment but they said it was from a muscle spasm and it has since subsided.  I'm wondering if maybe the inflmed muscle irrated some nerves in my neck that is causing this total body feeling still.  I would think it would show on imaging but I'm told some nerve issues and inflammation dont.  Did your issue resolve after physio?

      Report / Delete Reply
    • Posted

      My condition is chronic and I have been disabled for over thirty years.

      I am pleased you have confidence in your tests and all showed ok.

      I do not know how long it has been since your treatments, one of the first things they asked me to check was my posture while sitting and walking around. Somtimes you could put stress on the neck and shoulders that may cause the problems you have.

      Do your go to the GYM, you may have pulled something. I this is not the case you may be suffering anxiety, 

      Report / Delete Reply
    • Posted

      I exercised regularly before all this started but I don't think I pulled a muscle or anything unless the chiropractor aggrevated an injury in my back that wasnt causing symptoms at the time.  I have had neck pain from an injury for a few months but that was years ago as well as pain in my shoulder blade from playing sports. Both spots were targeted by the chiro adjustment.

      Report / Delete Reply
    • Posted


      Neck problems can be irritated by further treatments, in my case my basic neck problems did not show until four years later, it all depends on stress on the disks or similar. Explain this to your GP, With my Chiro it took several treatment to get my neck sorted and eventually my GP had a different condition diagnosed on top of the whiplash injury.

      You need to talk again with your GP to put your mind at rest, if all is ok at least you will have that confirmed, If there was damage years ago it may be a reoccurance of that injury.

      Report / Delete Reply
  • Posted

    Please believe me... And especially after all the tests that they have conducted on you, it is all anxiety. Anxiety is making you question every feeling, every twinge, change and movement. Anxiety tells you it is wrong - the tests come back clear but your anxiety persists. No wonder you get headaches, it must be a horrible ordeal for you to go through daily and you have all of my sympathy sad

    You need to start believing your test results first and foremost. Your anxiety is latching onto things and every time one worry is illuminated it creates another - I think this is the key pattern you need to become aware of.

    I would recommend that you talk to your GP about your anxiety..and let him/her help you tackle the real issue.

    Take time to do things you enjoy...try and treat yourself with things you like and be kind to yourself...

    Find distractions - even if they are just simple games you can download to your phone. Baby steps.

    Talk to someone you trust and if you can't do that, then talk here...

    You aren't physically ill, you have crippling anxiety. You will be alright x

    Report / Delete Reply
    • Posted

      Thanks for the advice and encouragement. I have talked to my GP and they referred me to a phsyciatrist so will be going to that soon.  I accept I have anxiety and the stress has caused issues like my headaches.  But I just cannot get myself to fully accept that the phyiscal pain I feel every second from this neuropathy and the numbness in my feet is all from anxiety.
      Report / Delete Reply
  • Posted

    I feel the zaps and needles aswell but they don't hurt there just annoying and my feet and hands do feel very irritating to like if iv been over working them and they need rest but can't get rest if you over think these things your own brain can cause pain by believing your sick or hurt I just go for a run or take a cold shower to shock the body out of it

    Report / Delete Reply
  • Posted

    I remember a past post of yours about this. When we have major stress and anxiety it's unbelievable the weird pain we can get. I have had the electric shocks and head zaps. You sound like your anxiety is back for what ever reason. I know you hate the thought of doing meds again, because of health anxiety,it scares the crap out of you, but I would consider it, and see if you feel better. 

    Report / Delete Reply

Join this discussion or start a new one?

New discussion Reply

Report or request deletion

Thanks for your help!

We want the forums to be a useful resource for our users but it is important to remember that the forums are not moderated or reviewed by doctors and so you should not rely on opinions or advice given by other users in respect of any healthcare matters. Always speak to your doctor before acting and in cases of emergency seek appropriate medical assistance immediately. Use of the forums is subject to our Terms of Use and Privacy Policy and steps will be taken to remove posts identified as being in breach of those terms.

newnav-down newnav-up