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Pop in neck upon moving, pain and anxiety. Can slipped disc or muscle tear cause increased heart rate and anxiety?

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Recovering from giardiasis diagnosed in early June-- diarrhea for several weeks resulted in loss of 25 pounds (from 210 to 185). Apparently have post infectious Colonoscopy last week showed no physical problems. Also, about 3 weeks ago heart started racing, feel anxious much of the time and much difficulty sleeping. Physician assumed, logically, that anxiety associated with get woes (very uncomfortable summer). However, Taking .05 mg lorazepam nightly, helps getting a few (3-5 hours sleep), and propranolol up to twice daily (although stopped last Friday, as anxiety appears to be decreasing, at least at times, and I have been able to reduce anxiety through relaxation techniques (at least somewhat sometimes). However, during XXXXXXX I also injured my left shoulder, and it gives me much pain. Every now and then, I can move my neck and hear a distinct pop or crack. This sometimes gives me instantaneous relief from pain, and my anxiety drops to essentially nothing, and I feel as if my body is right again (lots of tension in upper back). Pain and anxiety (increased heat rate) eventually return, but hours later. My question is if either a slipped cervical disk or tears to muscles or shoulder out of place could cause my increased heart rate and feelings of anxiety (54 year old male, until this summer, relatively healthy). Reminds me of a condition I had near thirty years ago when I wrenched my neck pushing my small pickup truck out of the snow. My neck and upper back were stiff for months, and I just did not feel "right". One night I awoke in a sweat, my neck muscles were extremely tense and I heard a distinct snap and all neck shoulder discomfort was gone. I felt great. Anyway, could i be battling a physical problem causing heart to race?
Posted Sat, 22 Sep 2012 in Anxiety and Stress
Answered by Dr. Susanta Padhy 2 hours later
Thank you for a detailed description of your case.

Cervical Slipped disc cannot cause increased heart rate unless it is associated with anxiety which in turn can be caused by pain and spasm associated with slip. But because of the disease itself it cannot cause increased heart rate.

However, issue is if you have increased heart rate when you do not have other features of anxiety (like sweating, palpitation, feeling of heat inside body, apprehension that something would happen etc.), then it may not be because of anxiety.

Pain, spasm, shoulder problem, without any past history of mental health issues, might indicate that you should consult a orthopedician, first, to rule out any neck pathology. Then you can think of anxiety, to my mind.

We can discuss further

Good luck
Above answer was peer-reviewed by
Follow-up: Pop in neck upon moving, pain and anxiety. Can slipped disc or muscle tear cause increased heart rate and anxiety? 15 hours later
Dr. Padhy,
Thank you for your response. I was sort of hoping for a structural reason for my "anxious" condition. I have no history of mental health issues, but I was worn down this summer and can understand if my body chemistry was disturbed. I wonder about the affect of poor nutrition, such as little if any of the B Vitamins, and how that might affect the functioning of my nervous system and perhaps lead to anxiety. My diet has improved greatly the past two weeks, and I suppose that I see some improvement, particularly in gut activity (though NOT where I like to be). I have mentioned to my physicians (internal medicine, GI, etc.) about headaches that I have at base of head that extend down neck toward shoulder, but none have been as concerned with that as they have the bowel problems and overt symptoms of anxiety (my hands would tremble). The trembling is decreasing. Could these symptoms be associated with malnutrition during XXXXXXX July, and August, when I lost weight? If so, will proper nutrition eventually eliminate the condition? If so, about how long could this take--what is the time frame--weeks, months?

Anyway, thank you for you comments. I obviously have no clinical experience, but wondered if I could have pinched a nerve that innervates the heart, and I understand you think that is unlikely. So, I'll continue with my meds and discuss further with my physician my neck and shoulder pain. Regardless of its association with my anxiety, it is bothersome.

Answered by Dr. Susanta Padhy 6 hours later
Nice to hear from you after few days, Mr AAAAA

I would agree with your thought. Malnutrition like deficiency of Vitamin B12 can give rise to such symptoms. A lot of vitamin deficiencies co exist with parasital infection and do not disappear as soon as the parasite is killed. Most physicians underestimate this and do not treat appropriately. This is much worse with vegetarians who do not have reserves. I dont know whether you are a predominant vegetarian. You can speak to your local physician about adding a multivitamin supplement especially Vitamin B. The other important thing for your case is, you do not seem to absorb fat soluble vitamins. The fat in the diet is not easily absorbed without the formation of micelles. This is because of the removal of gall bladder which aids in its formation.

If Vitamin B12 deficiency is the cause, then to establish it you need to do a serum B12 test. it takes a couple of months to resolve with B12 ingestion and good nutrition.

Otherwise, as you do not have any other mental health issues, no need to worry much so far as anxiety is concerned. This should subside in due course.

But consultation as we discussed earlier is important.

Wish you good health and happiness
Above answer was peer-reviewed by
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