During a panic attack, most individuals experience extreme muscle tension. Your muscles begin to constrict and become very stiff and painful. These symptoms can leave you feeling fatigued and sore in the upper parts of your body. Some panic attacks can last as long as twenty minutes, which can cause lingering chest pain, shoulder pain, back pain, and neck pain.
Hormonal changes, fluctuating hormones, low estrogen, low progesterone levels, and possibly testosterone decline are culprits of perimenopause panic attacks. The muscle tension in your neck, back, and shoulders during a panic attack can come on unexpectedly. It hits you out of nowhere and this is where it can be frightening.
Along with these symptoms, you can also experience sweating, heart palpitations, tremors in your hands, weakness, and nausea (to name a few).
Before you decide to self-diagnose, please check with your doctor to rule out any other underlying illnesses.
Constant worrying and depression can escalate your symptoms.
As a woman going through perimenopause it is easy to get trapped in these feelings of depression and feelings of helplessness. We have so much going on all at once and it gets quite overwhelming when there are other symptoms of perimenopause to deal with.
When you are dealing with more than several symptoms, it’s very important to gain control of your mental well-being. Your mental well-being is a great place to start when it comes to your overall health.
Without a healthy mind, our bodies tend to break down slowly. It didn’t take me long to figure that out! The more I worried about my symptoms, the more I would feel the tension in my neck, shoulders, back, and muscles. It was already bad enough that my progesterone, estrogen, and testosterone levels were low, so I needed to figure out what to do for my symptoms.
I am a believer in essential oils. The Lavender essential oil has worked wonders for my panic attacks. It helps to relax tension in your muscles plus helps you to get a more sound sleep at night.
I apply the Lavender essential oil (with a carrier oil, such as Jojoba oil, fractionated coconut oil, or almond oil) on my neck and shoulders and massage it in. (Please check with your doctor first, if you are taking medication. Essential oils can be a contraindication when taken with prescribed or over-the-counter drugs, so please talk to your doctor first).
Another way to get some relief is by putting a few drops of Lavender essential oil in your bath water before bed. Inhaling the aroma of the essential oil can help to relax your mind as well.
I highly recommend investing in a diffuser. Diffusers are great for purifying the air, plus it’s great for colds, cough, and other flu-like symptoms. Adding Lavender to your diffuser can definitely help to calm your environment. Lavender essential oil is also good for the following:
- Brain health
- Pain relief
- Insect repellent
- Stress relief
- Great for your complexion
- Helps to heal wounds faster
- Muscle pain relief
- Neck tension
- Shoulder tension
If you choose not to take doctor prescribed medicine to help your condition, then essential oils are a great alternative to start with. This is a great alternative also if you have already talked with your physician about your condition and decided to go alternative. It’s so important to rule out any other underlying issues first, so please make sure that you are good to go with your choice of alternative options for your panic attacks.
Supplements and herbs to help nourish your brain.
I do not recommend taking all the following supplements combined. These are just a list of choices that are available for you to choose from.
During my perimenopausal panic attack journey, I came to the realization that I needed to take supplements for my brain health. Perimenopause and menopause alike tend to deplete our bodies of nutrients at a fast pace. Our brain is affected in a huge way. Fluctuating hormones plus low estrogen, progesterone, and low testosterone cause our bodies to lose so much protein and minerals. That’s why you have to make sure that you replace all that is lost, to maintain your overall health and well-being.
Taking supplements has helped me tremendously throughout this journey. A day without supplements leaves me sluggish and fatigued. It’s important to take a supplement with a meal, preferably. There’s a reason why they are called “supplements”. They are meant to take with a meal.
I usually take supplements at breakfast time, as they help to get me through the day in the most awesome way, indeed. I have tons of energy, I feel less stressed, my panic attacks are less, my mood is a lot better, and most of all, my hair has thickened and I have a more youthful glow overall. I can’t stress enough, the importance of supplementing. You’ll love what it will do for your health and well-being.
Here are some supplements that I recommend that are great for brain health:
- Calcium and Magnesium: Suggested dosage- 2,000 mg of Calcium daily/acts as a natural tranquilizer. Suggested dosage- 600-1,000 mg of Magnesium daily/Helps relieve anxiety, tension, nervousness, muscular spasms, and tics. It is best taken combined with Calcium.
- Liquid kyolic which has B1 and B12 from the Wakunaga of America, Co.: Reduces stress and anxiety.
- Multivitamin and mineral complex with potassium and selenium: These are to provide all needed nutrients in balance. Please take the Multivitamin and mineral complex as directed on the label. Potassium- suggested dosage is 99mg daily. They’re essential for the proper functioning of the adrenal glands. Selenium- suggested dosage is 100-200 mcg daily. If you are pregnant, please be careful to not exceed 40 mcg daily. Low levels of selenium have been found in people that experience panic attacks. This is a powerful antioxidant and is known to protect the heart.
- Vitamin B complex: Please take as directed on the label. This supplement is great for nervous system function! Helps to reduce anxiety, and has a calming effect on the nerves.
- Vitamin C: Suggested dosage- in divided doses- 5,000-10,000 mg daily. Helps the proper function of the adrenal glands and the chemistry of the brain. In large doses, it can have a strong tranquilizing effect and helps to decrease anxiety. Vital for stress relief!
- Vitamin E: Please take as directed on the label. This supplement helps to transport oxygen to the brain cells and protect them from free radical damage. Recommended using the d-alpha-tocopherol form.
- Zinc: Suggested dosage- 50-80 mg daily. Do not exceed 100 mg daily.
Herbs are also a great alternative for panic attacks. Muscle tension along with neck and shoulder tension can find great relief with natural herbs.
Our bodies are more vulnerable to free radical damage under stress. Herbs, such as, Ginkgo Biloba, milk thistle, and bilberry are very rich in flavonoids that help neutralize free radicals. Milk thistle is also known to protect the liver.
Kava kava, catnip, cramp bark, hops, linden flower, motherwort, feverfew, St. John’s wort, and skullcap helps to promote relaxation and helps to prevent panic attacks. Kava kava is known to cause drowsiness, so be careful when taking this herb or start with a small amount.
Herbs can cause side effects in some individuals. Please be careful when taking herbs and try to speak with a certified holistic practitioner. A holistic practitioner can offer an abundance of information on herbs and how to properly consume them.
Below is a list of the herbs that I mentioned above. Here are the benefits of each herb:
- Kava kava: is known to be a muscle relaxer, prevents seizures, relieves pain, and makes you feel relaxed, happy, and calm.
- Catnip: Is also known for its calming properties for the body plus it may improve relaxation which can boost mood and reduce restlessness, anxiety, and nervousness.
- Hops: This herb is commonly used for sleep disorders, anxiety, restlessness, attention deficit-hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), irritability, nervousness, and (which is quite awesome) symptoms of menopause.
- Linden Flower: is popular for its benefits of treating colds, stuffy nose, trouble breathing, sore throat, headaches, fever, and bringing up phlegm (expectorant).
- Cramp Bark: This is great for relieving cramps, including muscle spasms, cramps during pregnancy, and menstrual cramps. Lastly, it also works as a kidney stimulant for conditions involving the urinary organs that come with pain and spasms.
- Motherwort: Helps with heart conditions like fast heartbeat, anxiety due to heart palpitations, and irregular heartbeat. It works great also for absent menstrual periods, over-active thyroid (hyperthyroidism), and flatulence.
- Skullcap: Is known for use in individuals with insomnia, paralysis, anxiety, stroke, fever, epilepsy, allergies, skin infections, rabies, nervous tension, inflammation, and severe forms of premenstrual syndrome.
- Feverfew: Works great for fever, migraine headaches, toothaches, infertility, labor while giving childbirth, allergies, tinnitus, dizziness, nausea, insect bites, psoriasis, asthma, vomiting, stomach aches, and rheumatoid arthritis. This herb is multipurpose and also offers other benefits, like pharmacologic properties, such as antispasmodic, cardiotonic, anti-inflammatory, and lastly, anticancer.
- St. John’s Wort: Is great for depression and has been used for mental health problems. These days it is mainly used as an over-the-counter remedy for moderate to mild depression. It’s also good to use for the seasonal affective disorder (SAD), which is mild sleep problems and anxiety.
- Milk Thistle: Has been used by some individuals to reduce anxiety. It also helps with menstrual pain and certain types of cancer.
- Bilberry helps to improve brain function and helps to fight off bacteria.
The herb choices above are meant to try only one at a time. I do not recommend trying all of these combined as it may cause severe side effects. Please check with your doctor and make sure that it is safe for you to consume.
Walking and stretching can do wonders for your neck, back, shoulder pain, and discomfort.
Yes, yes, and yes! I can’t stress this enough. Let’s face it. It’s free and it will only help you in the long run with most ailments that you may have.
I walk 30 minutes daily and if I’m feeling extra energized, I’ll add another 15 minutes.
Walking has helped me in more ways than one. My mood is better, I feel happier and don’t feel sluggish anymore.
If you don’t own a treadmill, get some fresh air, and take a walk in your neighborhood. I absolutely LOVE taking walks outside! I’ve become addicted to it because it relieves my panic attacks.
I’m a person that enjoys walking in cooler weather because I tend to sweat easily. Think about what works for you. You may like walking in warmer weather, and that’s ok. Whatever you decide, at least you took the first step toward feeling better mentally and physically.
It’s a good idea to carry a bottle of water with you and a cellphone for your safety. I use a fanny pack for extras, like, my keys, and hand sanitizer during this pandemic. You really can’t lose by walking just 30 minutes every day. It’s free!
After walking, I stretch my whole body from head to toe. There are YouTube videos that offer awesome stretching exercises. Just look for a video that works for your level of fitness.
I would also like to mention that your doctor can refer you to a chiropractor. If your symptoms are extremely painful, this may be a great option for you.
Possible triggers of neck, shoulder, and back pain during a panic attack and anxiety disorder.
Most of the time our muscle pain and muscle spams stem from anxiety and panic attacks. Tension in these areas is very common.
The muscles can become extremely achy and stiff, which causes so much discomfort. This is felt especially in the upper part of the body.
Our brain is the most powerful organ in our bodies. When we worry, we send out plenty of stress hormones throughout our bodies, and it triggers our “fight or flight” response. Stress is the main trigger of muscle pain in the upper part of our bodies.
If we are constantly battling with stressful situations, it will be a challenge to decrease the number of panic attacks that we may have on a daily basis.
Another huge culprit is body posture. Bad body posture can drain your muscles. This can also be a reflection of your state of mind. Think about individuals that may lack self-confidence. It usually shows in their posture.
Our muscles become very fatigued from our panic attacks, which makes it more difficult to exercise, but exercise is definitely a great way to help cease these symptoms altogether. It is very easy to become discouraged when trying to exercise because our muscles feel weak and sore from the panic attacks. The best thing to do is to gradually start an exercise routine that is low impact. It will be a little rough in the beginning if you are not used to a workout routine.
Panic attacks and anxiety sufferers will experience some discomfort, such as more panic attacks in the beginning until your body gets used to it.
Exercise is proven to be extremely effective for anxiety and panic attacks according to doctors and scientists. If you’re not sure of where to start, ask your doctor, or a fitness professional for assistance.
Food triggers can also be a huge culprit of anxiety and panic attacks. Here are some foods, beverages, and additives that may trigger your symptoms.
- Cookies, cake, donuts, and other comfort foods with large amounts of sugar
- Salty foods and foods high in sodium
- Large amounts of dairy
- Processed foods
- Food additives, such as MSG, etc.
Starting a diet that is panic attack friendly will do wonders for your health and well-being. There are many resources at our fingertips when it comes to health and well-being.
YouTube is a great place to start. Become a member of a fitness gym, invest in a stationary bike or treadmill, and lastly, walk 30 minutes daily.
Getting healthy doesn’t have to cost tons of money. Start feeling better today! You can do this! I did!
Panic attack muscle pain is fixable.
I know it seems as if your life is worthless and no one understands your pain. I do, and this is why I was driven to create this blog. My passion to reach other women going through the same is so strong that I just could not resist creating this blog.
Writing this blog has been therapy in itself, seriously. It’s awesome for my brain health and keeps me moving forward while encouraging others.
I hope and pray that my blog gives you hope to keep moving forward and to know that you still have much to offer and live for. I’ve had my depressing moments during this challenging transition and still battle with it from time to time, but I’m here to tell you that with support, and people that understand what you are going through, you will get through this much, much easier, indeed.
Thank you for taking the time to read my blog and I wish you the best during this transition!
Owner of Hope for Calm