Have you ever felt pain in your heart and were fine after a few minutes? Wondering why is that so? Well! Don’t worry! It is nothing but precordial catch syndrome. The word pre-cordial means “in front of the heart”. Although the pain seems in your heart, it is not a heart attack. Want to know more about it? Here is your read.
Precordial catch syndrome is a condition in which there is pain in the chest. It occurs when nerves in the front of the chest are squeezed or aggravated. Although the condition is non-serious yet it can sometimes be a cause of benign chest pain in children and adolescents. Precordial catch syndrome is also popular as Texidor’s Twinge and the cause of the syndrome is still a mystery. In this article, I will discuss what precordial catch syndrome is. The article also speaks of its causes and treatment extensively.
What is Precordial Catch Syndrome?
Most of the pain due to precordial catch syndrome lasts only for a few minutes. There may be a sudden pain in the chest of you or your child while at rest. The discomfort is usually a sharp stabbing pain. It tends to localize in the specific part of the chest, usually below the left nipple. You may be able to pinpoint the area of pain and it won’t radiate to other parts of the body.
If there is spreading of the pain to other parts of the chest is a symptom of heart attack and not precordial catch syndrome. In precordial syndrome, you will not experience any paleness, flushing, or wheezing but the pain only worsens if you move or take deep breaths.
Precordial Catch Syndrome mostly happens while you are inactive like watching television while sitting in the lounge. It particularly happens if the person is in a slouched position or if they are bending over. It may happen once or sometimes multiple times in a day. However, it doesn’t occur during sleep or eating food.
Symptoms for Precordial Catch Syndrome
The pain due to precordial catch syndrome may disappear as suddenly as it comes. The pain may last only for a small amount of time and there may be no other complications. It usually lasts for 30 seconds to 3 minutes. Once the pain fades away, you may feel normal again and ready to continue your daily routine. You must remain still and take small breaths while in pain. If you don’t breathe heavily, you may start to feel light-headed in some time. The pulse rate and the rhythm of the person remain normal.
Some other symptoms associated with the pain include:
- Tingling sensations in the skin after the pain
- Pain without any movement and feels like needle pricks
- Dizziness and cracking sound when breathing
Causes of Precordial Catch Syndrome
Although the actual reason for Precordial Catch Syndrome is unknown, it is sure that it is not caused by lung or heart problems. Some researchers believe the problem is because there is irritation of the nerves in the lining of the lung. It may also be because of a pinched nerve or a muscle spasm within the inner lining of the chest. Sometimes, pain from the ribs or cartilage in the chest wall can also be the reason.
Poor posture may be one of the causes to irritate the nerves. In some people, it may come during a growth spurt while others may feel pain in the chest when in stress or anxiety. Other reasons may include a blow to the chest or some injury to cause the pain.
Epidemiology- Precordial Catch Syndrome
Although Precordial catch syndrome may occur to a person of any age it mostly occurs in children from age 6 to 12 and there is no sex predilection. It has no relation with the intake of meals. There are no associated symptoms with precordial catch syndrome pain and physical examination is negative.
Fast Facts on Precordial Catch Syndrome:
Here is a quick view at the list of fun facts on precordial catch syndrome:
- The syndrome was first described by Miller and Texidor in 1955 after examining it among ten people including Miller himself. They described the pain as sharp stabbing pain without prior cause.
- Sparrow and Bird later in the year 1978 found the same problem in the 45 otherwise healthy people and argued that the condition was common and non-recognized.
- Children who have the precordial catch syndrome tend to grow out of it by the time. Painful episodes become less frequent and less intense as they get to their 20’s.
- Although pain due to precordial catch syndrome is uncomfortable yet treatment is not necessary. While most of you may recover the pain naturally, only severe cases require anti-inflammatory medicine to help to reduce the pain.
- Severe cases may cause momentary loss of vision or blurriness but it is harmless.
Diagnosis of Precordial Catch Syndrome
If such pain happens to you, the doctor will first rule out other serious causes of the pain by taking a full medical history. He will examine your pulse rate and other body functions to assess all symptoms while asking about any other health problems. This will also include looking for tenderness and listening to the heart and lungs. If everything seems fine, the cause is mostly precordial catch syndrome that is harmless and will not need you to do any other tests.
You don’t need any specific treatment. In most cases, a doctor may recommend gentle slow breaths. Sometimes, one or two deep breaths also get you rid of the pain even if it hurts for the moment. There may also be a case when a doctor suggests you to a non-prescription pain reliever for example ibuprofen (Motrin).
Wondering when to visit a doctor? If there is more frequent pain in the chest, you must once visit the doctor to be sure of no underlying issues. Also, you must consult a doctor when you find other symptoms in the body in addition to the pain in the chest.
Treatment- Precordial Catch Syndrome in Children
Precordial Catch syndrome can be treated at home. Poor posture is one of the main causes of the syndrome in your children. Sitting up straight may help prevent future episodes of pain. If you find your child hunched over while sitting, teach them to sit straighter with shoulders back. Also, convince your child to play outdoor games in addition to indoor ones. This will not help to cure the syndrome but will also boost his metabolism.
Treatment- Precordial Catch Syndrome in Adults:
Precordial catch syndrome may happen to both children and adolescents. Stress is the main cause of precordial catch syndrome in adults. Lowering the stress down will greatly prevent the condition. Fewer methods that will help you decrease the pain are as follows:
Though it may sound strange to you, putting physical stress on the body may relieve you from the mental stress. Do moderate physical exercise daily to cure the precordial catch syndrome. This is because physical exercises release endorphins that interact with the receptors in your brain. This interaction makes you feel good and think better. You can also prefer to exercise in the open air. This will add up to your health benefits.
This is one of the best things that you can do to relieve your stress. It is easy and you can walk anytime anywhere. Studies have shown that frequency is most important while treating your chest ache. It is convenient while being efficient to walk daily for half an hour rather than waiting for the weekend for a two-hour fitness session.
Along with other health adverse effects, nicotine acts as a powerful stimulant and brings on more stress symptoms.
The art combines various rhythmic breathing. It also includes a series of postures that reduces your stress notably. You can also prioritize the specific series of yoga that involves deep breathing. Deep breathing relaxes your mind and the pain due to stress.
You can also minimize emotional and physical tension by a message. It is an excellent method that helps you to relax and calm down.
Mindfulness-based stress reduction meditation is one of the basic methods to relieve stress and directly focuses on the problem. It requires you to dedicate some fixed period for meditation. You must continue mediation daily to lavish its long-term benefits.
Many teenagers and children usually fear that they might be having a heart attack when there is a pain in their chest. This is not true! It is a mere precordial catch syndrome causing you intense pain and shortness of breath. Also, it may start as young as the age of six years and may take years before finally wiping out your life. It may also occur in the late teens to early twenties and may cause a few minutes of intense pain.
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