Precordial Catch Syndrome (PCS) is a common pain experienced by youngsters and adolescents in the chest region. Adults also experience the pain but the frequency is quite less. The pain is often experienced by a person when he is in a relaxed state, whilst sitting or lying down or when there is an unexpected change in his posture. The pain is quite sharp and intense and occurs in the left chest.
- Precordial capture syndrome was first described by Miller and Texidor in 1955 when 10 persons experienced it in which Miller was also included. They defined it as a sharp, stabbing ache that started suddenly.
- In 1978, Sparrow and Bird said that 45 people who were “healthy” had experienced the pain. They said that the condition was not usual and often happened to them.
- People who experience precordial catch syndrome generally get rid of the syndrome altogether when reaching their 20’s without getting any treatment.
1) Pain is that Common?
It can be said that this pain is quite common and can be attributed to occur due to coronary heart disease, but the good thing is that this pain is experienced for a short interval and occurs in a small area. The duration often lasts from 30 seconds to three minutes but the pain can get prolonged to 30 minutes too even though that happens in rare cases. The frequency with which the person experiences pain depends upon the quality of treatment and can occur daily or years can pass too before another episode occurs.
In all cases, the pain goes away quickly but can also get intensified sometimes. Many people have reported that taking deep breaths will cause a small cracking sensation in the chest after which the pain vanishes. As the pain goes away quickly in most cases, hence there is no as such need of getting medications.
It is still unknown as to why this pain occurs. The pain is often attributed to occur when there is pinching of a nerve and can occur due to sudden involuntary contraction of intercostal muscle tissue fibers. Sometimes stress and anxiety can also lead to a person experiencing this pain.
Teenage girls most often experience this pain but it should be mentioned that younger kids between ages 7 and 10 have also known to complain about this pain.
- The pain is commonly surprising and sharp and is concentrated on intercostal space along the left lower sternal border or to the cardiac apex.
- The pain takes place when a person is in a relaxed state and is exacerbated when a person takes deep breaths but often shallow breaths lead to alleviation of pain.
- The episodes normally last among 30 seconds and three minutes but every so often they clear up after a breath or two and in very rare cases the pain lasts as long as 30 minutes. There are not any associated symptoms and physical examination is not needed as such.
The pain does not spread to other areas of the body and is concentrated in one particular area. So, it is quite different from a heart attack. When the pain is experienced by the individual, there are no other symptoms such as drenching or vomiting. It is a localized pain and that’s why the name “precordial” is given which means “in front of the heart”.
The pain is defined as stabbing, shooting, and needle-like. The person should hold the breath, or breathe in a shallow fashion whilst they have got the ache. Change of posture can help in getting rid of the pain. For example, stretching upright, lying down, or alternating the respirations between deep and shallow can bring about relief.
But that does not mean that chest pain should always be taken lightly. If there are any other symptoms experienced along with pain such as nausea, vomiting, headache, dizziness or shortness of breath and if the pain lasts longer than usual, the person is bound to get immediate health assistance.
This pain can cause the person to develop anxiety if it happens often and if the person keeps it a secret. Even if the person’s chest pain is short and no other symptoms seem to occur, do get yourself checked with the doctor. If it’s PCS, the doctor will tell in detail the exact thing going on with you or your child, so that the whole scenario is there in front of you and doesn’t cause unnecessary worry and anxiety. Treatment isn’t required as the pain goes away on its own. But it’s good to take anti-inflammatory medication to reduce the ache.
4) Increase in Pain …! How?
Precordial Catch syndrome gets worse sometimes if deep breaths are taken, but there is no tenderness within the area. It does not spread to other regions of the chest as it is localized pain. The severity of the pain varies from person to person as some would experience dull pain while others could experience an intense shooting pain that could also cause blurriness.
People with precordial capture syndrome show no particular symptoms while experiencing pain. It is just an intense, needle-like pain in a localized area and doesn’t accompany any paleness or vomiting but the person can experience light-headedness if the shallow breathing is prolonged for some period.
Precordial catch syndrome is from time to time caused by a growth spurt, which isn’t preventable. Slouching and bad posture can be considered as responsible for causing this pain. Therefore, a correction is a posture or sitting immediately can help in alleviating the pain. The real causes are still unknown though.
As the pain goes away on its own, so no specific treatment is needed. But still, it is good to contact the doctor sometimes if the pain persists and use anti-inflammatory medicine to help relieve the pain. Keeping in mind the duration it goes away after, there is nothing to be afraid of. As it can happen on its own and then even go away on its own, one can do nothing but change the posture and the pain goes away, it’s as simple as that! You Can also read more Articles,