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Is Precordial Catch Syndrome dangerous?

Is Precordial Catch Syndrome dangerous?


Precordial catch syndrome (PCS), also referred to as Texidor’s Twinge, is the name some doctors use to describe people having chest pains without any underlying physical condition.

The pain occurs either during mild activity or at rest and is exacerbated with inspiration, commonly leading to shallow breathing in an effort to alleviate pain.

The origin of the pain is unknown, but the syndrome may be caused by a pinched nerve and has been associated with poor posture.

Precordial means ”in front of the heart,” which is where a sufferer feels the pain. PCS was first described and graphically termed precordial catch by Miller and Texidor in 1955.

Both females and males are affected equally. The ICD9 code for the syndrome is 786.51.

PCS is most common in young adults and teenagers, however, children as young as 6 years old can also experience it.

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Causes of Precordial Catch Syndrome

This syndrome is associated with stress and anxiety since it generally occurs when an abrupt change in the posture happens or during rest time.

But, according to the data, PCS is commonly caused by pinching a certain nerve which is due to intercostals fiber muscle and spasm.

Also, the nerves could be irritated by poor posture or an injury. A growth spurt could also trigger some pain in the chest.

Other causes may include:

  • lung disease;
  • consuming an unhealthy and inappropriate amount of food;
  • damage to the muscles in the chest;
  • inflammation of the joint between the sternum and the rib.

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Symptoms In Adults –  Chest Pain – Left Side Of The Chest

The pain is sharp, sudden in onset, and severe and is localized at or near the cardiac apex (lies close to the sternal part of the diaphragm and above the last sternebra). The pain can also be described as shooting, stabbing, knife-like, or needle-like. Moving may intensify the pain.

This pain generally lasts between 30 seconds and 3 minutes. In rare cases, it lasts for 60 minutes.

It causes sufferers to breathe in a shallow fashion or to hold their breath while they have the pain. Generally, this causes the sufferer to freeze in place and breathe shallowly until the episode passes.

It occurs during mild activity or at rest and is commonly associated with a “slouched” or “bent over” posture. After the pain is gone, there is a dull ache that lingers.

This pain is commonly confused with dangerous problems, which is not the case with precordial catch syndrome.

The frequency of episodes varies by individual, occasionally occurring multiple episodes a day or more spread out over weeks between episodes.

A complete list of signs and symptoms includes:

  • breathing difficulties;
  • chest pain (sudden, stabbing, localized, sharp, aggravating, or dull);
  • heart palpitations;
  • pain with movement;
  • facial flushing;
  • pain upon taking a deep breath;
  • dizziness;
  • cracking sounds when breathing;
  • tingling sensations in the skin;
  • tearing feeling when breathing;
  • temporary loss of consciousness;
  • pain which feels like needle pricks;
  • pain which occurs with little or no movement;
  • temporary vision loss;
  • blurry vision;
  • a dull ache once the pain has subsided;
  • pain which worsens when breathing deeply;
  • muscle spasms;
  • muscle cramps;
  • pain which lasts anywhere from a few seconds to 60 minutes.

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Many people mistakenly believe that they have a heart attack during the PCS symptoms, especially at the onset of this type of pain.

While the pain is strong and located in the chest area, this pain is not a heart attack, nor is it heart-related.

Actually, chest pain is so similar to a heart attack that some sufferers panic and seek emergency treatment. This can produce anxiety in a young person and a parent. In addition, over time, it can lead to anxiety.

Interestingly, one of the most common anxiety symptoms is chest pain.

That is because chest pain is linked to serious heart problems, leading many to worry about their own health.

Chest pain anxiety symptoms can feel like pain or persistent chest pain in the chest area.

Moreover, it can feel like you have stabbing pain or pressure in the chest area. The pain may also be accompanied by shortness of breath, palpitations, and dizziness.

Note – if you apply pressure to the area, the pain gets worse.

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Symptoms In Children

Precordial catch pain is sudden, brief, non-radiating, easily localized, non-exertional, and intensified by inspiration.

It occurs rarely or many times a day, and it almost always happens when the sufferer is sitting.

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It is important to properly diagnose PCS in order to avoid instilling anxiety in sufferers and their families.

Once they have been examined physically, individuals suspected of having Texidor’s Twinge may be diagnosed by the following means:

  • radiography;
  • electrocardiography;
  • echocardiography;
  • barium studies.

Note – the syndrome is usually not a cause of worry unless it is linked with any other disorder.

Treatment & Relief

There is no known cure for Texidor’s Twinge. Drugs may be ineffective for relieving the pain since the symptoms only persist for a few minutes.

Relief tends to occur when the sufferer breathes deeply for three minutes.

It is essential to understand that it will be painful to take deep breaths, however, this type of breathing may relax muscle spasms.

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Stay Hydrated

Keeping the body hydrated helps the heart to pump blood more easily through the blood vessels to the muscles.

In addition, the amount of blood circulating through the body notably decreases when you are dehydrated.

To compensate, your heart beats faster, increasing the heart rate and causing palpitations.

Be Physically Active

You can slowly work up to at least 1 hour and 15 minutes of vigorous-intensity aerobic physical activity or 2½ hours of moderate-intensity aerobic physical activity every week or a combination of both every week.


If you choose to eat meat, select the leanest cuts available. Limit red meat and sugar-sweetened beverages. Select lower fat dairy products and poultry.

Eat more fruits and vegetables, legumes, whole grains, nuts, and seeds. Also, choose foods low in trans fat, saturated fat, and sodium.

Images source – Getty & Shutterstock

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