We have all experienced that sharp, stabbing pain in our chest that barely allows us to breathe. Although it only lasts a few seconds, the discomfort is enough to immobilize you and, in some cases, cause serious problems.
Although it is a very common condition in children and young people, it’s rarely talked about. We want to tell you the real reason for this strange feeling.
Precordial Catch Syndrome
This is the medical name given to the sharp sensation that some people confuse for a heart attack. It is also known as Texidor stitch. It is a pain that is found in the chest and occurs in front of the heart, which is why it is called precordial (pre for before, cordial for the heart).
It usually occurs in children and young people, although some adults also experience it less frequently.
It is pain that has been described as “feeling like a needle is stuck in that area” or “like a stab.” It occurs in a state of rest, but also after a moderate session of exercise or physical exertion.
What Causes It?
Although the sensation itself is very irritating and close to the heart area, it doesn’t really mean there is a problem with that organ.
What happens is that the pleura (the membrane that covers some organs, such as the diaphragm) presses or rubs (and therefore irritates) the nerves near the rib cage; this is why pain can start in the chest walls or in the rib area, even in a state of inactivity.
A Distressing Nuisance
Since precordial arrest syndrome is more common in children and adolescents, it is very common that the first time the child feels this unexplained, sharp pain in the heart area, parents worry about the possibility that something may be wrong with the Heart of the son.
Therefore, the main challenge for the doctor is to analyze the symptoms and review the patient’s history to rule out any heart problems or other problems that require treatment.
How To Help
Although very uncomfortable, precordial arrest syndrome is not a medical emergency. Trying to breathe deeply at that time is complicated, but it helps the pain to disappear more quickly; We must bear in mind that some people may feel dizzy from the effort and hyperventilate.
Also, it is advisable to change your position. For example, straightening if you lean or massage the painful area until you feel relief, which usually takes about a minute.
Unfortunately, since this is an isolated event with no apparent cause (because it can occur whether you are resting or in motion), there is no way to prevent it.
Unless the pain is related to a serious illness, such as bronchitis or asthma, there is no reason to worry. Precordial capture syndrome usually resolves on its own when the person reaches 20 years of age.
It does not require treatment, although some doctors may recommend a non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drug (NSAID) to help relieve discomfort; however, it is not strictly necessary.
But if the pain becomes too frequent, if the person has been diagnosed with a heart problem or if it is combined with other symptoms, it is advisable to consult a doctor.
Detecting The Cause
The pain that we have already mentioned generally causes concern because there are other discomforts that also have the same type of pain; Some have a physical origin, but others are only psychosomatic, so it is necessary for the doctor to evaluate them to differentiate them.
Events that have a common pain in the heart area include foreign bodies in the airways, hepatitis, aerophagia (ingestion of air), accidental ingestion of caustic fluids, bronchitis, pneumonia, or asthma.
On the other hand, pain is also usually part of the psychosomatic symptoms of panic attacks, hyperventilation syndrome, conversion reaction, anxiety, and/or depression.
It is important to remember that if you have any questions, consult a doctor, because no health item can replace a complete diagnosis made by a professional.
Have you ever experienced precordial capture syndrome? Is there a trick to help you deal with this? Share this in the comments.