We’ve all likely experienced that sharp, stabbing pain in our chest that barely lets us breathe. Although it lasts just a few seconds, the discomfort is enough to immobilize you and in some cases, cause serious distress. While it’s a very common condition in children and young people, it’s rarely talked about.
We would like to tell you the real reason why that awkward feeling occurs.
Precordial catch syndrome
That’s the medical name given to the sharp sensation that some confuse for a heart attack. It’s also known as Texidor’s twinge. It’s a pain that is located in the chest and occurs in the front of the heart, which is why it’s 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’s a 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?
While the sensation itself is very annoying and close to the heart area, it doesn’t really mean there’s a problem with that organ. What happens is, the pleura (the membrane that covers some organs such as the diaphragm) presses or rubs (and therefore irritates) the nerves that are close to the rib cage — that’s why pain can start in the chest walls or in the area of the ribs, even in a state of inactivity.