The Pain You Get In Your Rib When Trying To Breathe May Be Harmless

You’re sitting there watching television, when all of a sudden you get a sharp pain in your chest. While that might make your mind jump to conclusions, imaging you have a serious heart or lung problem, it’s likely what you have is called “precordial catch syndrome.” Not many people know about this common cause of chest pain. The pain itself may feel intense — like someone stabbed you with a knife — but it doesn’t cause any changes or problems in your body, and the feeling goes away in a short time. The telltale symptom of precordial catch syndrome is a sharp pain in the left side of your chest near your heart. You may be able to pinpoint the pain to one small area, but it won’t radiate to other parts of your body like it would if it were a heart attack. The pain may feel worse when you breathe in deeply or when you move. The pain from precordial catch syndrome normally disappears within 30 seconds to 3 minutes, but there have been cases where the pain can last up to 30 minutes. Once the pain fades, you should feel normal again right away. Doctors don’t know what causes precordial catch syndrome. It may be the sign of a pinched nerve or a muscle spasm within the inner lining of the chest or chest wall. It doesn’t affect your heart or lungs, and it has no tie to conditions there. In some people, it may come during a growth spurt, even in children as young as six. In others, it could happen when they’re stressed or anxious. Precordial catch syndrome may be more likely when you sit still with poor posture. Many people have it when they're inactive, like when they slouch in front of the TV. There's no need pain medicine or other treatment. Stretches or a change in posture could also help you feel better. The pain may happen only once in a lifetime, or it may come back several times.