What is it?

Precordial catch syndrome (PCS) is a common but harmless condition characterized by sudden, sharp chest pain that typically occurs in children and adolescents. The pain usually arises from the lower part of the chest near the sternum, but it can also occur on the left or right side of the chest. The exact cause of PCS is unknown, but it is thought to be related to irritation or inflammation of the nerves in the chest wall.

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Signs & symptoms

The main symptom of PCS is sudden, sharp chest pain that may last for a few seconds to a few minutes. The pain is usually felt on one side of the chest and may be triggered by deep breathing, coughing, or sudden movements. Some people may also experience a sensation of tightness or pressure in the chest, but these symptoms usually resolve on their own.


The diagnosis of PCS is usually made based on the characteristic symptoms and a physical examination. However, a doctor may also perform additional tests, such as an electrocardiogram (ECG), to rule out any underlying cardiac conditions.


There is no specific treatment for PCS, as the condition is usually self-limiting and does not require any medical intervention. Simple measures such as deep breathing exercises, stretching, or massage of the affected area may help alleviate the pain. In some cases, over-the-counter pain relievers may be used to manage symptoms.

☝️ This is not a substitute for professional medical advice. Please consult with your physician before making any medical decision.

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