Precordial Catch Syndrome

The Backpod: Lie back and treat yourself

Precordial Catch Syndrome (PCS) is a non-life threatening condition with sharp stabbing pains in the chest. These usually hit just a small localised area, get worse on breathing in, and usually last less than a few minutes. It is particularly scary because of course pain in that area could be the heart - even though sharp, stabbing pain hardly ever is.

This condition is almost certainly just a very brief version of the same rib joint sticking problem that causes most costochondritis chest pain. Most costochondritis is NOT a "mysterious inflammation” but simply strain and ‘giving’ of the rib joints on your breastbone, which happens because the joints at the same ribs round the back are immobile.

If the joints at the back of your rib cage can’t move, then the rib joints on your sternum HAVE to move excessively to compensate - every breath you take. So they strain, ‘give’, get irritated and locally inflamed - and there’s your costochondritis. This is explained in detail on our COSTOCHONDRITIS page.
Precordial Catch Syndrome is almost certainly just one or a few of these rib joints on the sternum ‘giving’ and straining - a bit like pulling your finger back as far as it will go, and then a bit further. This doesn’t happen for no reason - there is almost always some rib joint tightness around the back to cause it, as is the case with almost all costochondritis.

The answer in both cases is simple and logical - free up the tight rib cage movement around the back, which removes the excessive strain at the rib joints on the breastbone. The Backpod is ideal for this - lying back on it lets you give an effective stretch to tight rib joints. Free these up, and the PCS straining and giving should simply stop happening.

As with costochondritis, any chest pain should always be seen immediately by a doctor. They are very good at checking out dire possibilities like the heart; they’re not usually so good with costochondritis or PCS. Medically, PCS is seen as untreatable and of no known cause. From a New Zealand physiotherapist viewpoint, we think it’s perfectly understandable and simple to fix. As far as we can tell, the Backpod is the only thing around that will give an effective stretch to tight rib joints - this makes it the ideal treatment for Precordial Catch Syndrome.