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Ways to make the pain vanish :)

posted May 30, 2011 03:24:29 by meteorshower4am
I've had this weird pain (precordial catch syndrome, I believe) since I was ten (I'm seventeen now) and over the years, I found different methods of dealing with the pain. I'm sure many of you looked up "chest pain" on the web and found links to heart attacks (very reassuring, note the sarcasm) and other things like PCS.

1. According to the information on Wikipedia, deep breathing may help: "Although deep inhalation during a PCS attack will likely cause an increase in pain, many have found that forcing themselves to breathe as deeply as possible will result in a "popping" or "ripping" sensation which quickly and completely resolves the PCS episode." This worked for me sometimes, but I found alternate methods that work faster.

2. According to the eHow website, breathing shallowly for thirty seconds or stretching can help: "lean to your right and stretch out your left side, it'll relieve the pain as well."

3. My favourite method is immediately lying down, facedown on my stomach. Breathe normally and the pain will suddenly disappear, I guarantee it. Of course, you probably won't want to do this went you're at work, at a restaurant, in class, or somewhere else where everyone else is watching.

4. So, here's a second method that works pretty well, too: lean forewards (ideally, your core/trunk/chest would be parallel to the ground) and push your fist hard against your ribcage or wherever you feel the pain. Push your fist as hard as necessary and move it around, experiment a bit. Usually, I get a popping sensation, as if something inside that was previously out of place jumped back into its proper position or something. Feels weird, but the pain should go away.

5. Sometimes, when you begin getting the pain, sitting up straight can make it go away. I strongly suggest that all of you make sure you try to have good posture in general in order to prevent the pain.

6. Furthermore, I found that keeping calm helps prevent the chest pain we all experience. I've done some meditating since I get stressed out easily and it's helped a bit. Just sit down in a comfy chair with your back straight, shoulders back, hands on your lap, legs a little bit spread apart, and muscles relaxed. Close your eyes and let your thoughts pass through your mind, but don't respond to them, just let them pass. Inhale and exhale slowly and deeply, for example inhale for 5 seconds and exhale for 6. When you do this "breathe with your stomach", as some people say, let your belly move in and out. Try doing this 3 times a day or more or less, depending on your preference (for example: when you wake up, before you fall asleep, and sometime in between). This is just a prevention method and it helps you feel calmer throughout the day. Avoid procrastination as well and try to work in quiet places (if you're a student, doing homework in the study areas at your local library is nice). Tell people about the things that stress you out and write down things that you need to remember.

I hope I helped. :)

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6 replies
meteorshower4am said May 30, 2011 05:01:25
Hey again,
I just wanted to add a few more things.
Under method #2, I'd like to add that another way of stretching can also be beneficial. Try arching your back, sticking your ribcage out kind of towards the ceiling, and bringing your elbows as close together as you can behind your back. Try to produce the "pop" effect.

After doing some research, I found that PCS is pain from chest muscles and nerves, not the heart/lungs/stomach/etc. So, we're not getting heart attacks. However, the researchers "Miller and Texidor suggested that the pain may originate in the parietal pleura of the lungs. Exeer suggested that this pain originate from intercostal muscle spasm and after release of spasm the pain will be subside (6). The pain is most likely not of cardiac origin" (Wkipedia). So that's probably why breathing is painful and that must also explain the odd popping sensation. I think that slouching is problematic: maybe the lungs are getting squished against the ribcage, creating muscles spasms in the chest cavity, so when we get the "pop" we are countering the spasms by straightening our backs (thus giving our lungs enough room) or moving nerves back into their proper place?
Also, I believe that stress is the main cause for the condition we all share. When we feel anxious, we are probably slouching over a desk, breathing abnormally, not changing positions enough. Maybe we aren't getting enough sleep either. To be honest, I get an average of 6 hours of sleep per school night, and once I've had a double all-nighter. Very unhealthy. I heard that affects brain development, increases blood pressure, the heart is forced to pump harder, numbness, blurry vision, anxiety, a sense of unreality, feeling unstable (like we're going to fall over), dizziness, and so on. So, make sure you get enough sleep, folks.
If you have any questions, feel free to ask.
electronicmail7 said Jul 22, 2011 09:43:06
I want to cry I'm so relieved. I had the longest PCS attack I've ever had - around 2 hours. I tried stretching and laying down for a nap. Woke up from the nap and couldn't believe the pain hadn't gone away. I found this website and after trying #3 above the pain is gone and I can take a full breath again.

What I did -- I laid face down on the bed - nose poking into the bed - I gingerly started taking a breath and never reached a point where the sharp pain happened. I slowly and more confidently took about 6 more deep breaths, then I stood up and to my great surprise I could suddenly breathe normally again - this solution worked right away for me! I hope it's this easy again in the future. Amazing.

Side note:
Symptom-wise - I would like to add as someone else mentioned, my PCS was accompanied by a lot of burping.
tristan.schmelcher said Aug 14, 2011 18:27:47
Thanks meteorshower4am, this helped me too! I've had occasional PCS since my early teens without ever knowing its name or what it was. Usually it only lasts for a couple minutes, but yesterday I had an episode that hadn't gone away after 10 hours and I wasn't able to get to sleep. I found this post linked from Wikipedia and tried your method #4 and it worked perfectly! Didn't notice a popping sensation though.

Never had it together with burping either.
tristan.schmelcher said Aug 14, 2011 18:33:34
Oh I forgot to say that I didn't try #3 but I will give it a try next time.
ColinStrook said Nov 10, 2012 19:26:11
I've never tried, or even heard of the above methods, the only thing...and I do mean ONLY thing that works for me is a method I learned myself to get through the pain when I was a child. Since it had always felt like if I were to inhale a full breath very quickly, something would pop or rip and get damaged, this was the best I could come up with on my own.

- Stand completely still
- Slowly inhale as much as you can until the pain / pressure feels like its about to pop.
- Exhale normally trying to breath out as much air from your lungs as you can. When it starts to hurt, stop, and begin inhaling again.
- Continue this process for as long as it takes, while every inhale trying to inhale a little extra air each time, stopping when the pain is too much, or you get that "its gonna pop!" feeling.

I find that usually by the time you are able to inhale completely and take a full breath of air, that the pain will have subsided. However that's not always the case.

Sometimes I find it helps to slowly lean to your left, right, or even try leaning back, stretching as slowly as possible. But sometimes it feels like it makes it worse for me too so, who knows. Hope this helps someone, its gotten me through 14 years so far.
Tidge said Apr 21, 2017 08:49:59
I find that lying down with a hot water bottle on my chest alleviates the pain. I also take muscle relaxant tissue salts which are good for when out and about.
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