Sharp Pain in Heart/Chest area - pacemaker 3 years old

Hi there,

I am 29 years old and have had my pacemaker in since 2016, I had a condition from when I was three years old that when I laughed too hard or hurt myself (bumping my elbow, etc) I would pass out and my heart would stop, this was only diagnosed beginning of 2016. I am left handed so my implant was put on my right side it is a K187 Boston Pacemaker. I have had one complication where a cluster of blood clots formed last year and I had to be on blood thinners for 6 months, thankfully this was resolved. 

The last 4-5 days I have been experiencing sporadic chest pains in my heart which feels like someone is stabbing me and twisting a knife it catches me off guard and I have to take shallow breaths till it passes. I noticed my heart beat has become even more irregular, recently my partner struggled to hear my heart beat at all. I am unsure if this is stress related (I have been dealing with anxiety and stress from work) or something is wrong.

I am hoping someone might be able to give me more clarity if they have experienced anything similar?


My surgeon is pretty good at replying but generally, his response is.... it will pass  which isn't very helpful






Sharp stabbing chest pains.

by Selwyn - 2019-07-03 13:10:26

Chest pains, of a sharp, stabbing nature, lasting less than a few minutes, and at rest ( typically not associated with exercise) are invariably stress related.  They are due to muscle spasm across the chest muscles ( a bit like having cramp in a muscle). 

They best respond to some exercise for the chest,  to stretch the muscles ( eg. swimming ).  Exercise is also useful to help you relax.

I would avoid caffeine. This worsens the problem. Sometimes hot baths and sauna help.


It is a very common symptom of anxiety. Such pains are typically descibed as you have done. Relax!

You know you're wired when...

Like the Energizer Bunny, you keep going.

Member Quotes

I had a pacemaker when I was 11. I never once thought I wasn't a 'normal kid' nor was I ever treated differently because of it. I could do everything all my friends were doing; I just happened to have a battery attached to my heart to help it work.