Hi I am almost at the end of my tether I had my pacemaker implanted on 3rd April this year so over four months now I lost my job due to working in an electro static industry and being 61 am not optimistic about getting something else I’m still in pain daily in my neck shoulder and chin the only relief I get is when I’m in bed it’s like a shooting pain going up to my chin and the area round we’re my heart is sometimes hurts I’ve been back to cardiologist and they said it was muscle and nerves healing I’m taking paracetamol regularly for pain but it’s so bad most days I just feel like taking an overdose I know I should be grateful I’m still alive but hope I’m not going to be in pain for the rest of my life.



by Tracey_E - 2019-08-11 12:04:45

That level of pain is not at all normal. If the cardiologist is no help, have you tried physical therapy or perhaps a chiropractor? Perhaps the problem is secondary, either from being manipulated during the surgery or sleeping in odd positions and not using the arm after? 

Long term pain

by Theknotguy - 2019-08-11 13:19:09

I understand how you feel.  Due to the trauma I received before I got my pacemaker (CPR, collapsed lung, broken ribs) I had a lot of pain that has gone on for a long time.  I see you are in the UK, so things will be different from what we have in the USA but there are still things that can be done.  I had severe muscle spasms and pain on the pacemaker side going up into the jaw.  Then had problems due to the broken ribs, collapsed lung, and scar tissue from the chest tube.   Needless to say, I was a mess. 

Currently in the USA we're undergoing the opiate crisis where doctors had over prescribed opiates resulting in a large mass of people becoming hooked on the drugs.  There is a moratorium now on prescribing opiates unless you have one of the situations where limited amounts of opiates are approved such as a knee or hip replacement.  Then, in the Columbus, Ohio area we had a rogue doctor who killed over 30 people using opiates and all the hospitals are reviewing the use of opiates.  So it's almost impossible for a person in the USA to get pain killing drugs other than Tylenol or aspirin,  No doctor is going to risk his license just because you have a hangnail.  So what can you do?

Because of my trauma, my heart doctor was willing to prescribe heart and physical therapy.  For physical therapy in the USA it used to be, no pain, no gain.  But the newer therapists say if you have pain they aren't doing their job correctly.  So I ended up doing more repetitions with lighter weights.  Also, in the USA, licensed physical therapists are allowed to do stretching exercises which can help.  

In the embryo the shoulder area going up to the jaw area develops from the same place.  So as you get older, any irritation to the nerves in that area can cause muscle spasms in the upper back and neck area as well as pain going up into the jaw and teeth.  So when they put the leads in under the clavicle on the left side it can really irritate the nerves in that area.  Hence your pain.  Physical therapy can help by forcing you to relax the muscles that are cramping.  

The other option is going to a licensed massage therapist.  My stress is on a licensed therapist who's had the medical training and understands how the muscles and nerves work together.  In the USA not all therapists are licensed so you have to confirm that before you start your treatment. I have a person on the forum who had a bad experience with a massage therapist and I don't argue that can happen.   So if you decide on going the therapist way, please make sure they are licensed, then make sure they know not to bother the Pacemaker implant area and the area where the leads go in under the clavicle.  

The other option is Tylenol or aspirin, hot and cold packs.  

I did a combination of the three.  Tylenol with hot/cold packs, physical therapy, and finally massage therapy.  None of this will be instant total recovery but you will start to see some relief at the end of your sessions.  I did the physical therapy sessions, then continued with the massage therapist.  I've been going to my massage therapist for over six years now.  At the six year mark she was able to alleviate some pain caused by scar tissue where they put in the chest tube to fix the collapsed lung.  So while it isn't instant removal of all pain, it has been a gradual decline. And, I'll tell you from painful experience, it takes broken ribs a long time to heal.  But, eventually, you do have relief from the pain.

Like I said, I don't know how it is in the UK.  But I do hope this long explanation does give you some options you didn't have before.  I sincerely hope you can get some help.  


by Stephen 1957 - 2019-08-11 14:16:11

Thank you all who took the time to reply to me I now feel that I have been linked in the right direction and hopefully will eventually get some relief from my pain grateful to you all thanks .


by justice - 2019-08-21 21:44:27

I had severe pain which I thought was cardiac-related. I had an ICD implanted 6 mos. ago.
Twice I was rushed to emerg and was told no cardiac issues. 
I did my own research and discovered that I had developed "thoracic outlet syndrome"
Nerve compression probably caused by the implant.
After 4 weeks of chiropractic and exercises, the pain is virtually gone.

Something for you to research and see if this may be your problem


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In fact after the final "tweaks" of my pacemaker programming at the one year check up it is working so well that I forget I have it.