Hello everyone I'm new. Had a pacemaker put in Jan 14. Three weeks later had to have another surgery because a lead came out. I don't think it was my fault but maybe when the did the tug test. IV had a slow pulse all of my life had a shoulder surgery on the 20 Dec 2019. A nurse found I was in complete heart block in the recovery.  I'm a vary active person and have some questions that some of you may be able to answer. Can I lift weights,bjj,martial arts, sparring, wrestle play racquetball? Just a few to ask for know.


Full contact sports

by AgentX86 - 2020-02-10 08:40:19

There are several options on this but EPs generally are against any full contact sports and a fewer number recommend against free weights, in particular presses. The problem is excessive force on the generator or leads fracturing the leads by the clavicle. Your EP knows your situation better than anyone here so you should be clearing your activities with him. Note that you won't harm the pacemaker but the leads are fragile. You won't like being hit on the box, either. Racket ball isn't a problem but the rest may be. Again, you really need to ask your EP.

ask, but

by Tracey_E - 2020-02-10 10:20:39

For sure run it by your doctor but most of them are ok with anything but full contact sports after we are fully healed. Some are even ok with that as long as you wear protection and are careful. If you take a hard direct hit, it will hurt. The box will be fine, it's titanium, but we aren't so tough.  Been there, done that, had the bruises but didn't damage a lead. My ep and rep both said the leads are thin and flexible, intended to move with us, so told me don't worry about damaging them. They've always encouraged being active because staying fit is important. We have electrical problems, we don't want to compound it with weak muscle or clogged arteries.

I am extremely active, have been paced since 1994 for complete heart block, still have one original working lead. The other was replaced after 15 years, which is average lead life. I run, kayak every chance I get, and have done Crossfit for the last 9 years. I don't hold back- I do push ups, pull ups, go heavy with the barbells- not just with my doctor's blessing but with his encouragement. So far, so good, 25 years and counting. 


Tracey E.

by Gotrhythm - 2020-02-10 13:35:59

I'm so glad we have you.

Based on your expience, instead of warning against this or that, as if a pacemaker cripples the recipient, you are able to tell our more active members that a pacemaker hasn't made them fragiile and doesn't need to limit them. In fact it enables them to do all the physical exercise they want to. 

You don't tell people what they can't do. You tell them what they CAN. 

YAY Tracey!


Can do

by AgentX86 - 2020-02-10 14:20:54

He gave a list, much of which is full contact, which is generally to be avoided, if not downright dangerous.


by Gotrhythm - 2020-02-10 16:51:55

I apologize if I appeared to step on your toes. I certainly didn't intend to.

Tracey is an example of someone young, who has not been limited by her pacemaker. On the contrary, she has found her way around obstacles and because she has a pacemaker she has lived the life she wants.

I think her message is important.

I am grateful that the Pacemaker Club, and it's younger members especially, has the benefit of her perspective.


by Jwilde73 - 2020-02-10 18:56:05

Anybody here doing any kind of sparring/bjj with a protective chest gear? 

Step on toes?

by AgentX86 - 2020-02-10 23:12:10

Not at all.  Question asked and answered.  The the question was essentially a list of activities that are usually considerd no-nos.   It would be irresponsible to answer it in any way other than "it's not normally recommended but ask your EP".  The list of things one can do is infinite but that wasn't what was asked.

You know you're wired when...

Your pacemaker receives radio frequencies.

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