Anyone have short sharp pains in heart?

I just received my 1st PM 3 days ago. Since then, I periodically have quick sharp pains in my heart (4 one a scale of 1-10). Usually it is when I get up and increase my activity, but not always. The doctors and nurses each said that it is not a common complaint, but they can understand that my heart is adjusting to the leads and to call if it gets worse. Did any of you experience anything this? It would just give me peace of mind to know it is to be expected, but it seems not to be the case.


Short Sharp Pains

by Pookie - 2008-06-21 08:06:53

Hi nallen and welcome to the club.

I had (and still do sometimes) have a very short stabby kind of pain on the left side of my chest, sorta where your bra (if you are female!!) goes around your chest. I thought it was my heart and asked numerous doctors and they ALL said that your heart cannot feel pain, that it would have to be something else! So, in my mind I think it is or could be my stomach or perhaps the ventricle lead...or just one of those mystery pains.

My suggestion is to ask for an Xray of your chest and get them to point out where the ventricle lead is and then you show them where your stabby pain is! Also, keep a little diary of what you are doing when this occurs and the time of day.

It might even be the ventricle lead doing its self test, which can be turned off or they can change the timing of the self test for while you are sleeping.

All of these suggestions are, of course, guesses on my part, but perhaps someone else on this site has experienced it and will respond!

Again, welcome to the club and take it easy!! And just remember: we all are here for you and feel free to ask as many questions as you want. This site is truly amazing and everyone here is so supportive.



by SMITTY - 2008-06-21 11:06:23

Hi Nallen,

I get aggravated when I hear that someone has been told "it is not your pacemaker" especially when they have not even checked it out. Unless that person has a pacemaker there is no way they can know all the things a pacemaker do to or for a person. Fortunately, most of these things are good things,(which is usually all the medical personnel; know about) but some are not good and these so called experts don't have a clue. My comments apply to the doctors, nurses and technicians that are responsible for the operation of our pacemaker. But just think about it. Our pacemaker is in effect a little computer. Here we have medial personnel, some of which have never mastered the art of using their TV remote implanting and adjusting these things.
I have a dual lead Medtronic and my complaint was that periodically I would have a dull pain in the middle of my chest feel like I have been hit with something. The pain is not bad most of the time, but it does get my attention. I had a checkup and the technician sat and tinkered with settings for the better part of an hour while humming Old McDonalds Farm – or what ever the title is – and finally said that it should be alright now. It turned out that when I looked at my copy of the printout of the checkup recordings no changes had been made. I know this because all changes are marked wish > and there were none.

My problem was due to the rate response being active on my pacemaker and when I increased my activity it increases my heart rate. The settings were off ever so slightly and the PM was causing the ventricle to contract a millisecond, or two, to early. Before going further, as you know I'm sure, the atrial which receives oxygenated blood from the lung contracts and pushes this blood through the mitral valve into the ventricle from which it is then pumped out to the arteries in our body. The ventricle is not supposed to contract until the atrial has completed its work but if the settings on the PM are off ever so slightly, it may have the ventricle contracting to soon and this puts a back pressure on the mitral valve which can result in minor to medium pain levels. While my pain has never stopped completely, in spite of many setting changes, it is less and less frequent than when it first started.

I have no way of even guessing if this is what is causing your pain, but I know from experience it does happen. You can decide if it is a possibility for you.

Good luck,


" Heart " Pains.

by Stepford_Wife - 2008-06-22 05:06:51

Hi Nallen.

I have had them for as long as I can remember, and they still occur once in a while.
I push on the area, while bending over and taking a deep breath very slowly, and I'm able to ease it away.
Here is a definition of what it is, and the causes.
Take care,

~ Dominique ~

Precordial Catch Syndrome (PCS), also known as Texidor's twinge, is a common cause of chest pain complaints in children and adolescents. It also occurs less frequently in adults. PCS manifests itself as an intense, sharp pain typically below the left, but sometimes right, nipple or breast which is worse when taking breaths. This typically lasts 30 seconds to 3 minutes and then is resolved as quickly as it began.


The syndrome was first described and named by Miller and Texidor in 1955. They reported the condition in 10 patients, one being Miller himself. In 1978, PCS was discussed by Sparrow and Bird who reported that 45 healthy patients suffered from it and that it was probably more frequent than generally assumed. PCS has also been reported on by Pickering in 1981 and by Reynolds in 1989 who did a report of the children in the US with the condition. These constitute the literature available on PCS.


PCS has consistent characteristics. Its symptoms begin with a sudden onset of anterior chest pain typically located just below the left, or sometimes, right nipple or breast. The pain is localized and does not radiate like heart attack pain typically does. Breathing in, and sometimes breathing out often intensifies the pain. Typically this causes the patient to freeze in place and breathe shallowly until the episode passes. Episodes typically last a couple seconds to 3 minutes. The frequency of episodes varies by patient, sometimes occurring daily (or even multiple episodes each day).

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" sensation which quickly and completely resolves the PCS episode.

PCS episodes happen most often while sitting or lying down, and being inactive.


The cause of PCS is unknown. It is speculated that it could be caused by the pinching of a nerve. There is also a correlation of PCS to stress and anxiety. PCS is often seen to occur during rest or a sudden change in posture.


There is no known cure for PCS. However PCS is also not believed to be dangerous. Therefore PCS is generally seen as a mild inconvenience. Perhaps the worst part about PCS is the fear that this chest pain is an indicator of a heart attack or other dangerous condition, so therefore a correct diagnosis of PCS is a relief. PCS should not interfere with normal activity, and there is no reason to use any form of medication.

Me, too

by MHCHAMPION - 2008-06-22 10:06:22

Sounds like the pain I have once in a while. Very sharp but not lasting long at all. It feels as though it is IN my heart itself. I am glad to hear that I am not alone.


by Peter.Nash - 2008-06-22 11:06:10

I have plenty of short sharp pains around the Area where my ICD is implanted... and they feel all the world like they are in my heart but when I stop and think about it I realise 9 times out of ten they are actually muscular pains apart form the odd pace or shock from an ICD it should just sit there doing nothing... personally I think the area around the ICD or pace maker gets a bit touchy when you have over reached for something or caused the muscle to work... and it just complains for a second or two..after I have had one of these stabbing pains I always try to look back at what I have been doing.. and generally come up with something I had done earlier to agrrivate the muscle ..Like reaching for my wallet to stop my wife getting my debit card before she goes shopping !!!!!
one of the easiest things that give me a bit of a sharp pain some time after I have done it unscrewing a bottle top if it has been a bit tight to get off.... you can bet later I have these stabbing pains but are gone by the next day or after a rest.... just my thoughts on the situation. Dont know if the same would apply to a pacemaker but I would have thought so.
Peter. N

You know you're wired when...

You have a little piece of high-tech in your chest.

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It is just over 10 years since a dual lead device was implanted for complete heart block. It has worked perfectly and I have traveled well near two million miles internationally since then.