How To Treat A Sore Arm After Your Shot
As stated before, if you have a sore arm after your COVID-19 vaccine, it should only last for a few days. But If youre uncomfortable, there are a few things you can do to help:
- Move your arm after your shot. Using your arm and making a point to move it often after youve been vaccinated stimulates blood flow to the area. It can also help reduce soreness, according to Richard Watkins, MD. Dr. Watkins is an infectious disease specialist and a professor of internal medicine at the Northeast Ohio Medical University.
- Try a cool compress. Applying a clean, cool, wet washcloth over the area may help reduce soreness, Valdez says. This may bring down the inflammation, much like when you ice your knees after exercise or injury, she says.
- Continue using your arm. It can be tough if youre uncomfortable, but stretching and continuing to use your arm can help minimize or reduce soreness, Watkins says.
The CDC recommends talking to your doctor about taking over-the-counter medicines, like ibuprofen, acetaminophen, aspirin, or antihistamines, for arm soreness and other post-vaccination pain. Do not take these medications if you have any condition that would normally prevent you from taking them.
Flu Vaccine For People With Long
The flu vaccine is offered free on the NHS to anyone with a serious long-term health condition, including:
- a learning disability
- problems with your spleen, for example, sickle cell disease, or if you have had your spleen removed
- a weakened immune system as the result of conditions such as HIV and AIDS, or taking medicines such as steroid tablets or chemotherapy
Talk to your doctor if you have a long-term condition that is not in one of these groups. They should offer you the flu vaccine if they think you’re at risk of serious problems if you get flu.
What If I Have Experienced Shoulder Pain From A Flu Shot
If you have experienced shoulder pain after receiving a flu shot, you may be suffering from Shoulder Injury Related to Vaccine Administration, or SIRVA. Vaccine-related shoulder injuries commonly result from administration errors such as injecting the vaccine too high on the shoulder or too low on the arm. These errors lead to painful complications, and in some cases may require surgery.
Fortunately, individuals claiming vaccine-related shoulder injuries can seek compensation for their medical bills and other losses through the National Vaccine Injury Compensation Program . The Vaccine Program is a no-fault government compensation program that provides money to individuals suffering from vaccine-related injuries. At the Center for Vaccine Shoulder Pain Recovery, our sole focus is helping clients recover compensation under the Vaccine Injury Compensation Program.
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Are There Any Other Options For The Flu Vaccine Besides Getting A Shot
In addition to the flu shot, a nasal spray vaccine is also available. You may see this vaccine referred to as FluMist or the live attenuated influenza vaccine .
This vaccine is sprayed into your nose. Unlike the flu shot, it contains active influenza viruses. However, these vaccine viruses have been weakened so they wont cause an infection.
Like the flu shot, the nasal spray has some potential side effects. These can be different in adults and children and can include:
The nasal spray vaccine is approved for individuals ages 2 to 49. Its not recommended for certain groups, such as pregnant people and those with a weakened immune system.
If youre interested in receiving the nasal spray vaccine, talk with your doctor about whether its a safe option for you.
Do You Have A Question For Dr Ellie
Dr Ellie can only answer in a general context and cannot respond to individual cases, or give personal replies.
If you have a health concern, always consult your own GP.
The over-use of antibiotics in all areas has contributed to the problems of MRSA and the severe bowel infection C.difficile, so a very thoughtful approach is needed.
It is important that the prescribing GP utilises local guidelines that take into account patterns of resistance.
Generally, an antibiotic would be given for six months. If recurrent cystitis is associated with intercourse, then we know that using a post-coital antibiotic can be just as effective as a long-term course, so this should be given a go.
Much is written about lifestyle changes for recurrent urine infections, but in fact there is no scientific evidence to suggest cranberry juice, dietary changes, certain clothes or timing urination after intercourse can help prevent them.
The majority of cases in the UK are caused by the bacteria E.coli, which lives harmlessly in the gut as part of our natural body flora.
Vaccines would need to target their detrimental effect on the bladder without interfering with their role in the gut a challenge that is still many years away.
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Why Is Your Arm Sore
The flu shot introduces influenza virus components into your body. This can be in the form of an inactivated virus or single viral proteins.
The goal is for your immune system to make antibodies to fight off these viral components. These antibodies can then protect you against an actual influenza infection.
While the flu shot cannot cause you to become sick with the flu, your immune system still recognizes whats been injected into you as foreign.
As a result, it produces an immune response, which leads to the soreness or swelling that occurs near the injection site.
Plus Theres Hope That The 2021 Flu Shot Will Outdo Its Predecessors
Since there are different flu viruses out there , the vaccine is reviewed and changed from year to year. The World Health Organization has already selected what components should be a part of the 2021 to 2022 vaccine to best protect against next seasons soon-to-be circulating viruses, too. But again, there’s no way yet to accurately predict how bad this coming year’s flu will be as the virus is always changing.
FYI: The flu shot can’t actually give you the flu.
Another thing to note? Talk of the flu shots many side effects is greatly exaggerated. The flu shot cant actually give you the flu, and while there are some possible side effects, Dr. Adalja says most are rare.
If youre particularly wary of needles, you may prefer the nasal influenza spray over an injection, says Soma Mandal, MD, a board-certified internist at Summit Medical Group in Berkeley Heights, New Jersey. Potential nasal spray side effects include runny nose, wheezing, headache, vomiting, muscle aches, fever, sore throat, and cough.
Not everyone should get the nasal flu spray due to factors like age and underlying health conditions, though, so talk to your doctor to determine if its the best option for you, she says.
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I Just Got The Flu Shot Why Does My Arm Hurt
Influenza, or the flu, is a contagious respiratory illness caused by a viral infection of the nose, throat, and lungs. The virus travels from person to person through infectious droplets expelled from the nose or mouth, but chances of contracting the virus decrease between 40-60% with the administration of a flu shot. Some individuals suffer pain following vaccination, but there are ways to lower the likelihood of experiencing flu shot pain.
Many people experience pain after receiving the vaccination. Flu shot pain is the sensory response to the immune systems process of producing antibodies and developing immunity, which is what prevents a vaccinated individual from contracting the disease.
With general fear of muscle pain and as much as 10% of the US population suffering from a fear of needles, many people shy away vaccination each year. Pain, however, is minimal and should not last more than a few days. Although it might seem unavoidable, there are some ways to reduce the risk of shoulder pain and muscle soreness following vaccination.
What Can I Do About My Symptoms
To start, get a medical evaluation from your primary care provider. Your provider may include diagnostic imaging tests as part of the evaluation. Discuss a treatment plan based on the findings.
Treatment options and duration of symptoms can vary, but the most common treatments include:
- Physical Therapy to improve range of motion, restore muscle function, and relieve inflammation
- Anti-inflammatory medications to reduce inflammation and relieve pain
- Corticosteroid injections to reduce inflammation and relieve pain
- At-home stretching programs to increase range of motion and,
- Surgery in severe cases, surgery may be required to repair damage.
Improvement in symptoms and recovery times are variable. Some people experience improvement early in treatment, while others may suffer with symptoms for much longer. Unfortunately, some people never fully recover.
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Can You Prevent Arm Pain Before Your Flu Vaccine
There aren’t really any good hacks to lower your risk of arm pain ahead of time, Jamie Alan, PhD, associate professor of pharmacology at Michigan State University, tells Health. “You can pre-medicate with something like acetaminophen or ibuprofen, but there is some evidence that taking these medications may make vaccinations less effective,” she says.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention backs this up: In listing out considerations to take before getting your COVID-19 vaccine specifically, the CDC says it’s “not recommended” to take over-the-counter medication like ibuprofen, aspirin, or acetaminophen before you get the vaccine to prevent side effects. That’s because “it is not known how these medications might affect how well the vaccine works,” the CDC says.
Basically, without a ton of conclusive evidence on how, if, or why pain relievers may impact vaccine effectiveness, you’ll probably want to err on the side of caution and skip them before your shot .
Another tip: Alan says it’s a good idea to relax your arm “as much as possible” before your shot to keep your muscles from tensing and prevent the needle from having to work a little harder to get in there.
And, while this won’t necessarily change whether you’re sore or not after, it’s generally a good idea to get your vaccine in your non-dominant arm, Dr. Schaffner says. “If you do get a sore arm, it will interfere less with your function,” he says. “You can write more easily and do the usual things.”
Have You Received A Recent Vaccination To Keep Yourself Healthy Only To Feel Pain In Your Arm Or Shoulder
Like any medication, a vaccine can have side effects.
Some people do experience soreness or tenderness in their arm or shoulder near the injection site. Mild soreness at the injection site is considered a routine reaction to many vaccines. The soreness often goes away without further problems.
In rare instances, however, a vaccination can result in severe and longer-lasting shoulder pain and bursitis after vaccination. The pain can be accompanied by weakness and difficulty moving the affected arm. This kind of severe reaction is referred to as Shoulder Injury Related to Vaccine Administration, or SIRVA.
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Are Vaccine Side Effects Normal
While side effects are completely normal, they can still be scary. Luckily, these side effects should be mild and will only last for a day or so. These side effects include mild fever, muscle aches, and general feelings of malaise. On very rare occasions, the flu shot can also cause an allergic reaction. Therefore, you should seek help immediately if you develop a high fever, hives, or weakness. It is important to know that these side effects are NOT the same as the flu. You cannot get the flu from the flu vaccine.
Possible Side Effects Of Influenza Vaccination
You may experience minor side effects following vaccination. Most reactions are mild and last no more than a couple of days and you will recover without any problems.
Common side effects of influenza vaccines include:
- pain, redness, swelling or hardness where the needle went in
- fever, tiredness, body aches.
Talk to your immunisation provider about possible side effects of the influenza vaccines, or if you or your child have side effects that worry you.
The Consumer Medicine Information available on the Therapeutic Goods Administration website lists the ingredients and side effects of each vaccine.
Learn more about the possible side effects of vaccination
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How To Knock Out Flu Shot Pain
While soreness can be unpleasant, its nothing compared to the whole-body pain caused by the flu.
Here are four tips to relieve flu shot pain:
1. Distract Yourself
Take a few deep breaths to clear your mind and relax your body and look away to avoid tensing your muscles . It may help to also chew some gum or suck on a breath mint.
2. Use Pain Reliever
If you are typically pretty sore after your shot, ask your doctor if its safe for you to take acetaminophen or ibuprofen before and/or after the shot.
3. Keep Moving
Growing up, has someone ever told you to just walk it off when you get hurt? While you shouldnt just walk off any injury, there is some truth to this somewhat harsh rationale when it comes to the pain from your flu shot.
Dont baby your arm. Its not an injury. Moving your arm around after the shot will help spread the vaccination away from the injection site and increase blood flow. You may want to consider doing some light exercise after as well.
4. Cool It
Use a cool compress on the injection site to help reduce any swelling and pain. After a few days, you can try a warm compress to relax your muscle and increase blood flow.
Getting your annual flu shot can protect you, your loved ones and those around you from the flu and complications from it. A momentary discomfort is worth the thousands of lives who can be saved. Its one of the easiest ways to contribute to community health.
Is There More Than One Type Of Flu Shot Available
Yes. There are different flu vaccine manufacturers and multiple influenza vaccine products licensed and recommended for use in the United States.
CDC recommends use of any licensed, age-appropriate influenza vaccine during the 2021-2022 influenza season. Available influenza vaccines include quadrivalent inactivated influenza vaccine , recombinant influenza vaccine , or live attenuated influenza vaccine . No preference is expressed for any influenza vaccine over another.
Quadrivalent flu vaccines include:
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What Are Common Flu Vaccine Side Effects To Expect
According to the CDC, you may experience short-lived, minor side effects of the flu shot or nasal spray vaccineas is the case with any vaccination or medication. You might think that side effects are a bad thing, but theyre actually signs that your immune system is responding and getting ready to protect you.
Heres how it works: The flu shot contains inactivated or incomplete strains of the influenza virus, while the nasal spray contains live attenuated strains. Neither form of the vaccine contains live flu viruses that can thrive in your body.
When you get any type of vaccine, the whole purpose is to expose your immune system to the virus, infectious disease expert Amesh A. Adalja, M.D., senior scholar at the Johns Hopkins Center for Health Security, tells SELF. Your immune system will start to rev up in response. These dead, partial, and weakened viruses are enough to provoke your immune system to develop antibodies to guard you against live and threatening flu viruses. It usually takes about two weeks for those to kick in and offer you protection, per the CDC.
Sometimes your immune system does this without causing noticeable symptoms, but other times, youll experience a few minor side effects as a result. Here are the most common ones you might experience:
What Are The Symptoms Of Sirvaand How Is It Treated
While dull muscle ache pain after a vaccine injection is common, it usually disappears on its own with days. With SIRVA, on the other hand, an individual will usually start feeling pain within 48 hours of the vaccination, and doesnt improve.
“In patients who experience SIRVA, months may pass by, and patients will still complain of increasing pain, weakness, and impaired mobility in the injected arm. Simple actions like lifting your arm to brush your teeth can cause pain,” said Kelly Grindrod, a professor in the School of Pharmacy at Waterloo and one of the authors of the 2018 study.
People experiencing these symptoms should talk to their doctor. “It’s important that we learn to recognize these signs of SIRVA so that we can access appropriate treatment,” Grindrod points out.
In order to diagnose SIRVA, an ultrasound scan is needed, which can also determine the level and type of damage. Inflammation reducing oral medications and corticosteroid injections to the shoulder are common treatments for SIRVA, and additionally, physiotherapy may be recommended.
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Misconceptions About Physician Consent For Vaccination
Do pregnant women or people with pre-existing medical conditions need special permission or written consent from their doctor to get a flu vaccine?
No. There is no recommendation for pregnant women or people with pre-existing medical conditions to seek special permission or secure written consent from their doctor for vaccination if they get vaccinated at a worksite clinic, pharmacy or other location outside of their physicians office. With rare exception, CDC recommends an annual flu vaccine for everyone 6 months of age and older, including pregnant women and people with medical conditions.
A variety of flu vaccine products are available . Vaccine providers should be aware of the approved age indications of the vaccine they are using and of any contraindications or precautions. Providers also should appropriately screen all people getting vaccinated for allergies to vaccine components or other contraindications. People who have previously had a severe allergic reaction to influenza vaccine or any of its ingredients should generally not be vaccinated.
There are some people who should not get a flu vaccine without first speaking with their doctor. These include:
Pregnant women or people with pre-existing medical conditions who get vaccinated should get a flu shot.