Friday, September 22, 2023

Flu Shot And Arm Pain

Must read

What To Know About Getting A Flu Shot This Year

Why your arm hurts after getting COVID vaccine

Doctors stress that any soreness from the flu shot should be minimal and last only a day or two.

Overall, the flu shot shouldn’t hurt all that much and getting the flu will always be worse than a little bit of soreness.

Experts say that it’s especially important to get the flu vaccine this year, during the COVID-19 pandemic, to help rule out the influenza as a possibility in the event a patient gets sick, and also to keep hospitals clear in case coronavirus cases spike.

“This season more than ever, eliminating all possibilities for illness is that much more important,” Deutsch said.

In 2020 The Flu Shot Was *a Bit* Better

The influenza vaccine is estimated to have been 39 percent effective during the 2019 to 2020 season, according to the CDC. To put that into a broader context, the flu shot generally provides about a 65 percent protection rate against contracting the flu, Dr. Adalja says.

Related Story

So while even that 39 percent figure might sound low to you, it’s actually a decent number, and it does not mean you should skip your yearly shot . Flu season typically starts in October, peaks in December, and can stick around until May, so you want to be covered for all of it.

Just because the vaccine isnt 100 percent doesnt mean its worthless, says Dr. Adalja. And even if you do get the flu, you are much less likely to have a severe case requiring hospitalization, less likely to have major destruction to your life, and less likely to spread it.

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.

You May Like: Vicks Nyquil Cold And Flu Pills

Who Can Have The Flu Vaccine

The flu vaccine is given free on the NHS to people who:

  • are 50 and over
  • have certain health conditions
  • are pregnant
  • are in long-stay residential care
  • receive a carer’s allowance, or are the main carer for an older or disabled person who may be at risk if you get sick
  • live with someone who is more likely to get infections
  • frontline health or social care workers

How Effective Is The Flu Vaccine

Why Does My Arm Hurt After a Flu Shot?

The flu vaccine gives the best protection against flu.

Flu vaccines help protect against the main types of flu viruses, although there’s still a chance you might get flu.

If you do get flu after vaccination, it’s likely to be milder and not last as long.

Having the flu vaccine will also reduce the chance of you spreading flu to other people who may be more at risk of serious problems from flu.

It can take 10 to 14 days for the flu vaccine to work.

Don’t Miss: Flu Shot And Shingrix Together

Where To Get The Flu Vaccine

You can have the NHS flu vaccine at:

  • your GP surgery
  • a pharmacy offering the service
  • your midwifery service if you’re pregnant
  • a hospital appointment

If you do not have your flu vaccine at your GP surgery, you do not have to tell the surgery. This will be done for you.

It’s important to go to your vaccination appointments unless you have symptoms of COVID-19.

How To Avoid A Sore Arm After A Flu Shot

Its flu season, which means many of us are heading to our doctor or local clinic for a flu shot . As we continue to battle COVID-19, flu shots are more important than ever before.

No one wants to be hit with both viruses. The good news is that with one flu shot each fall, you can significantly lower your chances by 40% to 60% of contracting the flu .

But are you one of the few who walks away from your shot feeling like youve been punched in the arm? Not everyone gets a sore arm, but it is common, and the reason actually may surprise you.

Some individuals may develop swelling, a mild, low-grade fever and some moderate pain localized to where they received the shot, said Devin Minior, MD, chief medical officer for Banner Urgent Care. This is a natural response, and it means that your body’s immune system is working to build up a defense against the flu virus.

Read Also: Can You Get A Flu Shot While Sick

Q: How Can The Flu And Its Complications Be Prevented

A: The flu and the common complications of this infection can be prevented with a high degree of success when a person receives the current flu vaccine. A new vaccine is made each year so that the vaccine contains the 3 most common circulating influenza strains that are expected to cause illness that year. For maximum effect, doctors highly recommend you are vaccinated well before the winter season starts, March and April.

What Should I Do If I Think I Am Having A Severe Reaction To A Flu Vaccine

Dr. Max Gomez: Flu Shots And Injuries

If you think it is a severe allergic reaction or other emergency that cant wait, call 9-1-1 and get to the nearest hospital. Otherwise, call your doctor.

Afterward, the reaction should be reported to the Vaccine Adverse Event Reporting System . Your doctor might file this report, or you can do it yourself through the VAERS websiteexternal icon, or by calling 1-800-822-7967.

Recommended Reading: Flu Shot In Cvs Pharmacy

Q: What Are The Symptoms Of The Flu

A: The typical symptoms a person with the flu may experience include a sudden onset of fever, cough, sore throat, fatigue, muscle aches, headaches, runny nose and watery eyes. Children may experience vomiting and diarrhoea in addition to these symptoms, however, these symptoms are uncommon in adults.

Although the fever and body aches usually last for 3 5 days, a cough and fatigue may persist for two weeks or more and, in cases of serious infections, complications such as pneumonia and inflammation of the heart and/or lungs can occur resulting in a much longer illness.

Tingling In Arm And Hand After Flu Shot

The tingling sensation you may feel in your arm or hand after getting a flu shot is caused by the vaccine itself.

When the needle enters your muscle, it can cause a brief, sharp pain. This pain is usually followed by a dull ache that can last for a day or two.

The tingling sensation is caused by the vaccines reaction to the nerve endings in your muscle. This is a normal side effect and usually goes away on its own within a few hours.

In rare cases, the tingling may be accompanied by numbness, weakness, or paralysis of the affected arm or hand. This is known as a brachial plexus injury and is often caused by the needle going too deep into the muscle.

A brachial plexus injury is usually temporary and will resolve on its own within a few weeks. However, in rare cases, it can lead to permanent nerve damage.

Recommended Reading: Sanofi High Dose Flu Vaccine

Managing Side Effects After Immunisation

Common side effects following immunisation are usually mild and temporary . Specific treatment is not usually required. There are several treatment options that can reduce the side effects of the vaccine including:

  • Drinking extra fluids and not overdressing if there is a fever.
  • Although routine use of paracetamol after vaccination is not recommended, if pain and fever are present, paracetamol can be given check the label for the correct dose or speak with your pharmacist .

Q: Can You Get The Flu From A Vaccination

How Can I Prevent Arm Pain After a Flu Shot?

A: No, you cannot get the flu from the vaccine. The viruses in the vaccine are inactivated and incapable of causing the flu. Instead, the person is protected from the flu by antibodies that are formed by their own immune systems response to the vaccine. While flu-like symptoms usually occur within 6-12 hours of receiving the vaccine and last 1-2 days. This is a reaction common to many vaccines. 6-12 hours of receiving the vaccine and last 1-2 days. This is a reaction common to many vaccines.

Don’t Miss: Drugs For Cold And Flu

Common Side Effects Of The Flu Vaccine

Some people don’t experience any side effects after a flu jab. But the most common reactions are:

  • a sore arm, or pain, itching, or redness at the injection site
  • aches and pains
  • feeling feverish, tired, or unwell

These are normal responses to the vaccine.

You may be asked to wait 15 to 20 minutes after your vaccination so that treatment can be given quickly if a very rare, severe allergic reaction occurs. Many people aged 13 years and older will only need to wait 5minutes. Children under 13 years will need to wait 20 minutes.

Allergic responses are extremely rare.

How Can A Vaccine Injection Cause A Shoulder Injury

Research and case studies suggest that SIRVA is caused by improper administration of the vaccine, rather than the vaccine components. It is recommended that injections be administered into the deltoid muscle in the upper arm for adults. However, even trained medical professionals can misjudge the placement of an injection, placing it too high or too deep, outside of the recommended injection site.

A shoulders musculoskeletal structures includes tendons, ligaments, bone and bursa fluid-filled sacs that provide lubrication to the joint. Improper injection into the shoulder can cause inflammation and swelling, scarring, or other damage. The resulting conditions fall in the category of SIRVA.

SIRVA does not refer to one single medical diagnosis, but refers to a broader category of shoulder injuries and conditions. Some of the shoulder conditions included in the SIRVA category are:

  • Adhesive Capsulitis
  • Tendonitis
  • Bursitis

These injuries are generally characterized by pain and limitation of movement. For example, people suffering from Adhesive Capsulitis, also known as Frozen Shoulder, experience pain and a progressive loss of range of motion, making it difficult or impossible to raise their arm above a certain level. The shoulder seems frozen, unable to move beyond a specific point.

You May Like: How Long Does Flu Season Last

Symptoms And Treatment Of Sirva

While dull muscle ache pain after a vaccine injection is common, it usually disappears on its own within days. With SIRVA, an individual will usually start feeling pain within 48 hours of the vaccination, and the pain doesn’t improve over time.

“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, PharmD, a professor in the School of Pharmacy at Waterloo and one of the authors of the 2018 study.

According to the 2022 review in Clinical Orthopaedics and Related Research, the most common symptoms of SIRVA are shoulder pain and reduced range of motion. And the most common diagnoses tend to be shoulder bursitis, adhesive capsulitis , and rotator cuff tears.

People experiencing these symptoms should talk to their healthcare provider. “It’s important that we learn to recognize these signs of SIRVA so that we can access appropriate treatment,” added Grindrod.

To diagnose SIRVA, an ultrasound scan or MRI is needed, which can also determine the level and type of damage, per a 2022 study in the Canadian Medical Association Journal. Common treatments for SIRVA include lifestyle and work modifications, non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs , and physical therapy.

Can The Flu Shot Cause Tendonitis

Tips for Dealing With Pain and Fever During Flu Season

A proper vaccine injection technique is critical for intramuscular vaccines such as the flu shot. Specifically, the Center for Disease Control advises that the needle should be inserted at a 90-degree angle to the skin, as close to the deltoid muscle as possible. While this may seem fool-proof, mistakes are common and can lead to tendonitis and other musculoskeletal injuries in the shoulder and arm. Improper vaccine administration can allow for the needle to cause damage to the nerves, muscles and other subcutaneous soft tissue. Moreover, many inactivated vaccines contain an adjuvant. Adjuvants are vaccine components that enhance the immune response to an antigen.

These components can cause a local reaction to an improperly placed needle at the injection site, causing pain, redness and swelling. Tendonitis, specifically, is an inflammatory reaction at the rotator cuff or biceps tendon. Tendons are thick cords of tissue that attach muscle to bone. Tendonitis normally occurs as the result of a tendon being pinched by inflamed surrounding structures. In severe instances, nerve damage or impingement syndrome can also be diagnosed.

You May Like: Best Cold And Flu Nighttime Medicine

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.

Redness Pain Or Swelling At The Injection Site

This is another good sign that your immune system is raring to go and responding to the vaccine properly, Dr. Kemmerly says. Plus, any time something breaks the skin barrier , it may get red and swollen as your body reacts to it as a foreign object. This side effects is common and should only last a few days.

Also Check: Flu Shot High Dose Vs Regular

After Getting The Vaccine

  • Alternate placing ice packs and heat packs on the injection area if its sore. The combination of heat and cold can help reduce swelling.
  • Keep the arm moving after receiving the shot to increase blood flow and promote the dispersal of the vaccine in your body. If you keep the arm from moving too much, it can cause more pain.
  • While getting a vaccine is never much fun, the protection you receive from the flu shot will help keep your family and community healthy during a challenging flu season.

    Plus Theres Hope That The 2021 Flu Shot Will Outdo Its Predecessors

    Flu Shot Arm Pain: Why It Happens and What It Means

    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.

    You May Like: What Is Used To Treat Flu

    Q: Should I Receive The Flu Vaccine If I Have Had A Previous Adverse Reaction To A Vaccine

    A: If you have experienced an uncommon/severe adverse reaction to any vaccine in the past, Aspen Corporate Health recommends you discuss your suitability to receive the flu vaccine with your General Practitioner. If you have required oxygen in the past following vaccination for any reason, including preexisting medical conditions, then it will be more appropriate for you to receive the vaccine in a medical facility where there is appropriate monitoring or nursing staff and medical equipment available.

    Please find following a list of possible side affects you may experience from receiving the flu vaccines.

    More articles

    Popular Articles