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Shoulder Pain After Flu Shot Treatment

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Location, Location, Location | A Case of Shoulder Pain After Vaccination

Before the shot:

  • Take three to five deep breaths. This will help relax your muscles, including your deltoid.
  • Distract yourself. Eat some sugary candy or chew gum. This will release feel-good chemicals called endorphins that can reduce your perception of pain.
  • Limit your psychological discomfort. Look away if youre afraid of needles. Tell the health care provider that you dont want to know when he or she is about to deliver the shot.
  • Choose wisely: Ask to get the shot in your non-dominant arm. That way, you wont aggravate the muscle as you do day-to-day activities.
  • Use a pain reliever: Ice your arm for a few minutes and take acetaminophen or ibuprofen.

After the shot:

  • Apply pressure. Compression can be helpful for reducing inflammation.
  • Use cold and warm compresses. Ice the area to reduce any swelling. After a few days, try a warm compress to relax your deltoid muscle and improve your blood flow.
  • Use a pain reliever. Take acetaminophen or ibuprofen if pain develops in the days after you get the shot.
  • Keep moving. Use your arm, dont baby it. You want to get blood flowing to the area.

Getting your annual flu shot can protect you, your loved ones, and those around you from the flu and its complications. You may experience some soreness in the days after getting vaccinated, but the tips weve provided here should help you recover. If you develop more serious complicationssuch as a high fever, wheezing, hives, or weaknesscall your doctor or seek medical attention.

What Causes Frozen Shoulder

Frozen shoulder typically develops as a result of inflammation of the tissues surrounding the joint.

The tissue around the shoulder joint is called the capsule. Normally the capsule can expand and contract, allowing the arm to move freely into various positions.

In a frozen shoulder, the capsule becomes inflamed and scarring develops. The scar formations are called adhesions. When these adhesions form, shoulder movement becomes restricted and moving the joint becomes painful. This condition is called adhesive capsulitis.

Frozen shoulder can also be caused by vaccines. Vaccine injections can cause inflammation of the tissues surrounding the shoulder and upper arm, leading to adhesive capsulitis. It is a diagnosis we see very often in our cases, especially after flu season when vaccination rates are high.

Can I Take Legal Action For My Sirva Injury

Yes you can.

Fortunately, the federal government fully acknowledges vaccines cause SIRVA injuries. Theyve set up the National Vaccine Injury Compensation Program to manage these cases.

Its comparatively easy to prove your case in court. And the only court in the nation that hears these cases is the US Court of Federal Claims in Washington, DC. On top of that, the lawyer representing you must be admitted to practice in front of that court.

If you believe youve experienced a SIRVA injury, you may be entitled to up to $250,000 in compensation for your pain, suffering, and anguish, as well as:

  • Compensation for your lost ability to produce income
  • Medical bills
  • Other out of pocket costs

Even better, at the end of your case, Howie Law, PC will submit an application for payment of attorneys fees and expenses to the vaccine injury program. You will never pay a penny out of your pocket to Howie Law, PC win or lose!

And you get a free consultation with our Super Lawyer, as rated by Thomson Reuters.

To get your free consultation, contact Howie Law online or call today. All your information stays 100% confidential.

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A Nurse Suffered Long Lasting Shoulder Pain:

Pharmacists are not the only ones who may have a problem.

We also heard from a nurse:

As a nurse, I am required to get the flu vaccine. I did so this year in September at my local drugstore. I started experiencing pain the next day, and now, approximately a month later, I have limited range of motion above my head, a constant pain throughout the day and if I roll over on my left side at night, the pain wakes me up.

I reported this to my physician four days ago. He said, Its probably a pinched nerve in your neck.

When I mentioned the possibility of an adverse reaction to the flu vaccine or the technique, he immediately dismissed the idea. This is NOT a normal reaction to the flu vaccine. Id like to get the word out to the public, especially physicians.

What Is Frozen Shoulder Symptoms Treatment And A Possible Pandemic Connection

Treating Joint Pain through Injection Therapy

Sarah Noll Wilson started feeling the sharp pain in her right shoulder last July any time she would try to reach her arm behind her. It got to the point where it was like take-your-breath-away pain, said Noll Wilson, 40, of Des Moines. I knew it wasnt right, but because it would only happen at certain times at that point, I didnt think it was as serious as it was.

That pain, Noll Wilson later came to learn, marked the beginning of a condition that would disrupt her life for months: frozen shoulder.

It was really debilitating for a long time, said Noll Wilson, who struggled to do basic activities such as washing her hair, getting dressed or sleeping comfortably because of her shoulder.

Noll Wilson isnt alone. Frozen shoulder, also called adhesive capsulitis, is estimated to occur in about 2 to 5 percent of the U.S. population, according to the American Physical Therapy Association. Although the exact causes of frozen shoulder arent known, some shoulder specialists say theyve seen an increase in cases among their patients over the past year and a half that may be connected to the pandemic.

Heres what Fu and other experts say you need to know about spotting frozen shoulder, what to expect if youre diagnosed and possible treatment options.

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Is The Nasal Spray As Effective As The Flu Shot

In the past, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommended against getting the nasal spray vaccine.

The reason for this was because studies in children found that it was less effective than the flu shot for protecting against the 2009 H1N1 pandemic influenza strains.

However, there have been recent advances in the production of the nasal spray vaccine.

Since the 2018 to 2019 flu season, the

  • people with underlying health conditions, such as asthma, diabetes, or cancer
  • those with weakened immune systems
  • individuals living in a nursing home or long-term care facility

Getting your flu shot is also particularly important in light of COVID-19. Both the flu and COVID-19 have similar symptoms and will circulate within communities this winter.

While the flu vaccine wont protect you from COVID-19, it can help prevent you from getting the flu.

In addition to keeping you out of the doctors office, this can also conserve medical resources for those that have COVID-19 or other health conditions.

How Do You Diagnose A Frozen Shoulder

To distinguish frozen shoulder from other shoulder ailments with similar symptoms, experts recommend getting a physical exam from a health-care provider. If you have frozen shoulder, you wont be able to lift your arm yourself or with help from a clinician, Deu said. He added that he also often orders an X-ray to rule out other conditions that can cause a loss of active and passive motion, such as arthritis.

But experts cautioned against getting an MRI. As people age, it is common to see some fraying or partial tearing of tendons, which will show up on the detailed image produced by an MRI and may complicate the diagnosis.

Even if you have no shoulder pain, almost always there will be a line saying maybe you have a labrum tear or maybe you have a partial rotator cuff tear, said Joaquin Sanchez-Sotelo, chair of the Division of Shoulder and Elbow Surgery at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minn. That can be confusing, because its a red herring. Its not the real reason for shoulder pain in frozen shoulder.

A misdiagnosis, Fu said, could be problematic for a persons recovery.

If you treat a rotator cuff tear with surgery, for example, in the setting where frozen shoulder is actually the primary problem, thats like pouring gasoline on a fire, he said. That could make the frozen shoulder much worse.

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First Why Does The Flu Vaccine Cause A Sore Arm

There are actually a few different things that can lead to you having a little arm soreness after your flu shot, infectious disease expert Amesh A. Adalja, MD, senior scholar at the Johns Hopkins Center for Health Security, tells Health. For starters, the flu shot is an intramuscular vaccine, which means that it’s injected directly into a muscle in your arm.

“You just had puncture in your skin and muscle,” Dr. Adalja says. “That’s going to hurt and there will be some inflammation that occurs post-trauma to that muscle and skin.”

At the same time, there’s a localized immune response happening in your arm where the vaccine was injected, William Schaffner, MD, an infectious disease specialist and professor at the Vanderbilt University School of Medicine, tells Health. Meaning, your immune system jumps into action to react to the vaccine where it was injectedin your arm. “Your immune system is really starting to take advantage of that vaccine and working on it,” Dr. Schaffner says.

Add those two factors together and you can end up with a sore arm.

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Does This Happen With All Immunizations

Why the Covid VACCINE caused shoulder and neck pain

It can. Not everyone gets a sore arm from every vaccine, but different factors like how the vaccine is injected matter. An intramuscular shot like the flu, COVID-19, or tetanus shot tends to cause more arm soreness than a subcutaneous vaccine, which just goes under you skin, like the measles-mumps-rubella-varicella vaccine , Dr. Schaffner says.

Your body’s individual response also comes into play, Aline Holmes, DNP, NP, an associate professor at the Rutgers School of Nursing, tells Health. “It’s really specific to your body,” she says. “A lot of people get shots and have absolutely no reaction to them Others do.”

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Long Lasting Shoulder Pain After Flu Shot

Getting a flu shot is supposed to be your best protection against influenza. Since September we have all been encouraged to get our flu shot. Most of the reports we have seen this year suggest that this could be an especially nasty year for influenza. Thats partly because the Australians really suffered, and they have a six-month lead on us. Then there are questions about the match between the vaccine and the actual flu viruses that are circulating. But one thing you will likely not read about is long lasting shoulder pain triggered by a flu shot.

Shoulder Injury Related To Vaccine Administration

Shoulder injury related to vaccine administration is “shoulder pain and limited range of motion occurring after the administration of a vaccine intended for intramuscular administration in the upper arm . . . thought to occur as a result of unintended injection of vaccine antigen or trauma from the needle into and around the underlying bursa of the shoulder”.

SIRVA has been described as under-reported and preventable, and “caused by incorrect technique or landmarking for intramuscular deltoid injections”. Because the injury is a result of the injection technique rather than the substance injected, SIRVA can occur irrespective of the vaccine being administered. Although the injury is typically associated with vaccination, it can also occur as the result of any other kind of injection into the shoulder area. However, examination of injury reports suggests that this type of injury is of increased severity when administration of a vaccine is involved, which “may be due either to the antigenic or nonantigenic components of the vaccine”. In order to avoid this type of injury, injection administrators are advised to avoid injecting the patient too high, too low, or too far to the side, and to avoid using needles that fail to penetrate deeply into the muscle, or that penetrate too deeply and contact the bone.

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Why Does Your Arm Hurt After A Flu Shot Here’s How Experts Explain It

It’s not only because someone just jabbed it with a needle.

Getting your annual flu shot is the first and most important step in protecting yourself and your loved ones against an unavoidable flu season. For the most part, that flu shot comes with only minor side effectsfatigue, headache or muscle aches, a mild feverand they’re much more manageable than getting the flu itself.

Another side effect from the flu vaccinearguably the most common oneis pain, swelling, or redness where the shot was given. On the surface, it makes sense: Of course you’ll have arm pain if you get a flu shot in your arm. But is your arm really supposed to be that sore after a tiny needle delivers the vaccine?

Turns out, there’s a little more to that localized arm pain, according to experts. Here’s why it tends to happen, and what you can do to lessen the discomfort, both before and after the jab.

How Long Does The Flu Shot Protect You From The Flu

Got Frozen Shoulder From a Flu Shot?

A flu shot should help to protect you for the duration of the current flu season. However, youll need to get another flu shot next fall.

You may be wondering why you need to get a flu shot every year. There are a couple of reasons for this. One is related to the virus itself while another has to do with your level of immunity.

Influenza viruses are continually evolving throughout the year. Because of this, last years vaccine may not be a good match for the viruses that are prevalent this flu season.

The flu vaccine protects against the strains of influenza that research predicts will be the most prevalent in the upcoming flu season.

Your vaccine will typically include four strains , but may sometimes include three .

Additionally, a 2019 research review showed that the immunity provided by the flu shot decreases quickly over time.

This is why you likely wont have enough immunity from this years shot to protect you into the next flu season.

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Rheumatic Disease From Flu Shot


I am required to get a yearly flu shot at my place of employment. I have been at this job 3 years. Four days after this years flu shot my right eye turned red. Two days after that I woke up to not being able to move my right arm due to extreme shoulder pain. Then my left eye turned red. Over the next few weeks more sore swollen joints and fiinally being diagnsed with nodular sclerits associated with rheumatic autoimmune disease. I am waiting to see a rheumatologist. The doctor said something triggered the autoimmune disease in me. They say they cannot prove it was the flu shot but it appears to be too bg of a coincidence to dismiss as coincidence. I am very sad and have pain and swelling in both knees, both shoulders, both elbows, right foot, both hips. It has just moved in to both index fingers and thumbs. Please educate yourselves and loved ones about the real risks of the flu shot before getting one. There are documented cases of this happening since the seventies and probably many more undocumented. No one informed me of these kinds of risks.

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Diagnosing Shoulder Tendonitis From A Vaccine

If the injured person’s shoulder pain does not resolve in a short period of time, it is likely a serious injury. A person suffering from lingering shoulder pain following a vaccination should see their primary care physician as soon as possible. The primary doctor will likely refer the injured person to an orthopedic doctor who specializes in shoulder injuries. In order to diagnose the injury, the orthopedic doctor will often order an MRI of the shoulder to be done. MRI’s are the most effective testing method when it comes to diagnosing shoulder injuries. The MRI may show inflammation, fluid collection, or swelling. After the orthopedic reviews the MRI, they can prescribe a specific course of therapy for the shoulder injury.

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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.”

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