ask: Has anyone had severe low back pain after seasonal flu shot?

By jsingh November 20, 2009 - 12:35pm
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I took a mandatory flu shot at work Oct. 19, 2009 on my left arm. I had chills and a fever of 102* along with left arm aching pain, and a bout of severe low back pain within the first 2 weeks after receiving the shot. All other symptoms have since dissipated except for the severe low back pain and a strange wobbliness in my legs. The low back pain is bad enough to where I could not move by myself for a week, and now cannot really sit or bend without a high degree of constant pain.

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I had a flu shot 10/28/2015. It was the first time I had one after I gave up all antihistamines. That may be a red herring, there is little information about that. I gave up antihistamines because of the research showing they can contribute to obesity. I am obese, 43 years old, and relatively healthy for my age. This week I suffered fevers which I expected, total brain fog (I can hardly write this without misspelling almost every word and then having to fix it), and back pain so severe that I can't sit down or stand up without gasping in pain. My husband said to me, "well don't drop into the chair it probably makes it worse" and my reply "my legs are weak, it wasn't intentional, I lost control of my legs." I am very active despite being obese, I do powerlifting to keep my back in good working order. Before doing squats and deadlifts, I was having nearly constant pain. My muscles are not weak normally, in fact I'm very strong and am thinking of making or buying a kettlebell to add to my routine. This has stopped all efforts at exercise that require the legs. I can still do push ups, but that's all. Several doctors have mentioned meningitis to me, and based on what I read on pubmed and other websites, I wouldn't be surprised if that was a factor. But I will also research the kidney stress possibility, and increase my water intake. Thank you for the tip!

November 4, 2015 - 9:40am
EmpowHER Guest

I am a perfect healthy person, very fit, active, exercise almost every day. This was the first time I had taken flu shot, everything seemed normal the day i took the shot (took on left arm). But i started to experience severe lower back pain next morning... it followed the other day and became more worse. So, I did a random search and wollah!! found this is a common symptom of flu shot. With me, 5 of my other friends also took shot and four of them are normal but one more is complaining about back pain. As per comments i can see the back pain persisted from weeks to several months. This is the third day...i did some flex exercise for my back and now i am in little better condition. Hope this goes away soon.

October 30, 2015 - 10:05am
EmpowHER Guest
Anonymous (reply to Anonymous)


I had my flu shot Thursday October 29 at 1:30 and I had a sore arm for the day but the next morning and even right now I am suffering from severe back pain, I can barely move around?

Any suggestions?

October 31, 2015 - 10:51am
EmpowHER Guest
Anonymous (reply to Anonymous)

As I mentioned in my pervious message in this feed, I have been in pain for a few weeks and been bounced around to various doctors. The only thing that really worked was a solid dose of Steroids. Even with that, it has only gotten me back to about 90%. The only pain I feel now is when I try to lay flat on my back or stomach. This becomes a significant issue, because I get a regular massage for other non-related issues, and now I cannot even lay still for the hour the massage takes. It just hurts too much. So, I have an appt with a spine specialist on Nov. 3. Wish me luck!

October 31, 2015 - 6:57pm
EmpowHER Guest

I had the flu shot about threel weeks ago (Sept 30, 2015), and I was expecting the usual aches and pains in that shoulder and back for a few days. But this time, it also came with increasingly severe lower back pain. I was treatng it with OTC pain meds and a little hydrocodone, but it began to get worse and even awaken me from a sound sleep. Finally last week, I was in such excruciating pain that I had a family member rush me to the ER at 4am. The bulk of the pain was in my lower back and right rear hip bone. They did a CT scan and found nothing. In the past few days, I've gone to my regular doc, a bone and joint clinic, and now have an appointment with an orthopedic surgeon to figure out what's going on. I have had x-rays and an MRI. I went from a healthy, active, sporty woman, to a near invalid. This is so not ok. The docs will not accept that it could be associated to the flu shot, but I'm convinced that it is the culprit. The docs want to send me to a pain management place, and that may pisses me off. Steroids haven't helped, muscle relaxers don't work, and hard core pain meds only reduce it to a moderately tolerable level. This is making me crazy!

October 19, 2015 - 7:52pm

Friday 2nd October I had the flu vaccine and on the Tuesday my back was agony! I could hardly move and was reduced to tears it was so bad! I went to a chiropractor and didn't even mention the flu jab as I never in a million years thought this could be connected. It's been 2 weeks now and £££'s later and although I am a lot better it's still very painful. I'm booked to see my chiropractor today and am very interested to hear what he thinks once I tell him. Thank god for this thread!

October 14, 2015 - 11:50pm
EmpowHER Guest

had a flu vaccine last year in September after a week started having lower back pain and faciculations of hamstrings and weakness of them didnt realised it can be due to vaccine got MRI of spine done which didnt revealed anything abnormal took pain killers confined to bed for a week did physiotherapy without any result. Pain persisted for almost a year this August I became pain free again this September took flu vaccine and now again experiencing same severe back pain and hamstrings pain with fasciculations realising now its due to flu vaccine will never ever take this vaccine again in life but i am left again to wait for one year to recover.......

September 30, 2015 - 12:06am
EmpowHER Guest

I had a flu shot Nov 11th 2014 and was sore all over,specially lower back, stiff body and wobbliness in my legs, hard to get out of the car or getting up from a setting position or getting up in the morning..., today I realize that I have been this way since the shot which I did not really want to get because my mother in France told me that her doctor refused to give flu shots to his patients due to a bad mix in the shot and people got really sick from them, I told that to the nurse who went to check with the doctor who said it was very safe since they had new batch and he insisted that I needed it since I had double pneumonia a few years ago.....I wish I had trusted my instinct and said No......

February 28, 2015 - 9:16pm
EmpowHER Guest

I also have extreme lower back pain, on the right side. It feels deep down, as if in the bone. Or I feel like if I twist hard enough, I could crack it, and the pain might go away (but not the case). Now the rest of my body is achy also. I received a flu shot on Dec. 1st (today is the 12th). That day and the next, it felt like my arm was going to fall off. Immediately when that pain dissipated, it felt like it went straight into my back. If I do extensive (painful) stretching, it seems to be less intense for a short while, then comes back. Sitting is worse than standing, and it seems to be better if I keep moving around. For the other posts here, how long did your pain last, or is it still present? I'd like to know about how long this lingers, if possible.

December 12, 2014 - 9:59pm
EmpowHER Guest
Anonymous (reply to Anonymous)

This was my original post, just writing to report that the back pain finally went away (took about two months). No amount of therapy made it go away, gave up on stretching and massages, only had relief with time passing. I'll never get a flu shot again. Rereading this post and others' posts made me remember how absolutely horrendous the pain was (must've blocked out the memory for a little while). Hope others are feeling better/well.

February 28, 2015 - 11:05pm
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