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Is it normal for my arm muscle in my shoulder to hurt 2 weeks after flu shot?

By December 7, 2008 - 7:32am
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I was happy to receive the flu shot this year, as I feel like it's "doing my part" to stop the spread of the influenza virus. Plus, any inoculation that can either prevent, or lessen the symptoms, of flu is motivation to me!

I've received the flu shot annually, for the past 10 years. I have the typical soreness at site, possibly a little tired that evening. But that's it.

This year...my shoulder muscle (at the site of the injection) is still painful, so much that I can't move my arm forward at shoulder-level, or lift my arm up over my head, without a sharp pain in that one muscle. If my arm is still, it does not hurt. It is affecting my sleep, as I am confined to sleeping on only my right side (it is my left arm that hurts).

Are there any other reports of this flu shot symptom? Did I just not move my arm enough after the shot (kind of "favored it"), or is there something else wrong??

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EmpowHER Guest

I got my flu shot a little over a week ago. After I first got it, my arm was sore. Then later it felt like I had a pinched nerve or something. My arm still hurts and it tingles. Especially when I'm typing at my desk. This tingling pain did not start until after I got my flu shot. I'm wondering if maybe the pharmacist hit a nerve or something. All I know is I can't get comfortable...ever. Any suggestions?

October 20, 2016 - 9:59am
EmpowHER Guest

Extreme pain in my shoulder after my meningitis shot, so much so that I had to make myself an arm-sling because I cant move it without excruciating pain. Never getting a vaccine again.

June 18, 2016 - 10:55am
EmpowHER Guest
Anonymous (reply to Anonymous)

I received the menigitis B vaccine on Friday June 17th around 9:30 am. Around 1 PM I noticed my whole arm was in pain. Over the course of the next few hours my pain got way worse. I couldn't lift my arm out to the side of above my head. I could barely move it as if was excruciatingly painful, numb and tingly. I've had vaccines before and never experienced anything like this. It's been 2 days since my shot and my arm is still in a lot of pain.

June 18, 2016 - 11:59pm
EmpowHER Guest

To everyone who is having severe (much more than usual) pain in their arm that started within +/-24 hours after their shot for a vaccine and who continue to have pain weeks later, please see a physician. If with MRI or other imaging study, you have bone edema and/or a partial tear in the rotator cuff, it is possible that the provider administering the shot placed it too high and missed the deltoid muscle. You are not a hypochondriac. This condition has a name --- Shoulder Injury Related to Vaccine Administration (SIRVA) and has been recognized by the Institutes of Medicine. Please see the following journal article by Atanasoff et al:
"Shoulder injury related to vaccine administration (SIRVA)," Vaccine, Volume 28, Issue 51, Pages 8049-8052, S. Atanasoff, T. Ryan, R. Lightfoot, R. Johann-Liang
If your condition continues longer than 6 months, you may be able to receive compensation for your actual and anticipated future medical care costs, any lost wages due to the injury, and payment for pain and suffering from the US Federal Court of Claims (the Federal Vaccine Court). Please speak with a vaccine attorney approved by the court. Check out the following link to the court: http://www.uscfc.uscourts.gov/vaccine-programoffice-special-masters
At that court's website, there is info about filing a claim and a list of approved attorneys. I hired Maglio, Christopher and Toale and was extremely pleased with the professional manner in which they handled my claim to the court.
Good luck to all......do not let your physicians tell you you are imagining that the injury is due to the shot. They just don't see this often enough to know about the research and the courts recognition of this terrible injury.

March 21, 2016 - 9:18am
EmpowHER Guest

Received the flu shot second week in January 2016, Left arm was sore than after that still have tingling and pain in the arm. Do not want to get it anymore

March 20, 2016 - 3:47pm
EmpowHER Guest

Yes, me too It's been exactly 4 weeks and 5 days since my flu shot in my upper arm and I am aware of soreness still especially at night and when I arise out of bed. My Mom said it was because of the preservative that is mixed with the vaccination. It is the same preservative used for tetanus shots and my Dad had a horrible reaction with both shots. A few years ago he was partially paralyzed and required a cortisone shot to counteract effects. While I am glad not to get the flu this Christmas, I wonder if this annoying discomfort is worth it and when will it go away?

December 27, 2015 - 6:02pm
EmpowHER Guest
Anonymous (reply to Anonymous)

Update, my arm does not hurt any longer. The pain went away after 2.5 months. Recently, my entire workplace became ill with the flu virus while I arrived to work each day, unscathed. Now I am weighing the pros & cons for next flu season!

March 21, 2016 - 10:21am
EmpowHER Guest

Hello, wanted to update everyone on what has been going one with my arm. It has been 13 months since my flu shot and I am now 11 post op for shoulder decompression and acromioplasty. I was told that the flu shot caused bursitis and for whatever reason nothing helped to get the inflammation go away. I tried physical therapy and numerous medicines and treatments but nothing would work. I was able to get a second opinion from an orthopedist who told me my only other option was to do surgery to see if it would help and I reluctantly agreed. I felt reassured when going into surgery when one of the girls in anesthesia said she had been suffering from the same pain for a year and had been told that surgery was her only option at this point as well. I am not going to lie, for several days after surgery I regretted that I went through with it and was worried that I had made a mistake but Sunday I woke up and the pain was almost non-existent. I know I still have a long way to go to get back to where I was a year ago, but at this point I feel like at least I am back on track!

October 20, 2015 - 5:36pm
EmpowHER Guest

I am having all of the same symptoms that everyone else is! I was trying to decide if I needed to get into my doctor because I started to wonder if I had a blood clot in my upper arm. It seemed unlikely that it would be from the flu shot, since it's been 11 days since the shot now and I'm still hurting. Luckily I started to research it online, in the form of flu shot complications, instead of possible blood clot symptoms--and I came across this forum, which at least helps me to feel like I'm not crazy or a hypochondriac. What a pain to deal with though! It is effecting my sleep every night, and bothersome pretty much all day long too.

October 20, 2015 - 8:07am
EmpowHER Guest
Anonymous (reply to Anonymous)

I also had pain at the time of injection. It went in very slowly, compared to the normal, very quick poke of the needle. My kids had theirs a few days later, and it was a half of a second to inject theirs and it confirmed to me that my injection was not normal. I told the nurse it hurt, and she said she administered it very slow because the serum was cold. Now I'm wondering if she injected it too high up in my arm (almost to my shoulder), and it that caused whatever I am experiencing now.

October 20, 2015 - 8:15am
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