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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

Nearly 2 years ago I reported excruciating pain in my left arm following a flu shot (and I will never have another flu shot in my life). Unable to lift my arm over my head, dress properly because my arm would not twist behind my back, unable to sleep on that side without terrible pain. After a year I sought my doctor. No help. If anything she was defensive about the vaccine. I finally sought out a specialist. Lots of tests and so on. He was very good and understanding and helpful. Went into great detail about the physiology of that part of the arm. But nothing to help the pain subside. Finally over the last 2 months or so things began to improve. I don't know why except that I began to take vitamin K2 and after that to see a naturopath. I have recovered a fairly normal range of mobility to my arm but not completely. There is little discomfort. I can sleep without pain and dress normally and go about my daily activities without thinking of my arm. But every once in a while if I stretch my arm the wrong way the pain returns. A reminder that never again will I get a flu shot even though my doctor insists I am being irresponsible by endangering the lives of others.

November 21, 2016 - 7:36pm
EmpowHER Guest

I received my seasonal influenza vaccine on 10/7/2016. My arm is still hurting me! My co-worker and I went over to our staffing office to receive the shot, she went first I went second. Like any other time I have received the flu vaccine, my arm was sore, however the soreness would always go away within a few days. It has almost been a month and I can't deal with the pain/soreness anymore!

November 3, 2016 - 1:59pm
EmpowHER Guest
Anonymous (reply to Anonymous)

I am having the same issue. Getting very frustrated and grumpy as I approach week 5. Any guidance. Have contacted Doctor twice and she does not seem concerned. Contacting again tomorrow.

November 15, 2016 - 11:17pm
EmpowHER Guest
Anonymous (reply to Anonymous)

I created a FB page re/ this malady. Took about 10 months for my pain to go away. Hope you find this helpful.


November 21, 2016 - 12:44am
EmpowHER Guest
Anonymous (reply to Anonymous)

See a specialist. Going through the same thing only work comp related. Physical therapy helping some but don't think it will cure this. Good luck to you.

November 19, 2016 - 11:22pm
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
Anonymous (reply to Anonymous)

Have the same problem. Got a Tetnus shot two weeks ago, hurts still
Doctor didn't warn to move arm around in shoulder in the area of injection... Didn't say a word about sourness but here we are.

November 17, 2016 - 8:59am
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
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