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ask: Pain in arm after flu shot

By ouch2
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I had a flu shot Sept. 2008 and remember it hurt when given. Since then I have pain in my upper arm and shoulder (it's now been a year). I believe it is nerve damage from the needle going to deep. I have had an MRI. meds and now going to Chiro with no relief. I cant't put my arm behind my back or lift it over my head and forget about putting weight on it. Does anyone know of relief for this condition?


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EmpowHER Guest

I had a flu shot on December 30, 2014. I woke up on the 31st in horrible pain. Could not hold my head up straight and could not move my left arm. It was New Yers Eve. I did get an appointment with my chiropractor. No relief. Went to the emergency room because the pain was so great. After 5 hours they gave me a Narcon shot which is for inflamation, a muscle relaxor. After 45 minutes there was no relief so they gave me a pain pill. Friday I called my Dr.s office and could only get an appointment with the PA. She gave me a steriod. Monday there was no relief. Went back to the chiropractor and then went to my Drs. office and demanded that I be seen. I could not even dress myself or put my shoes and socks on. Dr. gave me pain pills and made another appointment for that Thursday to see him and their chiropractor together. After an exam by both they sent me for xrays. After xrays they sent me to a neurologist. Neurologist sent me for an MRI says its probably nerve damage. I started PT last week - don't really think it is helping. Still in pain 24/7. Can't sleep in bed I sleep on the recliner. It has been 4 weeks. What I have been doing that seems to help more than any of the drugs all these Drs. are giving me is acupuncture and massage therapy. I am self-employed and the project I am presently working on is out of Town and I must fly to where I am going. I have not been able to work and for the first 2 weeks I could not even type on my computer except with my right hand and even that hurt. After reading all of other peoples comments at least I am not crazy. I got my shot at a drug store and I was sitting down and he was standing and the shot was way to high on my arm. I am not a medical person, so I had no idea that this was an inappropriate way to give a shot. I have been getting flue shots for at least 25 years. Never had any issue. It took 3 weeks before I got 100 percent movement on my left side. It still hurts to move it and is very stiff.

January 26, 2015 - 5:39pm
Faker (reply to Anonymous)

This is my same experience and symptoms. In September 2014, I went to to a drug store to receive my yearly flu shot. I too was sitting down and he was standing. I have getting the flu shots for over 25 years and never had any issue. I did not at the time until February 2015, have health insurance, so I was not able to see any physician. I have gone to message therapy to no avail. Glad to hear I am not the only one.

February 14, 2015 - 8:01am
EmpowHER Guest

I had a flu shot on 10/14/14 My arm hurts, my shoulder hurts, I can not sleep on my arm!!! And pain is sharp! What's wrong???

January 13, 2015 - 4:51pm
Maryann Gromisch RN Guide (reply to Anonymous)

Hello Anonymous,

To you and all the many others who are suffering with pain at the injection site, please get looked at by your primary care physician.

Mild discomfort or soreness at the injection site is a normal side effect. However, pain that disrupts sleep, impedes range of motion or limits normal activity or persists needs to be evaluated.


January 21, 2015 - 9:42am
EmpowHER Guest

I am surprised by so many other people having the same issues...I had a flu shot on site at my job in Oct 2014 and have had pain in my right arm at the site, recently it has increased and I real sharp pain with lifting etc..and it's swollen a bit. What the f was in that crap...this was the very first time I decided to get the shot...I sooo regret it now.

January 4, 2015 - 9:03am
EmpowHER Guest

I had my flu shot for the first time administered on Nov.6,2014..Since, I have been experiencing throbbing sharp pain in my upper left arm. I cannot pull my arm back or put my arm above my head without feeling pain. At night when in bed I like to sleep on my side and I can no longer do so on my left side because I feel pinching and throbbing..I to am seeking answers for help. I cannot let this pain control my lifestyle..It's becoming more difficult for me to perform my job, especially being a coik in a cafeteria where im required to use my arm repetitive and heacy lifting..please any ideas or suggestions are greatly appreciated.

January 4, 2015 - 12:17am
MissyCrissy (reply to Anonymous)

I had mine in Oct.2014, same symptoms. Doctor put me on Gabapentin and pain meds. One month has passed and I do feel relief. The pain in neck and shoulder has eased, but I still feel some throbbing in my arm.( yet not excruciating as before) I was taking pain meds.every four hours, but now I only take two per day. I am also weening myself off the Gabapentin slowly and keeping my fingers crossed that I will be back to normal. Will update in two weeks with results.

January 13, 2015 - 7:22pm
MissyCrissy (reply to MissyCrissy)

Yesterday I took my last Gabapentin capsule, and so far so good. I still feel a little numbness and tingling in arm but nothing compared to the symptoms that I had before. Will update again to see if symptoms do not return.

January 21, 2015 - 7:22am
EmpowHER Guest

I had the flu shot in October 2014. I cannot lift my arm without pain and weakness since the shot. I had my shot at a drug store . What is wrong? Anything that can be done to get rid of this pain?

January 3, 2015 - 10:51am
EmpowHER Guest

I also had a flu shot November 10, 2014 and have been experiencing severe pain since then. I only have pain when lifting high over my head reaching behind me and rotating my arm inward. The pain increases at night and wakes me up. When I roll in bed I have to physically take my arm with my other had and move it because the pin is so bad. II have spoke to two doctors so far. the first told me to take Aleve, which I did. The second has put me on Naprosin, which is basically just a stronger dose of Aleve. So far it is not going away. HAS ANYONE FOUND A TREATMENT THAT ACTUALLY WORKS?

December 21, 2014 - 7:15am
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