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ask: severe muscle pain and weakness all over body after flu shot?

By Anonymous
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On October 1st, I had a flu shot, not the H1N1, just the regular flu shot. I've had the flu shot many times before with muscle pain and soreness in the arm that the injection was received in that usually subsided within a few days.

This time however, the pain was almost unbearable and seemed to be "spreading" to other parts of my body.

The first night it was just my upper arm. The second night it was my upper arm, pec muscle, muscles of the underarm, and muscles in the upper corner of my back. It was excrutiating and was slightly relieved with 800mg of ibuprofen.

The third night it was also in the muscles on the side of my neck.

The fourth night it was starting to travel down my arm into my hand and wrist. At this point I was also experiencing weakness and difficulty holding or picking up objects.

By the the end of the weak it had radiated to the other side of my body. So basically my entire upper body was painful and weak. Both arms, both upper back, both pec muscles etc... Again I'm taking 800mg ibuprofen around the clock which does slightly relieve the pain. I'm also using heating pads which slightly relieve the pain as well.

It has now been almost two weaks and it has radiated to my lower back, my stomach (as if i just did a hundred situps), my hands, my thighs, my calfs. I feel weak and am having trouble just sitting at the computer typing or picking up a drink.

As far as I know the flu shot can't cause this kind of reaction but, what else could this be??

Add a Comment41 Comments

EmpowHER Guest

Glad to know I am not the only one experiencing these symptoms! Had me freaking out!! Tired of the aches and pains. Can hardly make it up and down stairs. Today has been 2 weeks since shot and I feel like I have been working out or something. My muscles hurt so bad and I can barely sleep. Going to the dr in the morning. Gonna see about some of the meds you all mentioned. Thanks for the insight!! Hope were all feeling better soon!!!!

January 27, 2015 - 7:57pm
EmpowHER Guest

I am experiencing many of the symptoms described above. I got the flu shot on December 7th and here it is January 15th. The pain in my left arm, hand and behind my left knee is excruciating! Going in for my physical tomorrow. Never again!!! I feel like I have been poisoned.

January 15, 2015 - 10:31am
EmpowHER Guest
Anonymous (reply to Anonymous)

My symptoms were also exactly like it was described. It has been almost 2 and a half months since I got the flu shot. My family doctor did all kinds of tests on me several times. Today rec'd ultrasound, x-rays and blood test results again. Liver function and muscle enzymes all are back to normal range, thank God. All this was very much elevated last month which was scary.

X-rays shows osteoarthritis on both my wrists as well as Osteopenia (starting stage of osteoporosis) on both my knees. No wonder I was and still am in so much of pain. My arm muscles still hurts a lot, pain wakes me up at night. If it becomes unbearable I take ibuprofen to get some relief.

Today doctor suggested I go for physiotherapy and massage therapy, said it will help. Going to book an appointment with them soon.

January 15, 2015 - 6:00pm
EmpowHER Guest

I had the flu about 10 days ago and the main symptom was muscle pain and fatigue. I recovered, and then after a few days, I started to get severe joint discomfort and pain. it has lasted about 3 days now, with the worst being at night and in the morning. naproxen helps a bit, but nothing eliminates the pain.

I wonder if this a symptom related to some particular strain of the flu that is in this ottawa valley area? - does anyone know?

December 5, 2014 - 10:54am
EmpowHER Guest
Anonymous (reply to Anonymous)

I am in Ontario, but my joint pain and discomfort started after I took the flu shot. Naproxen helped only a bit, but after I was prescribed Prednisone and started taking it I felt like a normal person. There's only a slight pain at night when I stretch unconsciously.

I wonder how I will feel once my prescription medication is over which is there for 4 more days. My doctor said it's not a good idea to take Naproxen for a long time. And Prednisone being a steroid not good at all, there is only one more dose of it for me to take.

December 5, 2014 - 11:29am
EmpowHER Guest
Anonymous (reply to Anonymous)

hi fellow Ontarian, and thank you for sharing your experience -finding out I am not the only one with these symptoms is comforting, although i wouldn't wish this on anyone.

I understand that the virus vaccines change from year to year depending on whatever strains are in existence in a region. that is why I was wondering if that is why I have the same post-viral reaction as those people who received the flu shot.

today my condition is ever so slightly better, although the stiffness is now in my jaw area as well.

December 6, 2014 - 7:08am
EmpowHER Guest

I am on the on who was prescribed Vimovo after going to the walk-in clinic. Though I did get a bit of a relief it wasn't good. Both my wrists and hands were swollen and painful.

Went to the emergency last night, ER doctor prescribed Prednisone for 5 days which is a steroid to help with the swelling. He then advised me to follow this up with my family doctor as soon possible. Prednisone did help with the swelling, and today I almost feel like a normal person who could use one's hand normally.

This morning went to the family doctor, he asked me to get immediate blood work done to find out the exact cause and I went straight to the lab from the doctor's office. Doctor asked me to stay on Vimovo and Prednisone for the next 5 days.
Hope my test results are normal. Keeping my fingers crossed.

December 2, 2014 - 3:01pm
EmpowHER Guest

I thought I was almost clear of the pain. Down to one 400 mg Ibuprofen every 24 hrs. Then in the middle of last night the pain woke me up. 400 mg of paracetamol and Olbas oil on my shoulders, neck and leg muscles helped me back to sleep. This morning, back on 400 mg Ibuprofen - I am taking no chances. It is now over 5 weeks since the onset of pains. Will I ever be free?
On the balance of probabilities, the cause seems to have been my flu jab.

November 29, 2014 - 6:20am

I had the flu shot at a CVS almost 2 weeks ago. I started getting them only 4 years ago. This time I am experiencing what you have described here and others. Almost like a fibromyalgIa what they have for pain spots. The worst is my shoulders and backs of both legs at top like u climbed a mountain I am going to take some advil and feel awful it started two nights ago

November 29, 2014 - 12:20am
EmpowHER Guest

I am suffering from flu shot complications just like the OP had. Took the flu shot 3 weeks ago. Had to take painkillers to get relief from joint pain. Yesterday saw a doctor at the walk-in clinic. Doctor said Rheumatoid Arthritis is a side effect of flu shot and prescribed Vimovo which is an anti inflammatory for 2 weeks. Said I should be better after 2 weeks, if not asked me to go to the Emergency.

All these years never had a reaction like this to flu shot. I was a perfectly healthy individual until I took this years flu shot. Never again in my life I am ever going to take a vaccination.

November 26, 2014 - 5:48am
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