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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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Two years ago I posted here severe arm pain following a flu shot. So debilitating I swore never to have another flu shot. I stand by that. The pain persisted well over a year. Finally my doctor sent me to a specialist. He diagnosed it as 'mild' arthritis in my upper arm. He admitted there was an outside chance the flu shot could have aggravated something but seriously minimized it. Now, after two years, the pain has subsided and I have full motion back in my arm. Can sleep at night on that side. If it is/was arthritis the flare up immediately following the flu shot is odd timing. I will never take that chance and have a flu shot again even though my doctor insists it is an irresponsible decision that could affect other peoples' lives.

November 8, 2017 - 7:22pm
EmpowHER Guest

Well...not to drum up sympathy but what the heck.

I'm now 6+ weeks out and finally got the nerve up to go back to the Doctor.

He covered for himself and Nurse, as I suspected would be the case.

Next thing I know the Hospital is phoning me up to set up Physical Therapy sessions.

I was told there was "nothing wrong" and that there was no causal relationship between the administration of the shot too high up in the arm and all the pain.

I am almost doubling over sometime and it's not getting any better.

Seeing another Specialist next week.

All over trying to help keep the flu bug at bay.

Never again...

November 8, 2017 - 5:34pm
EmpowHER Guest

Ok it's not just me! Got mine here in Alberta Canada a couple weeks ago. First couple days fine: I could sleep on it that night, no weird lump feeling or discoloration. Last couple days very sharp shooting pain when I push something with the arm. I honestly thought it felt like the needle broke off in my bicep.

November 7, 2017 - 7:27pm
EmpowHER Guest

I'm experiencing the exact same problem. I cat sleep an my left side and find it hard to dry my hair

November 6, 2017 - 5:55am
EmpowHER Guest

I got the high dose flu shot a week ago last tuesday. My left arm is still painful if I move it forward. Will it ever stop? I'm taking ibuprofen for the pain and using ice packs on it. Helps for a short time.

November 2, 2017 - 4:09pm
EmpowHER Guest

I have been getting flu shots for the past 24 years and luckily have not had any reactions or gotten the flu for 24 years.

In September (2017), a CVS pharmacist gave me a flu shot in my left arm. As usual, my arm was initially sore for a few days BUT the pain has never really gone away since then and now it has also creeped into my shoulder, painful enough to wake me up at night. I called CVS today and the pharmacist wasn't very helpful, said she had never heard of this happening and suggested that I call my doctor.

I'm not thrilled about the possibility of getting a steroid shot for the pain and I don't want to keep popping Aleve. Am interested to know if others have had this experience and/or if there are any good home remedies.

October 31, 2017 - 9:07am
HERWriter Guide (reply to Anonymous)

Hello Anon

If you go down through this thread you will see remedies that worked for our readers.

October 31, 2017 - 2:03pm
EmpowHER Guest

it's been one month today since I got my flu shot and my arm is still sore

October 19, 2017 - 7:54pm
EmpowHER Guest

I got the flu shot 1.5 weeks ago. It hurt a bit going in and then after a few days I didn’t think about it. A couple times at night it aches a little bit if I slept on that side, but I really didn’t think about it too much and just figured it was normal healing. Just yesterday it started to ache during the day, so much so that I felt a little bit faint and nauseated. A bruise has now appeared and I thought it looked a bit high for a flu shot. I became worried about whether it could be infected and that is when I started researching and found this website. (Thank you for having a forum like this available.). I will report my flu shot reaction to the CDC, and will start a record of how my arm feels each day. Hopefully with light exercise and light massaging to the area my arm will begin to heal.

October 18, 2017 - 2:19am
EmpowHER Guest

Went for my flu shot. 1 week after and when I raise my arm it feels like a lump below my shoulder in the back

October 10, 2017 - 10:34am
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