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Pain in arm after flu shot

By September 16, 2009 - 8:00pm
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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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(reply to Anonymous)

Hi Anonymous,
Thanks for coming back and giving an update. That is great news. I actually am a believer in ART also. Being a writer (typer, these days), I get a lot of pain in my hands from repetitive movement. My wellness doctor performed ART, and my right thumb feels monumentally better today. It's fascinating. Glad you also have found some relief! Keep us posted as your therapy continues. And I'm glad you've learned that especially in your case, it's not the shot, it's the administration that probably caused this.

November 19, 2010 - 9:15am
EmpowHER Guest

Hi everyone, I just made a discovery about my arm! It was the Hep shot that I got months ago that has caused me months of pain and arm immobility. All these months I have been racking my brain for trying to figure out the "accident" that I had that led to my arm hurting. Every time I lift it higher than my shoulder I get a sharp stabbing pain above the outside of the bicep. It finally dawned on me that it was the shot I received 5 months ago!! I am 38yo male and am so glad this thread exists. I will try many of the remedies listed here to alleviate this condition. I hope everyone gets well, as life with a painful arm is very sad. One quick request if I may-can someone consolidate all these remedies into a single post to save us all the time of reading through hundreds of posts? Is it possible to list them in a column next to the topic thread? Thanks again, I feel so much better mentally knowing I am not going crazy in my mind and that there are many others who are sharing the same experience. Once again! I wish everyone gets better and you all have someone in Wisconsin who is praying for you!

November 18, 2010 - 7:39pm
EmpowHER Guest

I'm here to bring hope! I got my flu shot a little over 3 weeks ago. I have gotten the shot for years with no ill effect. This time, however, the nurse gave the shot really high on my left arm and I experienced excruciating pain the moment the needle went in. I knew something had gone wrong. Since that moment, my shoulder and upper arm have been hurting. I would classify the pain as excruciating when I try to do simple tasks that require me to raise that arm even a little.

So, today, I went to my chiropractor, whom I trust with my life. He could feel little fibrous areas in my shoulder. By the explanation I gave him, his theory is that my bicep tendon was injured with the needle. He performed ART (active release technique) on my shoulder, and I am feeling some improvement. I am to ice the area as frequently as possible (20 min. on, 1 hr. off). I go back in 3 days to work some more of it out (it's a process). I told him I'm going on a ski trip in 2 months, and he thinks I'll be back to normal by then!

Yesterday, I was very distraught about my condition. Today, I am full of hope! My advice is to run, don't walk, to your nearest ART practitioner for help! You can find these specialists at chiropractic offices, physical therapy offices, and occupational therapy offices. My doctor has been very helpful and very supportive!

Best wishes to you all!

November 17, 2010 - 3:28pm
Expert HERWriter Guide Blogger (reply to Anonymous)

Thanks, Anon, for sharing this information and your hopeful spirit. It's good to know you're feeling so much better. Take care, Pat

November 17, 2010 - 5:04pm
EmpowHER Guest

I am 2 week post flu shot. I have absolutely no pain in the shoulder or the injection site. The day of the shot it intially felt uncomfortable, but no real pain to speak of. The next morning, I started to have some elbow issues - pain in the elbow when squeezing, pulling, or straightening out my arm. It has been getting progressively worse everyday, so today i made an appointmnet with my Dr. to try to figure out what's going on. I can't even lift my coffee in the morning, and that weighs almost nothing. I'll keep you informed, should I find out anything... hopefully I will - I have small kids that like to be held!

November 15, 2010 - 1:20pm
EmpowHER Guest

Got the flu shot about 2 months ago and the pain is finally going away. Like the other posts, I could not use the arm at all without pain. Thing like combing your hair, dressing your self was a pain. Just glad to see the posts about this, that I am not the only one.

November 12, 2010 - 3:12pm
EmpowHER Guest

Hi Everyone! I'm so glad that I found this site. I thought I was going crazy. I felt pain immediately when the nurse administered my flu shot about one 3 weeks ago. I, too, felt that she went too high but she had stuck me before I could stop her. I can't extend my arm laterally past my shoulders, and the pain is tremendous. I called the doc and his only advice was to take pain meds. I plan to contact a chiropractor tomorrow because I can't take this pain any longer.

October 31, 2010 - 5:05pm
Expert HERWriter Guide Blogger

Hi Greg and everyone else:

Below are the instructions provided by the Centers for Disease Control on how a vaccine is properly administered.

Locate the deltoid muscle. This muscle is in the upper arm and forms the round appearance of the shoulder. To locate the region to administer the vaccine, measure four fingers down from the top of the shoulder. The location that the flu shot should be administered is directly below the bottom of the fourth finger.

Many of the people coming to the site with problems have said their injections were given too high on the arm. Hope this helps!

I hate that yet again this flu season we have new threads with the same problem as I know more people are going to be in pain that lasts a lot longer than the flu!

Take care everyone,

October 31, 2010 - 2:34pm
EmpowHER Guest

Dear Anonymous Oct 29th 2010. We are so sorry this happened to you too!
Is it just me or has anyone else had the thought there must be a better way! My shot giver introduced herself as "Glenda," the good witch! I can't seem to forget. lol
1. Does this type of injury occur with the same frequency with other types of vacinations?
2.) Why isn't the shot placed in the tricep? Seems like more tissue there and less nerve to target?
3.) Better yet, why not the top of the glute? Most of us have a little more tissue there as well. It would give the inexperienced shot givers better odds at hitting flesh than nerve or connective tissue. Is there some reason not to use a place on the body with less potential damage than using the arm?
Pat, You have any words of wisdom about shot placemnet? Why shoot this sensitive area that can cause so much damage and pain.
Anonymous. You hang in there.

October 29, 2010 - 9:13pm
EmpowHER Guest
Anonymous (reply to Anonymous)

I posted on Oct. 29th initially. I have seen 2 dr.s now and was told it was not worker's comp. and any bills would be my responsibility here on out. I was sent to physical therapy this morning for evaluation and treatment. The PT says I have bursitis from the injection. I have to go for at least 2 weeks to PT and was prescribed 800mg ibuprofen and prilosec (from ibuprofen) for the discomfort. If this doesn't work, then we may do an MRI. Very frusterated.

November 17, 2010 - 1:48pm
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