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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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EmpowHER Guest

I just received my annual flu shot 3 weeks ago today and am having excrutiating pain. I am a nurse and given hundreds of flu shots, but the nurse at the clinic I work at gave it way too high and now I am suffering. I have pain in the shoulder joint radiating up to my neck and back to my shoulder blade on the right side. It hurts to bring my arm across my front or raise above my head or turn the steering wheel. I have a 1 and 2 yr. old and it has been very hard to carry them and care for them. I'm scared I might even drop them. I told my supervisor, but nothing was done about it, even though she administered it too high to many other co-workers. I've read several posts and assume it will fade away over time. If not, I plan on having the clinic pay for any testing or appointments, as I have it documented with my dr. that it was bothering me a week ago. I will not get the flu shot again unless I know the person knows what they are doing!

October 29, 2010 - 8:28pm
EmpowHER Guest

Joining this thread as yet another person with a misplaced shot resulting in pain, immobility, hardening of the deltoid muscle, and a quarter-sized black and blue mark.

I've experienced this condition for 3 days and am a bit upset. Especially as I read here that some people required a year to recover from this condition.

Who would have thought that a shot could cause such a serious problem? I think next time I will forgo the shot. You just cannot trust that people know what they are doing these days. :(

October 21, 2010 - 10:03am
EmpowHER Guest

I have the solution for many, not for all. I also had a horrible time after the flu shot. Had x-rays, MRI, chiropractic, you name it, I tried it. Well, one day at a family get together my sister-in-law saw that I couldn't raise my arm. I told her about my pain and she gave me the cure. She said she had it years ago and it's called frozen shoulder. The answer is to work through the pain. The muscle has seized for some reason. Start by working your arm up the wall slowly in the shower under the hot water. That will start to free up the muscle. After a week or two add regular excersize. Good Luck.

October 6, 2010 - 7:42pm
Expert HERWriter Guide Blogger (reply to Anonymous)

Anon - Thanks for sharing this information. Several readers over the past two years have been diagnosed with frozen shoulder following an injection. While some may choose to do self-therapy, others may seek medical attention and work with a physical therapist. In some cases additional support, such as cortisone injections, may be needed to "unfreeze" the frozen shoulder. We have more information here: https://www.empowher.com/media/reference/frozen-shoulder
and here: https://www.empowher.com/frozen-shoulder/content/frozen-shoulder-it-really-frozen-part-1

October 7, 2010 - 5:24pm
Expert HERWriter Guide Blogger

To the Anon who wrote in on September 23, 2010 - 6:43pm
Did you get medical attention? How are you doing now? Are you feeling better or still in pain? Do you have more questions? We're here to help. Pat

September 27, 2010 - 5:27pm
EmpowHER Guest

I got a flu shot 3 days ago. The shot itself didn't hurt but soon after my whole arm into my shoulder and neck started feeling very sore. I also felt a little under the weather. I just figured it was a common side effect. But now the soft tissue above my collar bone is swollen. My neck at the base of my shoulder is sore and my arm is numb. I was thinking that maybe because this is the first time the H1N1 was in the vaccine that I am getting a reaction. The soreness is extremely annoying but the swelling above my collar bone is scaring me.

September 23, 2010 - 6:43pm
(reply to Anonymous)

Hi Anonymous

See your health care provider right away. You are having some sort of reaction and you need to seek treatment to prevent it from worsening. Please don't wait, and let us know how you do.

September 24, 2010 - 6:21am
EmpowHER Guest
Anonymous (reply to Anonymous)

Dear Annon Sept 23rd 2010.
See a physician right away. Seek appropriate care for this reaction. File a report with CDC.
Best of luck to you,
Let us know what type of treatments you find successful so others may benefit from your experience.

September 24, 2010 - 12:32am
EmpowHER Guest

I have had flu shots for about five years with no ill effects at all, with the exception of last year (2009). I had the flu shot in the upper left arm and the H1N1 in the upper right a couple of months later. No problems at first, then after a couple of months my left arm began to stiffen up, became sore and then after about four months became totally immobile. Yes, the flu shot resulted in my left arm freezing completely. Walgreens took a report, which they filed with the CDC, but it was up to me to fix the problem at my expense. It has taken a year to cure the daily pain and get most of the mobility back, but I still have some months of work to go with my rehab. Yes, it has cost me a great deal as my insurance did not cover the rehab. I am going to ask if I can get the jab in a different place this year.

August 30, 2010 - 5:53pm
Expert HERWriter Guide Blogger (reply to Anonymous)

Anon - Did your insurance company give you a reason for denying the rehab? It seems unreasonable to deny the treatment you needed to regain your mobility. Pat

August 30, 2010 - 6:00pm
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