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why my shoulder STILL hurts after 2010 flu shot

By September 26, 2010 - 5:48am
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I started this new share because I got the new flu shot 3 weeks ago- the one that contains the reg. flu and the H1N1 combined. I got it done at Walgreens. When the Dr (pharmacist, actually) put it in, it did not hurt. Even though it felt like it was in the bone and very high up. The actuall dispensing of the vaccine felt like it took longer than usual. Since then, my shoulder still hurts and I complain about it several times a day. I cannot sleep on it at night and everytime I roll over in bed, it wakes me (all night long). I have rec'd the flu shot for years and I never got this pain. For this reason, I will NOT be forcing my 10 yr old to get it because she could not tollerate this pain and would have missed many days of school thus far. Comments?

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Expert HERWriter Guide Blogger (reply to Anonymous)

Hi Deb - Yes, it's a delicate balance going through the recovery process, and I hope yours goes well. Thanks also for providing such detailed information as it's bound to help others. After all of this is over with you will appreciate the simply joy of using your arms for ordinary things like never before! Hope your holidays are great too. Pat

December 13, 2010 - 4:41pm

I too got my flu shot at Walgreens. The pharamcist gave me the shot way high up on my arm, almost to my shoulder. At the time it didn't hurt, but it's month later and I am still having pain at the injection site and in my shoulder. As long as my arm is hanging down by my side there is no pain, but if I lift it up at all, there is pain. It also wakes me up every time I roll over on it at night. This is crazy that so many people are having the same problems. I really think they have not been properly trained on where to give the shots. I have read from others that the pain is there for a long time.....I hope I am lucky and it goes away soon!! Nasal Mist for me from now on! Who can we contact to complain other than Walgreens? Apparently they are not listening!!

November 29, 2010 - 7:30pm

LOL Pat if sex helps guess I better be looking for a beau with a little more urgency! HA...

November 29, 2010 - 6:56pm
Expert HERWriter Guide Blogger

Thanks for the updates, it's nice to hear good news on this thread!

How about the rest of you? Anyone else doing better? If so, what's worked for you? Massage? Stretches? Medications? Sex? (Just seeing if you're actually reading this. :-) Physical Therapy? Other? Let us know. Pat

November 29, 2010 - 6:10pm

Update: I posted above and have had pain exactly as everyone described. It is FINALLY lessening (though it was a very gradual process). Assuming it was an inflammation of the shoulder bursa sac per the article that was linked to above, I did ice my shoulder on a regular basis and took ibuprofen. Perhaps that did help, but perhaps it was just time. I still have pain at night when I sleep on that side, but definitely not nearly as bad as before, though it does sometimes wake me. If it is indeed an inflammation of the bursa sac, heat will only aggravate it (yes, I tried that first, before I saw these posts). The article above does state that if you had a pre-existing condition simmering in the background, the flu shot in that area will put you over the edge, so to speak, so perhaps that explains why some of us had a final diagnosis of frozen shoulder, etc. The article also stated that in experiments with rabbits (yes, this is apparently not new at all), the pain went away in 6 weeks. How they know that is beyond me, but at least it is a benchmark for those of us without a simmering or pre-existing shoulder condition or who was unfortunate enough to suffer actual nerve damage. I'll post back if it ever goes away or any new developments.

November 28, 2010 - 10:49am
EmpowHER Guest

It's been four and a half weeks since flu shot. Here's an update -- I went to doc and he put me on prednisone. Pain went away totally, then I had a reaction to the prednisone, couldn't breathe, flushed. So I stopped taking that. Pain is coming back gradually but higher up in my shoulder joint. It's very sharp. It was difficult getting thru TGiving with my arm like this. So I am waiting and hoping it will go away. If not gone in two weeks, I am going to an ortho to get a cortisone shot. The interesting thing is that it must be an inflammation for the prednisone to have taken the pain away so completely. The people (I work for a hospital) that gave me the shot do not believe it was the flu shot, but my personal physician does think that's what the pain is coming from. I guess time will tell.

November 28, 2010 - 10:12am
EmpowHER Guest

UPDATE: It will be two months since I've had my flu shot. I'm finally starting to feel better. Still have some stiffness, but the pain has definitely lessened--still there, but not as bad. Doesn't wake me at night any longer. This gives me hope that the damage wasn't permanent. I did call my doctor about two weeks ago and they said to stretch the shoulder and to take ibuprofen. (I got my shot at Walgreen's).

November 28, 2010 - 6:10am
EmpowHER Guest

December of 2009 I got a flu shot and they insisted on putting it in my leg. I then had a numb stinging feeling. It eventually began to hurt and to this day is causing me problems. I didn't associate the problem to the shot right away because I had other health problems and was in the hospital at the time. November 2010 I had again been hospitalized and still not associating the pain in my leg to the shot received yet another flu shot only this time in my arm. The needle didn't hurt, the injection of the vaccine didn't hurt right away either. Eventually throughout the night it began to throb horribly. Now at the end of November it seems to be getting worse. I am in constant pain in my left arm and really wish there was some way to remove the pain from my body.

November 27, 2010 - 8:57pm

Always glad to get the email claiming "new comment." Since 9/9/10, I still have this throb-- beginning to mess w/ my neck and headaches. Sleeping, even w/ rx meds, r useless. Getting ready yest. in front of the mirror yesterday and my 10 yr old asked me, "what's that under your eye?" I explained that it is called dark-circles (never had them in my life). Point being, I cannot sleep. Y're right, during the day, the pain becomes tollerable... However, I have not had a decent's night sleep since 9/9. I am so angry at this point. I, too, can still feel the lump on the top of my shoulder. It seems to resinate-- Last night, I was certain I had chest pain on the left (where the flu shot was given)... I just kinda sucked it up as, 'OH, the shoulder is so getting to me...' I slept all of 5 hours lastnight and 4 of them were distracted-- tossing, turning-- grabbing a dif. pillow, etc. I filled out the CCD form- what good does that do? No good. On a happy note? I have not had a flu or a cold thus far this year. Sincerely--

November 26, 2010 - 9:59am

Well, it looks like there are many of us with this painful, scary reaction to the flu shot. I got mine at the Kroger pharmacy. Like others, the site seemed high, very painful and long, felt it deep in arm. It's been a month, can't lift my arm at all without sharp, intense pain, wakes me at night whenever I turn over. Pain is worse at night and when I first get up in a.m. At one week my GP said not to worry, it'll pass. At 3 weeks, went to orthopedic doc, got steroid shot which made it slightly less painful for a day or two. Got a MRI 2 days ago. I'll let you know what I find out. I'm trying to stay calm, but I have chronic low back and neck pain from old injuries, and was not looking to add a new pain to the list! I will follow up on reporting on the CDC website. I agree with the request for good news from anyone who feels better with time or treatment. Thanks to all for posting, it helps to have company and to not feel crazy!

November 26, 2010 - 7:50am
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