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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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EmpowHER Guest

I had a flu shot a week ago yesterday as an add on during a pre-surgery physical and it seems that I have exactly what everyone else has talked about. Shooting pain in the joint, decreased mobility and the pain is intensified in the night. (I seem to function ok during the day with limited pain.) I am having orthoscopic knee surgery and can't take any asprin, neproxisodiun etc after tomorrow, any advice? I did find that a heating pad helped the pain somewhat.

November 26, 2010 - 6:07am
EmpowHER Guest

Just read through several strings and I have to say THANK YOU for making me feel I'm not crazy! I've gotten flu shots for years and this is the first time the dull pain in my arm has lasted for over a month. I never called my doctor because I kept think "it'll go away"...it hasn't. I'm an actress in NYC and free flu shots are provided to us at the theaters where we are currently performing through our union and another special program. It's a wonderful service that ensures that "the show must go on!" I've gotten the shot over the last several years in a row and have never had any problems. And never any pain lasting longer than the initial soreness at the injection site, which goes away after a couple of days. Well, it's been a month and I still have a dull ache at the site everyday. Unlike others on this thread I can raise and move my arm, but I'm always aware of discomfort. I can actually put my finger on the exact spot of the soreness, it's deep and it seems to be closer to the joint behind the large shoulder muscle, behind the actual injection site. I can't tell you if the site is any higher than it's been in the past. I don't remember. I do know that it wasn't the regular doctor who usually administers the injections, but a nurse. Perhaps, as with others here, I was injected in the wrong spot and now have some nerve damage. It definitely isn't feeling right. It doesn't sound like it's worth a visit to my private doctor just for this, but I may give her a call after the holidays to see if she's had complaints from anyone else. And I would like to report this so there is some record and urge that better instructions be given to providers outside of regular doctor's offices. Having the flu shot readily available at various places is great. We just need to make sure that it's being administered uniformly and correctly. Again, thanks for making me feel like I'm not alone in my arm pain!

November 24, 2010 - 2:51pm
Expert HERWriter Guide Blogger (reply to Anonymous)

Thanks everyone for your comments, and we've repeatedly heard from people how glad they are to know they're not alone in this. In terms of pain relief there are several threads on this site, going back to 2008, from people who have experienced this and have tried different solutions including massage, heat, cold, cortisone injections, chiropractic care and more. 2010 readers who are dealing with this for the first time may find it helpful to read what others say.

November 24, 2010 - 5:22pm
EmpowHER Guest

I had the flu shot on Nov. 5, 2010 and it is now Nov. 23, 2010 and I still have the throbbing pain constantly. In addition, it has made my arm very weak and reduced my flexability. I notified the Health Dept. and all they did is write the info. down.

No more flu shots for me!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

November 23, 2010 - 10:02pm
EmpowHER Guest

I had a flu shot at childrens 3 weeks ago my arm is killing me I went to my doc he gave me pain pills it's still a lot of pain and forget a nights rest ! Don't think i will do again . Is there any way to get rid of pain ?

November 21, 2010 - 8:25pm

I had never had any type of reaction to flu vaccines in the past, but I was hesitant to receive the 2010 flu vaccine as it was not available without the H1N1. I eventually opted to get the flu vaccine as I work with seriously ill patients. Thus, I had a flu shot 4 days ago and since that time I have had increasing problems. The arm that was injected became very painful within hours and has remained a problem. I developed sudden joint and body pains that were different from the usual flu musculoskeletal discomforts in that they were more concentrated and severe. Fatigue, mild edema, headaches and other problems have also ensued. Symptoms are increasing rather than subsiding. In retrospect I would not have received the vaccine this year with the H1N1 component. I can appreciate that the government had to offload the excess H1N1 vaccine that they had purchased, but I don't think they should have incorporated it into the only flu vaccine they are offering this year.

November 21, 2010 - 10:11am
Expert HERWriter Guide Blogger (reply to Michaeline)

Michaeline - It's ironic that you had the vaccine so you could be at your best in working with patients and then end up being sick yourself. I hope you are reporting this to the CDC. Thanks for your comments. Pat

November 21, 2010 - 10:18am
EmpowHER Guest

Several years ago, I received a flu shot. Less that 1 week later, I became sick with a bad cold and painful ears. I was sick for almost 6 months. I will never get another flu shot again.

November 19, 2010 - 12:26pm

Wow most of these comments have been since I have been googling and posting and are new to me. My detailed experience is chronicle on the following thread:


My symptoms mirrors most everyone else’s…1) shot high up so much so that we talked about it for days after the shot 2) mine started hurting that evening, shot given around 3:30 pm 3) pharmacy came to our workplace and administered shot 4) pain doing all the things everyone mentioned with the MOST painful when trying to pull off a tight fitting garment over my head…just can’t do it even now (shot given nine weeks ago) 5) cannot sleep on left side (except when I took the steroids, have taken two medrol paks and one 10 day course…doc said I can’t have any more) 6) had initial numbness in my index & middle finger and some in my thumb, now just sorta comes and goes but not so much and 7) my doc was not aware of this being a problem and initially attributed it to other things, however, after hearing my explanations, what I found in my research, and the fact that he’s known me for many years and believes I’m not crazy has asked me to gather the info I have found for him…much to my relief and amazement.

In my hours of research I have found some information that was helpful. For one the VAERS site to report adverse events listed earlier in this post. I also was able to download adverse event data for the last two years…a ton of info applying some filters found tons of reports of this type of reaction. So it is not new.

Also found this thread on another site with info that was reported in 2007 and even gave the condition a name: Shoulder Injury Related to Vaccine Administration, or SIRVA. Yes there is even an acronym for this condition:



As well as this HHS Power Point presentation from last summer where the last two pages discuss the above published info as well as thoughts on cause, treatment, etc.:


And last this article that discusses the findings and recommendations in detail. Not from any gov’t related side but after finding all the other info, I thought the article appeared credible:


Hope some of this helps. Based on what I’ve gone through I truly believe it is important for everyone to file a VAERS report of adverse event and talk about this so that more is done in evaluating the cause(s) and prevention of this issue. I look forward to reading your updates. And PLEASE update even if the pain goes away…it is helpful to us still hurting to read about those that have recovered…gives us hope! :-D

November 16, 2010 - 5:06pm
Expert HERWriter Guide Blogger (reply to Myarmhurtstoo)

Myarmhurtstoo - On behalf of everyone on this thread, and those to come in the future, THANK YOU for your report and extensive research. As you know we have multiple threads on this topic on EmpowHER going back to 2008 and most people describe things exactly like you. I would like to encourage all of our US readers to file the VAERS report and for those in other countries to find out the proper procedure to do the same where they live. In Canada, for example, the Public Health Agency uses the Adverse Events following Immunization (AEFI) Form. http://www.phac-aspc.gc.ca/im/aefi-form-eng.php

Thanks to everyone for chiming in here and helping each other.

November 16, 2010 - 5:42pm
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