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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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Anonymous (reply to Pat Elliott)

I received my flu shot on October 27 at my workplace in Norfolk, Va. The nurse gave me the shot high up on my shoulder. It did not hurt but I felt it go in and it felt like it went deep into my shoulder. Next day arm started hurting. The pain has not let up. I can't get dressed, cook or answer the telephone with my left arm. I've called the OccHealth nurse and am waiting for a call back. I can raise my elbow with no problem but any time I move my upper arm away from my body I feel like I have sharp pain in my arm. I am hoping this does not become chronic. It's very scary. I'd like to hear from more people who have had this and if it actually did go away.

November 10, 2010 - 12:21pm
EmpowHER Guest
Anonymous (reply to Pat Elliott)

I also got the flu shot Nov 2009 and got the same problems. Couldn't lift my arm not sleeping,after a year of constant and sever pain it's finally getting better, after hundreds of dollars spent on chiropractors and physiotherapy. All the doctors said I had a torn rotater cup or torn shoulder muscles ex-rays and ultrasound did not show anything, the psychotherapist called it a frozen shoulder . Skip forward October 2010 arm feeling about 80% better, took my mother-in law to get her flu shot and decided to get mine also nurse asked if I had any reaction to flu shots before I mentioned the sore shoulder and told her what the doctor's said but I thought it was a reaction to the flu shot. She said to me "it was probably not but it more than likely the shot was given to high on the shoulder and hit a nerve and that caused the pain, and it takes a long time for the nerve to heal. I don't know if this was smart but I got the flue shot (on the other arm) hopefully all will be fine.

October 28, 2010 - 11:52am
EmpowHER Guest

I got my flu shot October 4th 2010, at my school. I thought the injection site was high up on my arm but what do i know I'm not a nurse. (she injected it into the joint of my shoulder)The first few days i expected it to hurt (dull ache, and a bit of tederness), and a few days later the pain went away. Now i cant sleep on my arm, i cant lift it above my head, i cant extend it forward or back. I'm having severe shooting pain! And it is tender to the touch. And getting worse every day. This has been going on for days.I have a high tolerence for pain, but this is to much.
I called my doctor, they told me to use a hot compress for 20 minutes as needed and some over the counter pain meds, and I should try stretching it slowly as much as i can without pain. I hope that does the trick, im a college student and cant afford to go in and get looked at.

Does anyone else have any suggestions?
Why did they administer it so high in my arm?

Thanks for the insight!

October 26, 2010 - 8:50am

I have also been experiencing pain in my arm post flu shot. My doctor gave me a shot last week. The day after the injection, my upper arm developed an oval red patch where the injection was and was sore, swollen and hot to the touch. He told me to put heat on it to help it and take Motrin. The redness finally subsided but I have been experiencing shooting pains in my arm. It is driving me crazy. I hope this goes away soon...


October 25, 2010 - 3:42pm
EmpowHER Guest

Hi Anonymous,
Thank you for sharing this information. I have also had issues with a flu vaccine that hurt my shoulder and never reported it. As a Moderator on this site, we tend to see many complaints about this very subject. I have not received the vaccine this year YET, but I do plan on getting the shot again.
I think it is great that there is a place where complaints are received to maybe combat this issue. I will certainly pass on the information.
Thanks again,

October 23, 2010 - 8:11am
Expert HERWriter Guide Blogger

Hi all - Let's keep this thread ON TOPIC and focus on helping readers who are having issues following getting a flu injection this year. It's difficult to know what each individual is experiencing, but we have found in the past that it's been helpful to read comments from others who've also found themselves in pain after having a flu shot.

You can read about others' experiences, and about their recovery processes, below:
- Pain in Arm After Flu Shot
- Received Flu Shot in December and Two Months Later Still Experiencing Pain at Site of Injection
- No Pain in Arm or Shoulder After Flu Shot This Year

For the people just joining this discussion in 2010 we would appreciate hearing from you as you get more information on the exact cause of your pain and as you find relief. Sharing with others does help even if it does not provide immediate pain relief.

Take care,

October 22, 2010 - 5:46pm
EmpowHER Guest
Anonymous (reply to Pat Elliott)

Has anyone run across this page? http://www.medhelp.org/posts/Occupational-Health--Safety/Shoulder-Pain-after-flu-shot/show/743265
nkdrn89's response at the bottom is very interesting, and reading about acute brachial plexus neuritis is scary but enlightening, it really sounds like the culprit. What about these recent vaccines could be causing a higher incidence of this reaction to occur? Is it a higher incidence or are we only making up the 15% that is caused by viral vaccinations? (Yet for some reason many people have begun to post about this in the last 2-3 years). Has everyone who has posted about this problem reported it to VAERS? It is important that we do so. There is also some medical compensation possible if your case fits certain circumstances.
This page is helpful about the condition and also has links for reporting adverse reactions. http://www.vhcinfo.org/healthcareProfessionals.asp?page=bpn&title=Brachial%20Plexus%20Neuritis
For more information Google the name of the condition.

October 23, 2010 - 7:35am
EmpowHER Guest
Anonymous (reply to Pat Elliott)

You're right Pat, it does help a lot that people see that others are dealing w/ the same thing. My shoulder pain has now lasted two plus months. I am reminded of it every single night still, if I turn to thet side while sleeping- then AWAKE again-- several times a night. I recall a Dr who posted on this thread say that if it's of any comfort, the higher and deeper the shot then the more protected u are... That may or may not be true, but even if u cought the flu it certainly isn't uncomfortable for 2 plus months :) I am going to the government flu site today and email them...asking why so high and deep this year. If I get a response, I will post it.

October 23, 2010 - 6:37am
EmpowHER Guest

I recieved the flu shot also, and it doesn't seem to hurt in my shoulder, but the top of my arm. It feels like an awful tugging pain in the muscle very uncomfortable it has been nearly 3 weeks and it is still bothering me

October 22, 2010 - 3:12pm
EmpowHER Guest

whoa. IMHO, not a fair comment. We got the bad injection--- that, so far, has nothing to do w/ the potion.

October 22, 2010 - 2:42pm
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