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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 my flu shot 3 months ago and I still point tenderness at the site. I have had several flu shots in the past wih no residual efects.

January 30, 2011 - 9:30pm

Thanks for sharing. My symptoms developed exactly the same like yours. Tender in the beginning and progressively getting worse. I will try another week of therapy and if it doesn't get better will go to Orthopedic agian for MRI. Please let us know how goes with Disease Control.

January 28, 2011 - 2:45pm
EmpowHER Guest

Thanks to all who are sharing, comforting to know it's not my imagination that is associating the flu shot with shoulder joint pain. Got the flu shot at Walgreens, a day later the injection spot was tender but thats all, it continued to get progressively worse and the muscle was sore, a week later the shoulder joint was sore to the point I couldnt do things I like to do, and has remained that way for weeks. Hoping it will go away as my immune system deals with it. Will report it to Center for Disease Control.

January 28, 2011 - 5:58am

I read the above comments...I went to orthopedics and he took x-ray. He said that you have Bursitis, take cortisone shot and start therapy... I rfeused the cortisone shot and doing therapy from 3 weeks. little better but not at all close to pain frree. raising my arm overmy head still hearts a lot. Dr. also said that if it doesn't get better may do a MRI...I had no problem with my shoulder before that. It's been 6 weeks in pain.

January 27, 2011 - 9:06am
EmpowHER Guest

A visit to the orthopedist today 3 months after flu shot. Guess what? He knows of several nurses at our local hospital who have the same problem - I was so glad to have someone in the medical community not look at me like I was crazy when I explained the problem. He wanted to give me a cortisone shot (already had one from primary dr & declined another). He wants me to resume therapy and follow up in 6 weeks - feels I have a good prognosis. I am relieved that there may be light at the end of the tunnel. Linda

January 26, 2011 - 5:36pm
Expert HERWriter Guide Blogger (reply to Anonymous)

Thanks, Linda. It's quite interesting that your orthopedist has seen several nurses with the same issues. Did he offer any opinions on what was causing this? We have heard several...

January 26, 2011 - 5:42pm
EmpowHER Guest

thank you so much for this site! I got the flu shot Oct 15, 2010 at CVS - felt the shot was placed too high and have all the symptoms described by others. I've been to 5 weeks of physical therapy, followed by a cortisone shot and still have pain - it is some better but a long way from healed. My dr. suggested an MRI which shows bursitis, tendinopathy, and a possible tiny SLAP tear. I had no shoulder problems prior to the shot. My next stop is the orthopedist so we shall see. . . Linda

January 25, 2011 - 4:48pm
EmpowHER Guest

Vaccine in Oct, 2 steroid shots in Nov & Dec did not help at all. The ortho sees small tears in the rotator cuff and a bone spur (on the MRI) so wants to do surgery on bone spur. I do have an old injury in the shoulder, so I'm not surprised about these, but how do I know these are causing the pain? He said what he sees could cause pain or not, depending on the indiviual. So i wonder if the pain caused by the vaccination is a new thing, or is a re-aggrivation of the old injury? I don't want an unnecessary (& not usefull) surgery. Does anyone have a previous injury that was aggravated? Thanks!

January 20, 2011 - 7:06pm

Thank you for all the comments. My flu shot was in October and I suffered until I finally went to the doctor in late December. I received a coritsone shot and am now in physical therapy to resolve this issue. Fortunately the therapist had heard of this problem and knew what he/I needed to do. He said it would take about 8 weeks to see marked improvement but after one week I am experiencing less pain and more range of motion.

January 19, 2011 - 8:35am
Expert HERWriter Guide Blogger (reply to gettinghelp)

Glad you're better. Thanks for taking the time to provide this progress report, as it will help others who come to the site. I hope you will stay in touch and keep us informed by sharing what you learn along the way. Pat

January 19, 2011 - 5:19pm
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