Chemical Tendotitis From The H1N1 Flu Shot

by Rebecca
(Chattanooga, TN)

Recently I received the H1N1 vaccine, and the nurse inserted the needle in my shoulder not my muscle. For the first week I could not lift my shoulder above my head. My husband had to help me put on my sweater. I could not pick up anything heavy at all.

I have pain ever since November 12, 2009. The doctor gave me steroids for 6 days. It stopped the pain but then the pain came back two days later.

They gave my Tylenol with Codein to take once every 8 hours or as needed. I take it at night only. I heard you can become dependant on it.

Also, he prescribed Nexoprin I think is an antiflamatory medication. I'm taking that twice a day with food.

I don't see any improvement. I don't want to live like this. I think she really mess up my shoulder and I believe there is permanent damage there because there is no improvement. From a pain scale from 1 to 10 my pain is always 5 or 6.

I don't know what else to do. Is there anything I could do? Is there hope for my shoulder for improvement or complete healing?


Rebecca H.


Joshua Answers:

Hmmmm. Tell me a little more.

1. What exactly do you mean when you say 'in the shoulder but not the muscle'?

2. What kind of health care professional gave you the shot?

3. Did getting the shot feel extraordinarily painful, like the needle hit something it wasn't supposed to hit?

4. Where you hurting right away? OR did it start to hurt later?

5. What did the doctor say when s/he gave you steroids?

6. How is your overall health other than this? Diabetes, etc?

7. How do you normally respond to pain and injury?

I'm curious about your responses. I'm inclined to think that you are having a reaction to the ingredients of the flue shot.

Unless something far from the ordinary happened, a needle stick even into bone isn't going to injure you. Into tendon, it really shouldn't either. It may hurt etc, but for a month....I wouldn't expect that.

If it hit a nerve, that's a different story. Any nerve kind of pain? Or just achey soreness.

There are some not so good ingredients in the flu shots. And even without those, your body could be having an extreme response to the foreign bodies injected, or an allergic reaction.

So tell me more, I don't have enough info yet to have any kind of accurate opinion, and let's try to identify what's going on.

Also, start Ice Packing. 5 minutes on, 5 off, as often as you can for the next several days. And drink a lot more water.

Please reply using the comment link below. Do not submit a new submission to answer/reply, it's too hard for me to find where it's supposed to go.

And, comments have a 3,000 character limit so you may have to comment twice.

Joshua Tucker, B.A., C.M.T.
The Tendonitis Expert

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Dec 30, 2009
Severe Shoulder joint pain into my under arm from the H1N1 shot!!
by: Anonymous

I am having the same exact reactions, today it is a full month. After the shot was administered the pain began and has worsened:( I become ill within 48hours of the vaccination. I was sick for 2 weeks and was prescribed a ZPAC. I am now seeing a chiro.

I can't live like this, it is painful to turn my steering wheel, get dressed or blow dry my hair..Please help.


Joshua Comments:

Hi Lisa, sorry to hear that.

Why....did they give you antibiotics (the ZPAC)?

Did you have a bacteria problem? Or did they just give it to you to feel like something was being done? Unless you had a bacterial infection, there's absolutely no reason to get a shot of antibiotics.

I wish I had a fast fix answer for you. The best I can offer is:

1. Get your Vitamin D3 levels up ASAP.

2. Drink LOTS of water. YOu're a sponge. Flush through as much as possible.

3. Reach up and rub the shoulder repeatedly throughout the day. 5-10 seconds every 30 minutes. You're a sponge. Squeeze it = old stuff out, new stuff in.

4. Take a bunch of good probiotics. Good for health and the immune system, and possibly the antibiotics wiped some/lots/all of yours out.

5. Take natural antiinflammatories like omega 3's and turmeric.

6. Here is a list of recommendations (nutritional) from Dr. Blaylock and Dr. Mercola. What To Do For Swine Flu Side Effects.

Again, there's no quick fix that anybody knows of. Your body is responding to an invasion of ingredients it doesn't like. Some systems go overboard in this response and take a good long while to settle down.

Please update us all on what exactly you do, and the results you get.

Apr 19, 2010
shoulder pain after 2009 H1N1 vaccine shot
by: Anonymous

I received H1N1 vaccine late 2009 and shortly after started having pain in posterior and lateral shoulder.

I tried the usual OTC nsaids and heat/ice and rest with no benefit. Since that time, I have had 5 cortisone injections - subacromial tendon and trigger injections posterior shoulder. I have had very little relief.

I find it difficult to find a comfortable position for shoulder at night. It feels achy often but can get along ok. Pain occurs when I reach behind my back or with dressing and movement restricted. Any quick movement creates sharp pain.

Perhaps this is not from vaccine but I did not injure my shoulder.

Any ideas?


Joshua Comments:

Well, I'd need to know a bit more.

1. Any shoulder pain pre-vaccination?

2. Overall health? Any health problems?

3. History of pain/injury in the top half of your body?

4. Age?

5. Pain constant, or comes and goes?

6. Similar pain anywhere else?

7. History of activity? What have you done physically for job/hobby?

May 06, 2010
shoulder info
by: Anonymous

I am 53. No health problems or prior injury to shoulder. I am a nurse. I work out 3 times a week - no changes in activity for years. Work out is mostly aerobic, stretching, light weights, walking.

I suppose I could have injured with exercise but did not experience pain after work out.

I have had achiness in shoulder all day today but that is not always the case. Some days very little pain but I am constantly protecting shoulder.


Joshua Comments:

Did you have a flu shot?

May 08, 2010
additional info - Chemical Tendonitis From The H1N1 Flu Shot
by: Anonymous

Yes, I received flu shot prior to pain.


Joshua Comments:

Well, it may not be very 'scientific', but when you're fine one day, and then the next day you get a H1N1 flu shot and have immediate and long lasting shoulder pain, that's pretty conclusive to me.

Maybe you did injure/irritate it that day with working out. But if that's the case, A. is would/should feel better by now, and B. workout injury pain is different than the ache and unhappy symptoms of the body poorly reacting to the ingredients (foreign contaminants) in a flu shot.

The best I have to suggest is to ice pack (3ish minutes on, 5ish minutes off, repeat) and self massage (squeeze the sponge over and over) to create circulation, get old stuff out and new blood and nutrition in so the body will have it's best chance to 'heal' from the irritation.

Thanks for sharing.

More questions, more (attempts at) answers.

Jun 23, 2010
My exact symptoms! - Chemical Tendonitis From The H1N1 Flu Shot
by: Sharon

I NEVER had any problem with my shoulder until the day I received my H1N1 vaccination.

The injection hurt more than usual going in, usually they never bother me, and that night I could not unfasten my bra...I was in tears, unexpectedly, when I put my arm back to just unfasten it at the end of that day... it has been 9 months and i still have never been able to do that simple task since that day.

I am living with the constant pain, it wakes me up at night if I roll over onto it, and if I startle and jump and throw my arm back a little I have mind searing AGONY... I never had any hint of this prior to that day...I saw my PCP, got xrays, 2 sets of steroid shots by an arthritis specialist 6 months apart, lost time from work, had physical therapy, xrays and MRI... and am wearing a sling as I write this.

I wear a lab coat at work, and at the end of the day a friend helps me take it off every day. I am SO frustrated.

I have an appointment with an orthopedic surgeon for July, because I've exhausted all the usual ways to relieve the pain, won't take narcotics because that just covers it up and I'm afraid I'd just injure it more by using it, and I have a past stomach ulcer so am worried abut taking strong NSAIDs.

The worst part is that the medical professionals keep telling me that the shot could not have caused this, but it was EXACTLY at the time of the shot that it began, within hours, at the same site where the shot was given.... how could it not be related?


Joshua Comments:

Exactly, how could it -not- be related? The medical establishment prefers to believe that shots are totally safe, even though they (some of them, anyway) contain toxic and unsafe and untested ingredients and combinations of ingredients.

Plus, immunizations are designed to cause a reaction. Not everybody's body is going to react happily to that.

I caution you against surgery. What are they going to cut on? What are they going to fix? There are better placebo's than surgery.

I'm sorry for your painful experience. Thank you for sharing so that others might avoid it.

Oct 06, 2010
help! I received the combination flu & H1N1 shot last night around 1am at work
by: Anonymous

Hello, I received the combination flu & H1N1 shot last night around 1am at work (I'm a nurse who works nights).

By 8am then tendon in my wrist in my left arm (the arm I got the vaccine in) is causing me pain and stiffness. My wrist is swollen and you can see and feel the tendon running from the thumb to my wrist. I've never had anything before like this and it came out of no where...Could the vaccine cause this?!?


Joshua Comments:

Well, one might say that obviously the flu shot did cause this.

Sure, it could be coincidence, but....

So yes, flu and H1n1 shots can cause those kind of symptoms. As this thread proves.

The question is, how/why?

They contain various contaminants and irritants etc. So your body can be responding like you've been injured/poisoned.

Potentially you were magnesium deficient (highly likely) and the above pulled magnesium such that now you're MORE magnesium deficient.

That's two possible explanations for what's happening.

Possibly the needle actually hit a nerve, which is unlikely but statistically has to happen sooner or later.

What to do about it? Bolster you're body!

** Magnesium for Tendonitis

** Vitamin C, lots.

** Get your Vitamin D level up between 50-80 with D3 supplementation (and magnesium and B6, as D3 requires magnesium and magnesium requires B6, and the symptoms of insufficiency/deficiency of each match your symptoms).

** Drink lots of water.

** Massage your arm, old fluid out and new fluid it. This includes your arm over your head to drain out fluid (unless that irritates the spot where you got the shot, in which case find a way to do it that doesn't irritate it.)

Oct 07, 2010
H1N1 shot in both arms
by: Anonymous

Interestingly, I am also a nurse who works night shift. Last yr about this time, I had my H1N1 injection in my left arm. About 10 days later I developed pain in my shoulder. I had that pain on and off to some degree for months. This yr. I got my H1N1/flu combination in my right arm (because my left shoulder still hurt sometimes), and 10 days later I developed pain in my shoulder exactly like last yr. I continue to have very painful tendonitis in my shoulder and have an appt with an orthopedist tomorrow morning hopefully for a steroid injection. After having this twice I am sure now that it must be a reaction to the vaccine.

Dec 28, 2010
Severe pain in the arm after combined H1N1 and fue shot

In October 25 2010 I took the flu shot and it has been 2 months and I still can't move my arm in all directions, I can't raise my hand to take of my clothes, I can't put my hand to the back if I did that I will have a severe pain.

It was my first time in my life to have the flue shot and I will never have it again, the nurse gave me the shot very high in the arm like in the joint of the arm with the shoulder, it was very painful which made me like i had a shock I could,nt relax to continue the shot and when she finished and I had a severe pain I don't sleep at night fron the pain I feel it is very heavey like it is not part of my body, I'm a mother of three kids the pain made me unable to do my daily chores, I live on analgesics, I cry from pain and I don't want to live all my life with this pain, my family doctor told me to do physiotherapy but my insurance doesn't cover that.

Jan 19, 2011
by: Deb

In November 2009 I had extreme pain upon receiving the H1N1/Flu shot in the joint. It felt like it was being torn apart from the inside out. I expected pain for a day or two but that pain intensified and continued for more than a year and a half.

I lost ROM in my left arm and any pressure or sudden movements would shoot my constant pain level from a 5-6 to a screaming 10.

I had difficulty dressing, driving and working every day and it prevented me from participating in ALL recreational activities including motorcycling even as a passenger as I could not hold on.

I was examined by an Orthopod at work who told me I had tendonitis. Every possible home remedy was tried but I stopped short of invasive treatments.

It was 1.5 years before I finally was able to lift my arm above my head and nearly 2 years before I was finally free of pain.

It has now become mandatory at work to receive the flu shot annually as I work in a Children's Hospital. Without a Doctor's note certifying that these symptoms were brought on by the Flu Shot I will lose my job. Even the Ortho Doc I saw thought that this was only a co-incidence and non-related to the shot.

I am relieved to finally hear from others who have experienced the same difficulties when everyone else thinks I am just crazy. My question is, how do I get a Doctors note stating that I can't have the flu shot when I can't find anyone who believes there is a correlation between the two?


Joshua Comments:

I deb.

I have a hard time respecting any person that looks at your symptoms and the timing, and shrugs it off as coincidence.

As far as a doctor's note, I fear that's a matter of looking until you find a doctor that is willing to agree and put it on paper.

As far as 'requirements' to get flu shots at the hospital, I fear that's something that may have to be taken to court, or at least a knowledgeable lawyer.

Unfortunately, even though science and common sense both show flu shots to be ineffectual and potentially harmful, a majority of people like the -idea- of them.

Jan 25, 2011
by: DMH

I am also a nurse and received my flu shot on Nov. 22,2010. I knew when my pharmacist swabbed my arm, that the injection would be given too high. I didn't want to come across as a bossy nurse, so I prayed that even though she swabbed my skin high, she would give the injection below that area.
To make a long story short, the shot was unbelievably painful and seemed to take forever to receive. I had immediate pain and went to see my Dr. on the 15th day post injection. I had been treating myself with wall finger walking and arm circles to prevent frozen shoulder, heating pad, gentle active ROM exercises and 800mg. of ibuprofen 3 x's a day. I also take Omega 3 1250mg. 2/day, Probiotic Acidophilus 1/day, Women's Multivitamin 1/day, Vit. C 500mg/day, Calcium 600mg/day, Vit. D3 5000iu/day, Super B Complex 1/day, Cinnamon 1000mg/day and am being treated with narcotics for RSD of all 4 extremities that began after complications from a knee arthroscopy in January 2009. I AM NOT A HAPPY CAMPER! :(
I had an MRI of my shoulder on 1/19/11 that revealed bursitis and moderate tendinopathy of the supra and infraspinatus tendons. I was seen again by my Dr. on 1/23 for severe muscle spasms of my neck, radiating down the right side of my spine to just below the shoulder blade. It feels as though someone stabbed me in the back with a knife and left it there.
I filed an online VAERS report and am at my wits end. I also had my husband circle the injection site and take pictures of it on Day 16 after the shot. Google: SIRVA We are victims! PLEASE HELP!
Whoa is me!


Joshua Comments:



You may want to add Magnesium to the mix and see what happens. Magnesium Dosage

Sep 29, 2011
Flu Season approaches, forced to get the shot due to my hospital job
by: Deb

Well, Flu season is once again approaching as well as the impending mandatory Flu shot that my employer will start administering mid October. If I could find a Doctor to give me a note excusing me from, and it was approved by employee health exempting me, I would have to spend the next several months wearing a mask every working hour/day regardless of my health.

I have decided to get the flu shot this year but will note on my authorization that I am doing so only because my employer (a Childrens' Hospital with Specialist outpatient Satellite Offices) has compelled me to do so and that if I again have an adverse reaction I will be holding my employer responsible for any damages, pain, suffering and/or monetary losses incurred.

Understandably, Workers Comp may pay a portion of this but my employer will be held responsible for the rest. I will make sure it is documented thoroughly every step of the way and see every Doctor they throw at me. Only in this way will the truth about the Flu shot and its disabling properties truly come to light and be addressed for those who suffered from it.

Anyone else in the same position?


Joshua Comments:

Hi Deb.

Yep, that makes it tough when your job requires it.

Good plan!

I'm sure you'll find others in the same boat.

Sep 30, 2011
One year later !! Massage suddenly made the tightness disappear
by: Anonymous

Hi, I'm "Sharon" from the 6/23/10 comment... I had agony for nearly a year, and was set up for surgery for the pain, because the MRI had shown a tear of 40% in one of the shoulder muscles... but then my mom was hit by a truck and went into the ICU, (she's fine now, she's a toughie!), but I needed to cancel my surgery because I had to care for her... in desperation I went to a massage therapist who specialized in injury therapy... she worked on me for 90 minutes, twice a week, for months, and I was feeling better and better... and one session, while she was working the muscle from the base of my neck to the top of my shoulder, stretching it out... all of a sudden the shoulder felt like it suddenly loosened in a series of small releases, almost like it feels when you drop a Jacobs Ladder in you hand... both of us realized SOMETHING happened... and the next day, the pain was just gone. like it never was there.

It was amazing! Now I can dress myself, stretch my arms back in the morning when I wake up, roll over on my shoulder at night, close the car door... nothing bothers it and I have my full range of motion back again!


Joshua Comments:

Thanks GREAT Sharon.

That illustrates one of the downsides of our nervous system. If it thinks we're in danger, it locks up to guard and protect us. Unfortunately, it sometimes refuses to or doesn't know that it needs to let go of that guarding.

But sometimes when it gets it, it gets it, and BAM you feel better.


Oct 16, 2011
pain from flu shot in shoulder
by: becky

I had a flu shot 3 weeks ago. I usually cant feel them, but this time it burned like hell and she gave it really high up on my shoulder.

I am thinking she hit bone that's why it was so painful. But now i have no strength in my shoulder and its extremely painful still. I think we have the same problem.

Oct 19, 2011
Hope for shoulder pain from flu shot
by: Anonymous

Two weeks ago, some of my colleagues and I got the flu shot. We all commented on how high it was given and most of us felt greater than usual pain during the administration, as well as the following few days. Then, the soreness got worse and turned painful, just as described by the other posts. Thankfully, there we several of us that had this because they had to believe that it was caused by the shot. Now the good news... After suffering for two weeks with this, I finally went to my doctor, who told me that some of the ingredients in the flu shot could cause infection if it got into the joint (shot too high). One ingredient in particular that is a preservative can cause infection and if left untreated, bursitis. He said that the are on my shoulder was hotter than the rest of my arm, indicating that it was inflamed. Plus, I had a low grade fever.

Now the good news, treatment is simple and it works! Ice your shoulder and take an anti-inflammatory like Advil. All better, just like that. Amazing, because I seriously thought it would never heal. Please start treatment as soon as possible or bursitis could set in. Although this is also how they treat bursitis, but the longer you wait, I believe the longer it will take to heal. Good luck!

Oct 30, 2011
Debilitating shoulder pain since flu shot work provided
by: jcard

Received a flu shot October 14 that my work provides for it's employee's every year. This was my 4th time having this shot.

A nurse from the visiting nurses association distributed the shots like always. This shot was different from the get go. 1st of all the shot was higher up on my arm than usual and I could feel a burning sensation I do not recall feeling from previous shots.

I am by no means a whimp when it comes to needles of any kind. I was healthy and had not even a hint of my arm being in any type of distress until after the shot.

An hour after the shot I asked other co-workers how their arms felt, both said fine and teased me for complaining. As the days went on my arm constantly felt as though I had just receieved the shot.

Fast forward to Tues. Oct 25th my arm started to really bother me moving it in certain directions.

I was having a hard tome fastening my bra and lifting my arm to anything higher than inches from a dropped position without pain. At work it became difficult for me to type (right now using only my left hand)Started loosing sleep due to the pain in my arm being constant and not being able to get comfortable.

By Saturday I could no longer take the pain and at this point could not lift or move my arm without excrusiating pain. (I kid you not.. actually bringing me to tears) my husband brought me to the emergency room.

The doctor on call determined I have Tendonitis in my upper arm near my shoulder. I asked the nurse and the doctor about any correlation between this and flu shot and both were not convinced. (WELL I AM) I was advised to use ibuprophen (600mg) every 4-6 hours and on and off ice and to see an ortho doc Monday if not feeling better.

Well as I type the ibuprophen has done little to nothing to help. I will be missing another day of work tomorrow to hopefullt get appt. with ortho doc. I will keep updating posts.

Hi Jcard.


Please do keep us updated.

1. Does the ibuprofen help?

2. Do you have a sense at all that the needle hit something solid, tendon, dense connective tissue, or close to bone?

3. Were I you, I would Ice (2ish min on, 5ish off, as many times as possible) and squeeze the shoulder like a sponge 10 times as many times throughout the day as possible.

There's a couple other suggestions in this thread too, but nutritional factors aside, you have to squeeze the sponge, old stuff out and new stuff in, as much as possible to get whatever irritant is in there (including pain enhancing chemcial from the Process of Inflammation in place.

Nov 08, 2011
Me too...had my yearly flu shot, now can't dress myself due to arm pain
by: Rebecca

I had my yearly flu shot through my employer (outsourced to a contrator) on October 9th. This is the first time I've had anything more significant than a little muscle pain for a day.

First, I thought the injection site was way too high on my deltoid, and it hurt considerably. It's ached ever since, but gotten progressively worse. Today, I cannot dress myself in certain clothing items without causing myself considerable pain and last night's sleep was marginal due to the pain.

I was going to call my doctor for an appointment, as I do believe there is some swelling in the joint (compared to the other shoulder). I hesitate to do so because either I'll get blown off and told to take NSAIDs (which is fine) or we'll go to overkill mode. Both are not good when you are on a HSA plan.

I'm going to try the suggestions here, including massaging the area, heat/ice, and Aleve and the vitamins/minerals/probiotics suggested for the next week and see if this lightens up a little. I'm admittedly off track with my supplements, so it's a good way to get back to better habits.

Thanks for the site and to everyone reporting their experiences. I am a bit relieved to see it seems to be a problem.

Mar 20, 2012
Flu shot shoulder pain
by: Lauren

This is March 2012 and I had my flu shot in Sept/2o11 and the pain in my shoulder still persists,and range of motion is limited. I have taken the flu shot for many years and this the first time I have had such an adverse reaction. I don't know if I should chance a flu shot this year.


Joshua Comments:

Hi Lauren.

Why do get a flu shot every year?

Mar 21, 2012
Return comment to Lauren, from Sharon:
by: Sharon

Hi, Lauren, I'm Sharon from the 2010 and 2011 posts... I also usually received a flu shot annually, since it is strongly recommended by the medical organization that I work for... I understand that the influenza virus changes annually and the prior injections do not confer immunity, necessarily, on a new strain... however, there is no possible chance that I will get a flu injection ever again, after what I suffered, not in a million years, and I'm an MD, so I do understand the issues involved. There is always the option of the flu mist if necessary, if you feel you want to be immunized.

I did have a question for all the people who responded to this thread... it seems that a large percentage are medical professionals, who would have been at a higher risk of contracting the infection prior to the time the vaccine was released... I contracted the swine flu on June 5th, prior to being immunized, but still received the immunization that Fall because it was recommended by the CDC... did anyone else remember actually having the H1N1 strain infection prior to receiving the injection?


Mar 22, 2012
Flu shot outcome - get the shot in the right spot!
by: Deb

As I posted earlier prior to this years flu shot season, my company required all employees to have a flu shot or be fired. The company actually did fire 7 people that refused to get one without a valid documented reason. (FYI-the courts have upheld all employment terminations for refusals) I did get the flu shot and attached to the release a copy of the problems I had with the shot 2 years prior that left me with constant pain, loss of ROM and the use of my left arm for a year and a half.

I am happy to report that this year I had no adverse reaction to the flu shot. From the research I have done over the years I have determined that the people that have the same problem with the shot all have one thing in common. The injection was given improperly. It should be given in the triangluar shaped deltoid muscle (this is an intramuscular injection) but was injected up too high and/or too far back on the arm into the bursa. The pain does go away eventually. Mine lasted a year and a half. Others are luckier and it lasted merely months. If you find yourself in the same position where you are required to get the flu shot and are afraid to, make sure that it is given properly!


Joshua Comments:

Can't argue with that!

Mar 25, 2012
H1n1 reaction pain in arm neck left shoulder
by: Anonymous

Hi, I had the h1n1 flu injection injection back in November 2009, my left arm neck and shoulder is in chronic sustained muscle spasms all the time, it is been queried whether I have dystonia, my head and shoulder is definately in that horrible position now, I have lost alot of confidence now, torticollis is wat they say it is, I'm on baclofen, which is used for ms but also for dystonia, how do you know if you have tendonitis?

What tests can be done and what specialist would I need to see? I swear the injection has caused this, I never had any problems before, my medical records will prove this but no one is listening to me, gosh I feel I'm going mad, 2 an a half yrs this is going on!

Please help me this is ruining my family because of the chronic pain I'm in, I'm only 29 and this hz affected my whole lifestyle, I really do feel there's a cover up somewhere.


Joshua Comments:

Hi Anonymous.

Sorry to hear that.

While it technically -is- those things, doctors tend not to ask WHY those things (like torticollis )show up.

You're not mad. You're stuck in a pain dynamic.

1. Where exactly was the shot given? High on the shoulder, or lower down?

2. What have you done so far to try to clear the symptoms?

Apr 04, 2012
what a nightmare
by: Anonymous

At this point in time I honestly can't comment due to litigation.I did have surgery with major problems still going on.Maybe I'll explain this THING if I'm allowed to!get my drift? Thank you


Joshua Comments:

If your drift is that you're currently in litigation against somebody/someplace that gave you a flu shot that resulted in pain and problem, then I get your drift.

If not, then I totally do not get your drift.

Jun 12, 2012
Calcific tendonitis where I had my Flu Shot
by: Bredna

I had a flu shot in my left deltoid area and now have calcific tendonitis in that area. The ortho m.d told me it was very strange that a hunk of calcium formed in that area of my shoulder, the calcium usually forms on the top of the shoulder. I saw my xray and I swear that this is the area of my flu shot or pretty darn close.

I had an xray of this same shoulder 1 year prior and the calcium was NOT there at that time. It's very painful and I have limited range of motion. They want to do arthroscopic surgery.

What are your thought?


Joshua Comments:

Hi Bredna (Brenda?).

My thoughts are:

1. The calcific tendonitis may or may not be related but

2. It makes sense that one way the body deals with irritant/invader is to encapsulate. This can look like encircling the area with a connective tissue, or express calcium into the area.

Calcification isn't all that common response to irritant, but the body does all sorts of weird things.

Also, the body expresses calcium when it's short on magnesium. See: Magnesium for Tendonitis

And rub transdermal magnesium gel on the area and see what happens.

What -exactly- would they do with arthroscopic surgery? I'm curious how they think that's going to help.

Remove the tendon? Scrape layers off the tendon? etc. What exactly would they do that they think would fix this problem?

Jun 14, 2012
by: Anita

The same exact thing happened to me. I got the flu shot and the pneumo shot and now all of a sudden I have tendinitis on both of my arms where the shot was injected in the wrong spot causing the worse pain ever and now I am still in pain almost 9 months later.

I am on an RX NABUMETONE twice per day and now physical therapy twice a week for 6 weeks starting next week. I told my PCP it was from the shot but he refuses to think it is related.

I know my body enough to know that this was from the shots that were done INCORRECTLY. I am at work as we speak with a heat pad on my arms/shoulders.


Joshua Comments:

Ahhh....doctors in all their great and infallible wisdom.....

Jun 22, 2012
Calcific Tendonitis and want to avoid surgery
by: Brenda

Hi Josh!
(yep it is Brenda not Bredna)

The ortho m.d wants to do arthroscopy on my shoulder to remove the calcium. I am putting this off for as long as possible hoping that the pain will disappear. I have to have an MRI first to make sure nothing else is going on with my shoulder.

Being an xray tech I know that an MRI is usually ordered for rotator cuff problems but I'm concerned that the pain may persist (or worsen) even after the calcium is removed.

What's your opinion?


Joshua Comments:

Hi Brenda.

My opinion is that doctors attack symptoms and never ask WHY you're having any particular problem.

Ortho M.D.'s recommend surgery because surgery is what Ortho M.D.'s do.

Having said that, sometimes surgery is helpful and even necessary.

Is it possible that you'll still have pain/problem after surgery? Yes. Plus, surgery causes an injury.

Is it possible that calcium etc will return after surgery? Yes, as none of the factors that caused it to be expressed in the first place have been taken care of.

Is your shoulder being compressed by too tight muscles and connective tissue and that's irritating the joint/structures? Yes.

Jul 25, 2012
by: Anita

I am suffering from severe tendonitis on both shoulders when the nurse did not hit the right place causing a week of pain that was so severe I could not even slightly lift my arms.

Unfortnately I got one side flu shot and other side Pneumo shot and both places were hit in the wrong spot. Now almost 1 year later the pain in my shoulders is unbearable. Can we sue someone for this neglegence and long term affect this has caused us?


Joshua Comments:

Hi Anita.

Sure you can sue. How far you get with that is questionable, as the hospital was operating within 'standard of care', and you'll have a hard time 'proving' that the shots are the cause of your pain.

That's not good news, but it's just a tough one to do anything about, legally.

Which is a shame, because LOTS of people are hurt by hospital medicine...with little to no recourse.

Jul 26, 2012
Response to Anita
by: Deb

Hi Anita. I just want to say, hang in there. So far I haven't heard from anyone who's pain lasted as long as mine did which was 1.5 years. Anti-inflamatorys helped but I am not a pill taker. Using the arm as little as possible helped (only one arm for me-two arms would be difficult) but I did have residual muscle weakness from disuse.

It does get better. At around the 1 year mark the pain started easing and 6 months later I was back to normal.

Sep 09, 2012
Shoulder pain for over a week from the flu shot a week ago
by: Stephanie

Glad to know I'm not the only one with this problem! I received the flu shot a week ago and it even hurts when I walk (from the swinging motion that occurs with your arms).

I wake up in the middle of the night with pain (which has gotten a little better). The sad thing is that it was my decision to get it and I chose to get it at Rite Aid by a pharmacist to save money instead of going to my doctors office.

I didn't know giving a shot could cause such lasting pain. It seems so simple and I had gone to the same location (different pharmacist) last year. I do think he inserted the needle too high on my arm-especially after reading the comments on this page.

Thanks for all of you who have posted-I will ice and stay hydrated! Hope you all are beyond the pain!

Oct 10, 2012
Pain from flu shot?
by: Anonymous


I am currently having the same/or similar problems as other posters on this forum.

I am 33 weeks pregnant, and also have a seventeen month old toddler. 2 days ago I received a flu shot at my ob/gyn visit. I did not have pain when the shot was injected, just the normal little prick. I received the shot around 2 pm and by evening my upper arm was sore, but wrote it off to the usual mussel soreness after a shot. However, by the time I went to bed, the pain had increased and was throbbing. By yesterday morning the pain was radiating down to my elbow, and by early afternoon my wrist/hand started to ache and tingle. By early evening, it had changed from a slight ache and tingling to an all out pain. I could no longer hold onto/ or pick things up well, and the radiating pain had moved up my shoulder, and into the very high upper left side of my chest (front shoulder area) as well as into my upper back/neck area. Last night when putting my 17 month old to bed, I nearly dropped him, as I could not hold onto him, and his weight intensified the pain.

I am going to call my doctor this morning, and make an appointment to see him. However, I fully anticipate everyone thinking I'm crazy. I have had many flu shots, and have had some kind of problem/sickness from nearly all of tthem. If I hadn't been pregnant, I would not hahve received this one. Every year when I've had a shot, and gotten sick, the doctors insist that it has nothing to do with the shot.

This morning as I sit here and type, it is quite difficult. I am not slow at typing, and it has taken me quite some time to type this out.

I am 33 years old, and prior to the flu shot had no pain. I have been diagnosed in the past with mild carpal tunnel syndrome, and slight tendonitis in my wrist. For 7 years now, I have been able to keep that at bay with wrist splints and hand exercises, only as needed, which wasn't often. I haven't had pain/problems from that for quite some time. Aside from that, I am healthy. I have not ever had any shoulder pain, and typically have a high pain tolerance. This is much worse than any pain or discomfort I have ever experienced from the carpal tunnel/tendonitis.

Any advice, or information I can share with the doctor when I go see him? I personally do not see how this could not be related to the shot, as I did not have these problems prior to the shot , and the pain is radiating from the location of the shot.

Being pregnant there is little to no help as far as relief. I won't take anything other than a couple of Tylenol, and that doesn't touch it. I took tylenol about an hour ago, and my pain level on a 1-10 scale is about a 7-8. I am using cold compresses, and warm compresses, alternating. That seems to help provide some relief. I pray that this, what ever it is, does not last long. If it is already this much of a challenge 2 days into this, I can't imagine what living with this will be like with a newborn, and what challenges await me there because of this.

Oct 26, 2012
Pain and Radiating Pain 1 year later after flue shot
by: Anita

Here we go, almost 1 year later and I am still having the worst pains, more so on my left shoulder than the right one. I have had Therapy, twice a week, MRI's, X-rays and pain meds and I truly cannot afford all these costs.. not to mention still in pain. Now radiating from one shoulder blade to the other and down to almost my elbows.

Oct 26, 2012
Flu shot 4 weeks ago into shoulder tendon
by: Anonymous

I received my flu shot about 4 weeks ago. When the nurse stuck my arm, I could feel a burning feeling going down to my wrist and hand. She kept the needle in an excessively long time. When I inquired as to why she was not taking the needle out, she commented "oooohhh sorry." She then told me that I did not have enough fat on my arm. I don't think that should make any difference.

My arm immediately hurt and has continued to hurt. After about two weeks, I went to my doctor and she told me that the shot was administered into my tendon. She put me on 12 days of steroid therapy which did help.

However, as soon as the steroids were done and I used my arm too much at work, it all came back. I am now in more pain than I was originally.

I may have to take a leave of absence from my job in order to rest this and let it heal. I am now hearing that it could take 6 months to a year though. This is so frustrating.

Oct 31, 2012
I felt your pain, flu shot too high on the arm
by: Deb

To the recent posters, please post where on your arm the shot was administerred. In my research I have found that it isn't what is in the injection but where they inject you that causes this problem, too high on the arm and/or too far back.

It took me 1.5 years to recover from an improperly administerred injection and was often in pain that would bring me to tears. On a scale of 1-10 I would give it a 10 when I used my arm, and a 5 when I babied it. No therapies or treatments helped for long. Only time healed. So save your money.

As my company now requires the employees to get the flu shot annually, I have received it the past two years in a row without any sideeffects. I am sure to discuss with the nurse before receiving the injection on the proper placement of the needle and have had her show me exactly where she would inject me before allowing her to do so, upon my approval.

I also have it done on my right arm even though I am right handed as I suffered for too long after getting it in the left 4 years ago. I am not taking any chances.

So, I do believe that each of you will respond to this post to say that it was injected high or too far back on the shoulder as opposed to the triangle of the Deltoid muscle.

Please let me know. Thanks and may you be well soon.


Joshua Comments:

"I am sure to discuss with the nurse before receiving the injection on the proper placement of the needle and have had her show me exactly where she would inject me before allowing her to do so, upon my approval."

That's super smart Deb! I highly recommend that everyone take higher levels of responsibility for their health and health care.

Nov 06, 2012
Flu shot high on the shoulder in the joint
by: john

I just had a flu shot on October 17th by a nurse at work. The nurse put the shot very high on my left shoulder, basically in the shoulder joint (rotator cuff?). It hurt immediately and I was rubbing and massaging it all day. 3 weeks later I still have pain in the shoulder that varies day to day, but is pretty painful most of the time. It hurts to put on a shirt, and pretty much any position I lay in at night it's more sore in the morning than it was when I went to bed.

I now lay on my right side with a pillow under my left arm so it doesn't hang down too far and strain the joint. It hurts through my shoulder radiating out to my shoulder blade and down the back of my arm. I work in a kitchen and have had to rethink most of what I do. It even hurts to tear off a piece of plastic wrap. It doesn't take a lot of effort to do this, it seems to be just the wrong position.

I take 2 ibuprofen both morning and night and ice it twice a day, not doing a lot of good though. Going to see a doctor next week.

Nov 07, 2012
BREAKTHROUGH 1 year later after flu shot in wrong location
by: Anita

THERE IS HOPE!! Almost 1 Year to the date I am finally feeling better, not 100% but a lot better.

My advise to anyone dealing with this agonizing pain is; save your money on co-pays and therapy and Doctor visits and just alternate heat and ice, refrain from arm lifting activities, ie carrying groceries to even working out; just for several months.

What made the world of difference for me was Ibuprofen 800 mg every 8 hours on those bad days and just once a day on the okay days. I am still, without a shadow of a doubt know that it was from where the location of the shot was administered and not the injection itself.

Nov 08, 2012
Save your money on treatments and therapies
by: Deb

Anita, so glad you are feeling better! It is just as I have been saying, therapies, surgeries, prescription drugs, etc. do not help other than giving temporary relief. Save your money! Only time will heal.

I can't tell you how many times I went to do something and the shock of pain nearly dropped me to my knees and brought tears to my eyes. Simple things like opening a package, reaching for something, trying to put a shirt on or off, fastening and unfastening my bra was neerly impossible. I walked around with my hand in my pocket so I would be less inclined to use that arm without thinking first.

Again, my pain was hard for the first year and then miraculously lessened over the next six months. I was left with residual weakness in the arm from disuse and had to concentrate on building up the muscles again.

If I summarized all my research and personal experience I would simply offer this advice:

#1-Make sure when you get the flu shot it is administered correctly into the deltoid muscle. Not high, not too far back. (Think of the meaty party of your upper arm) Do not allow them to inject you until they have pinpointed the area they will be injecting and you have approved it.

2-If it doesn't feel right, it is probably wrong. (The pain started immediatly during the injection. It felt to me like my shoulder was ripping apart from the inside outwards)

3-If you find yourself in pain that lasts more than a few hours, don't waste your, money on specialists, copays, prescription medications, MRI's, physical therapy, etc. They will not help and in fact you may have increased pain after rebound.

4-Immobilize your arm the best you can as it seems that the more you use it the worse it gets. Think of a cut on your hand. If every day as it started healing over you took both sides of the cut and pulled it apart, it would take forever to heal. Each time you have that shock of immoilizing pain you are in essense, reopening the wound.

5-It does go away. Hopefully for each of you, sooner than later.

Nov 09, 2012
Pain in shoulders & arms after flu shot
by: Anonymous

I have taken the flu shot every year for as long as I can remember (At least 20 years). This year began as nothing out of the ordinary. I was given the shot and experienced no pain at the injection point at the time it was administered.

The next day I was very tired and began to experience pain in my left shoulder and upper arm, just above the bicep, above the injection site. Two days later I began to experience that same pain on the other side of my body.

It was a very chronic and dull aching pain. Stretching did nothing to help it, and neither aspirin or Tylenol had an effect on it. My back also ached but not as bad as my arms.

That was October 2, 2012. Today is November 9, 2012, and the pain still persists, though it now eases off at times, and has become much more manageable. When the pain began, I immediately tried an assortment of things. I stretched, rotated my shoulders (when I could lift my arms above my head), and limited physical exercise to those areas.

About two weeks ago I decided I would step things up, as the doctor felt the shot had nothing to do with what I was experiencing, and could find nothing physically wrong with me after X-Rays and an MRI, but the pain was still just as bad as the first day after the shot.

I began to consume a gallon of water each day. Also, I began taking a multi-vitamin, and juicing like there was no tomorrow. I combined bananas and blueberries with unsweetened yogurt and ice to make a 10oz. drink each morning. To this I added two tablespoons of Chia seeds, as I was told by a friend who believes in natural healing, that it might help because of the strong concentration of Omega-3 in the seeds.

I also decided to sleep slightly elevated (which took me about a week to get used to). I incorporated 30 minute, fairly rigorous walks, into each day, though the movement required of my arms initially was very painful.

I pushed through it, and today my pain is nearly gone, though I still feel that dull ache in each arm. Since it has only been two weeks, I feel I am on the right track. I cannot say whether one, or all of the things I have done has assisted in the healing process, but for me, they seem to be working. Maybe this will help someone else. I hope so. Good luck to anyone reading this!

I know your pain is real. I believe it because I have had it, and I was not one before this, to believe that a flu shot could ever harm an individual. I was wrong.


Joshua Comments:

It only takes once....

So as the last few comments, there's a variety of symptoms available.

Some correlate more to a needle jab in a connective tissue/joint tissue/bone and periostium, some more to the not-healthy ingredients of flu shots.

Time might work, but personally I'm a fan of loading up on self care to help your body make it go away quicker.

Nov 11, 2012
2012 flu shot
by: Anonymous

I have not received the flu shot yearly because of the consequences, however I decided to receive the shot by an RN at my workplace. She gave it very high in my left deltoid….moments later, returning to my office, I started feeling stiffness in my left neck to where I could not turn my head left to right. I have no health issues that would contribute to this. I went to my acupuncturist who I see weekly and she massaged the stiffness in my neck after initial therapy…..the next day I came down with chills, shakiness, body aches, nausea and just feeling crummy to the point I have had to call in to work x two days now. My neck is still sore and she offers that I will need a couple more sessions to resolve the stiffness. I am a nurse so I am familiar with issues involving flu shots, however nurse who gave me shot tends to disregard the complexity of possible side effects only admitting to "normal" side effects. I am not happy as I have lost 2-3 days now of work from this vaccination.

Nov 11, 2012
2012 flu shot
by: Anonymous

Addendum…..not sure if I offered that I think the RN, giving the injection high up in my left deltoid caught a nerve, causing my neck pain then the obvious consequences…..thankyou.

Nov 22, 2012
Shoulder Injury from flu shot
by: gsears

I got the flu shot 10/2/2012, it was given very high up in my arm and the nurse broke the first vile in my arm and left the needle hanging in there while she loaded another vile. I have been in incredible pain, especially at night. Dressing etc. is painful, I cannot lift my child and daily chores that should be simple are causing me pain.
Two other employees at the hospital I work at have had similar symptoms, but not to the extent I have had.

The nurse who gave me the shot also administers our workers comp claims, mine was denied yesterday. No surprise really she denies doing anything inappropriate. I have had an x-ray and at least 7 Physical Therapy sessions, which it seems I will now have to pay for myself. They PT has helped some, especially the ultrasound treatments, which give immediate relief, but I don`t think any one believes the shot caused this. I find this one of the most frustrating aspects of this whole situation.

I filed a report with VAERS but feel I have no other recourse. I will never see the doctor again because of his dismissal of the cause, and I am angry at the nurse for her flippant response of "suck it up"

I think you all know the pain is real, my family do, I am most hurt by the responses from supposed professionals in my very small town

Dec 01, 2012
Flu Shot pain one year after injection
by: Victoria Johnson

I received a flu shot 10/12/11. It was given by a pharmacist. WHen he was injecting the medicine he said he couldn't get the medicine to go in and kind of gave a nervous laugh.

He didn't give it to me in the normal area a flu shot is given. He have it to me high up on my arm and towards my back. I started having pain in my arm and shoulder the day after.

The 1st few weeks when I would get out of bed I would have to slide out sideways and hold my elbow shoulder level. I can't fasten my bra, can hold my arm straight up but can't move it backwards. I have received flu shots for the last 25 years and never had a problem not even sore around the area the shot was given.

I have contacted Rite-Aids insurance company about paying my medical bills but since I signed a release form prior to my vaccine they are sticking to the release form. I have been to my internal medicine doctor and he have me a muscle relaxer and sent me to a neurologist she gave me something called Gabapentin 300 mg. That didn't help so then I go to an orthopedic dr. He took x-rays said he didn't see anything torn. But he gave me a cortisone shot. shortly after that I had no pain. WOnderful.

But that wore off and the pain is back. did that all over again. Now I've got my actual x-rays and going to see a dr. at Duke Hospital this coming week. I may be facing surgery because someone didn't know how to give a shot.

I should have known better to go to a pharmacist. Needless to say.. not getting another flu shot. Has anyone else had this problem or anything similar.

Please let me know if anyone has had problems this severe and for this long period of time. I would like to know the outcome.

Dec 03, 2012
My Pain After H1N1 shot
by: Anonymous

I'm glad I came across this link because I received the H1N1 shot at work when it was first manufactured, and shortly afterwards, I felt light headed and out of sorts, and although that went away by the next day, the pain in my shoulder area persisted for many, many months (nearly a year). It was hard to lift my arm. Within a couple of weeks, I went to my doctor's office and received the regular flu shot for that season in my other arm, and had no reaction whatsoever. Since then, I have been afraid to get the flu shot, because they've been including the H1N1 vaccine in the seasonal shot every year now. If per chance it all had to do with the location of the injection site, then perhaps I'll be okay if I have it again. But, I'm still pretty nervous about it. (By the way, another co-worker had the same reaction.)


Joshua Comments:

I think it's a bit optimistic to go with that it's ONLY the location of the injection that can cause issues.

There's too much evidence of other issues with contaminants and toxic ingredients.

Dec 04, 2012
frozen shoulder for a year
by: debinks

Two years ago I got my flu shot as I always do. It seemed the injection was given particularly high into my shoulder...within a week I started having joint pain and began to have decreased motion. This lasted for nearly a year.

It did eventually subside, but I did start seeing a chiropractor to help with the loosening process. My family physician wanted me to have an MRI and see a specialist, then therapy eventually. The exercises would have been the same as I received from the chiropractor and it was a lot less expensive.

I haven't gotten a flu shot since, but really don't believe it was a coincidence. I read to many others with the same coincidence...

Jan 25, 2013
Me too
by: Anonymous

I received the flu shot after a little battle with my doctor back in Sept when I said I didn't want it. She convinced me into doing it since I thought what could happen... boy was I wrong. I've always been very healthy, and I didn't really need the shot. The nurse practicioner administered the shot. It hurt a lot more than most and she administered the shot pretty high up and in a strange location compared to most shots I've ever received.

The pain in my right shoulder started getting worse as the days passed by. I asked my doctor about it, and she said it shouldn't be the shot that caused the issue. She said it would go away. Of course, it didn't. It got to the point that I could barely move my arm without excruciating pain. I couldn't pick up my 3 y/o daughter, change shirts by myself (single mom here!), and I could barely even drive at that point.

I went to my doctor demanding that it was the shot. She determined that it was an abnormal reaction that my body had to the shot that caused tendonitis. It sounds like a good way to protect themselves by passing it off on my body and not their poor practices. I've never had a reaction to anything, and I am very health at 28.

However, I'm finally just about pain free after 5 very painful months. I had to stop working out, playing around like I did with my daughter and take things nice and slow. To think that doctors and society keep pushing the flu shot like they do is crazy to me. The stuff in the shot is not good for you. It may help a few people that may need it, but it's not for everyone. Please do your research. I wish I stood my ground with my doctor.

And I guarantee that I WILL NOT let my daughter get the shot. Getting sick can be good for some people. It builds up immunities, and the shot only helps prevent certain strains of sickness. So many people think they won't even get the cold if they get the flu shot. Please do your research!


Joshua Comments:

Yeah, isn't it great how it's all your fault, and never the doctor's?

Glad you're feeling better.

Feb 04, 2013
pain from flu shot high on the arm
by: Anonymous

I have the same problem that I have read about from about 3 dozen people who took the flu shots. They have all stated their shots were not given in the right area and I noticed at the time she gave me the shot that it was awfully high upon my arm, almost my shoulder and I remarked to several people the next day about that and then it was almost a month that the pain started and it is bad.

It is strange that so many state the same pain and experience after the flu shot. I didn't know that until I looked it up and wow so many are having this pain.

There was blood on my arm when she finished and I have never had that happen before.

Feb 12, 2013
long term pain after H1N1 flu shot
by: julie cowan

when I got my flu shot this yr.the nurse put the neddle in my arm really hard. That night and days later my arm had a deep aching feeling down my bicept and into my elbow.Then it started going all the way down my arm and into my rist, now if I exert the use of my arms at all, it hurts, and it starts right at the place she put the needle in. Please tell me why and what I can do, I am an active person and need full capasity. thank you


Joshua Comments:

Hi Julie.

Read the thread, and then reply with whether you feel like it's an issue of WHERE the injection was given, or more of a body response to ingredients in the shot. Or both.

Feb 13, 2013
Trivalent Flu Shot Pain and nerve damage
by: Anonymous

I got the Trivalent Flu vaccine in October. I too thought at first it was the way the shot was given, high up in my right deltoid. I also had the misfortune of the plunger breaking in my arm, causing additional pain, so I was sure it was the way the shot had been administered.

Months later my arm is still useless, the pain did not lessen and I have very limited use.

What I wanted to tell all of you is that this was caused by the vaccine. I have major nerve damage caused by an auto immune reaction to it. I have spent a small fortune to get a diagnosis, which included Physical Therapy, X-Rays, MRI and an EMG, which is a nerve study. It was the nerve study that confirmed the damage. I have seen a primary care physician, an Orthopedist and a Neurologist. They all feel this was caused by the vaccine.

I had no prior injury to this arm/shoulder, but now face a long recovery.

I have been prescribed nerve blocking medications to help with the acute stabbing pain many of you have also experienced. It does help some, although the burning, prickly pain has not stopped. I am able to sleep better, mainly because the meds knock me out, but I am grateful for the sleep.

Many of the symptoms described on here are the same as mine, and I am happy to hear some of you are feeling better. I don`t really have advice on how to proceed with your own personal medical situation, but I can tell you, I will never have another flu shot again!

Feb 16, 2013
Received Flu Shot...Now Arm Is Incredibly Painful
by: Reed

About a month ago I received this year's flu shot from my physician's nurse. Two days later I had absolutely no strength in my left arm, and incredible pain localized to the very spot where the needle went in. I know this because I had forgotten to take off the small band-aid and it was right there. I went to see the doctor, who put me on an 8-day regimen of prednisone. It worked like a charm...but when the regimen was done, the pain came back. Now I can hardly lift my arm at all, and it was in perfect shape at the time of the flu shot, because it was administered at the end of my annual physical, where the doctor performed a strength test. The doctor doesn't seem to want to get too involved, probably because of liability fears. question is, will this eventually go away, or must I live in great pain -- and very little use of my left arm -- for the rest of my life?


Joshua Comments:

From reading all through this thread, it looks like pain/problem goes away eventually. Less than a year, more than a way to predict.

Doing what's suggested in this thread should speed things up.

Feb 19, 2013
bad reaction from flu shot at Walgreens
by: Anonymous

Had my shot on 9/21/2012. At a Walgreens...Painful injection which was unusual for me. Increased with everyday, intense at night and morning extremely painful. I am a hairstylist so I had to use my arm with intense pain. I discovered the only relief came from massage but it comes back. all my symptoms range like the others posted. I will try magnessium.

Apr 13, 2013
Left Shoulder Pain after Flu Shot Administration
by: Mike B.

Well, I'm amazed at how many other people have been suffering from the exact same symptoms that I have suffered from, and from what appears to be the same cause - a badly administered flu shot or the flu shot itself.

I received the Flu Shot on 10/13/2013 from a medical clinic worker at work. I was sitting in a chair and he was standing above me. I rolled up my left sleeve and when I felt the prick, I could not believe how high up on my left shoulder he did the injection. It was nowhere close to my deltoid, but way up my arm at the back of the shoulder joint. I live/work predominantly overseas and have had tons of injections, and have never/ever had a shot that high or a shot that hurt that much.

I instantly walked back to the office and showed some co-workers my band-aid and location of the injection on my shoulder. All were surprised. I thought no big deal - the pain will subside.

I'm 35 years old and consider myself in good shape. I had been working out for months with zero issues/problems. I had never once in my life had any kind of shoulder soreness or pain. Luckily for me, I don't have the same degree of pain as other users, but I have a very consistent dead shoulder/dead upper left arm sensation. I can feel it 24/7. It is now April 14th and I can not escape the sensation. I have been on motrin, icing, rest, stretching, re-hab exercises, etc, but nothing has helped it go away.

The icing and meds help it not hurt as much. I get sore driving and doing virtually anything with my left arm, which has been tremendously frustrating for the work-out routine.

I'm exactly six months in and it feels exactly the same and is entirely frustrating. The medical community has not wanted to believe that it was caused from the flu shot, but there is absolutely NO DOUBT in my mind that it came from the shot.

I have been researching as much as I can and ran across this site with all of the comments. Everyone's stories ring true to me. It's frustrating that there doesn't appear to be much that one can do to get over this. I pray and hope that like everyone else that it will dissapear eventually. I never realized how essential the shoulder was to everything in the upper body.

Here's wishing each of you the best of luck as I know exactly what you are going through.

Yours in the struggle...Mike

Apr 13, 2013
flu shot pain 6 months later starting to get much better
by: Anonymous

I am back. Was on here a couple of months ago with my experience of pain from the flu shot. I agree about the shot being given too high up on the arm. I came home from the dr office and complained to several friends about how high up on my arm it was given to me. You won't get too many drs to agree that the shot or the way it was given is what caused our pain. I just want to say that it has been six months since my pain started but now seems to be getting much better.

Will report to you later. Hope everyone gets over their pain soon.


Joshua Comments:

Thanks for the follow up.

For anybody that got a shot 'high on the shoulder', do you have a sense that the needle hit anything other than muscle?

As in, did the needle hit something solid? Ligament or tendon or the hard lining of the joint capsule?

Apr 13, 2013
flu shot pain 6 months later starting to get much better
by: Anonymous

as for me, there was no pain at the time. I felt nothing really but have gotten flu shots before and never had any of them so high up on my arm. It was almost at the top of the shoulder

Apr 14, 2013
Left Shoulder Pain after Flu Shot Administration
by: Mike B.

Joshua: I can't definitively say I remember the shot hitting anything hard such as a tendon or ligament, but I remember the actual injection hurting my shoulder area. It was one of the most painful injections that I have had. At times my pain feels muscular/tendon related and at other times it almost feels like nerve damage. Yet on other days it feels like bursitis. My shoulder has just felt heavy, numb, and irritated for six straight months.

There has not been one single day that has passed where I have not had the sensation. The majority of my pain is focused in the immediate area of where I had the injection.

Apr 14, 2013
by: Anonymous

In reference to Mike B, I am guessing you have nerve damage caused by the vaccine and not the actual injection. There is a neuro toxin in the flu shot, and some people (like me and possibly you) have a reaction to it and our bodies attack our own nervous system in response. The damage is concentrated in the Brachial Plexis.

Research "Parsonage Turner Syndrome" which was my diagnosis. I now take a nerve blocker at quite a high dose and it helps. I still feel pain and my arm still feels heavy and numb, but I can function. Getting the right diagnosis is the key.

I hope you feel better soon, but if not, please talk to your doctor about the possibility of trying the nerve blocker.

Apr 15, 2013
Update from 2011 flu shot shoulder pain still
by: Anita

Update- Around November 2011 I got the flu shot. Now April 2013 I still feel as if there are shars of glass in my should that cut inside when I move my arm. This doesnt always happen but unfortunatly the pain is STILL there. I have resulted at this point to see an Orthopedic surgeon. recently I had to get a few shots for other reasons and REFUSED to have any needles go near my arm so ended up getting it in my bottom. Still in pain, unfortunately. (sign......)

Apr 15, 2013
Flu Shot Injection Site Filled Up Like A Balloon
by: Deb Schaller

My injection was above the deltoid and to the rear. Although it did not feel like it hit anything hard, it did feel like they had inflated a balloon inside my shoulder joint which felt like it expanded to the point like it was going to "POP" as they injected the serum.

It felt like everything was ripped apart from the inside out as it was administered. So much so that my eyes actually rolled back in my head from the pain.


Joshua Comments:


May 05, 2013
Hell for years and on permanent disability from the flu shot
by: Pat

I can't believe I have finally found you! I am a nurse (or should say was a nurse) and had a severe autoimmune response to my flu shot in October 2006. Severe pain, no relief. My right eye turned in an stuck that way. Had to have surgery to help adjust it. My BP shot from 117/78 to 224/120. Pain traveled throughout my body. Bladder spasms, esophageal spasms. Finally, put hospitalized for 9 days and tested for everything. Multiple spinal taps, CT scans, MRIs, etc., I was put on IV steroids. Never have really had a diagnosis, except the autoimmune response. Over time, I developed lesions on my brain. It has been hell. I am on permanent disability due to this. You can't help me but I want to stop someone from ending up like me.
The push for everyone to have a flu shot makes me so angry. $$$ is all they care about. Certainly not you or me.

Thanks for letting me finally vent to someone who understands.

May 16, 2013
Complications from Tetanus/Whooping Cough vaccine
by: Heather C

I have been reading all of the posts and I am experiencing the same issues. I am a very healthy, active 48yr old female. I have never had problems with my shoulder/arm.

Due to a baseball injury on my right hand I needed stitches and as a result was given a Tetanus/Whooping Cough vaccine in my left arm. It was administered high in my shoulder and my shoulder muscle ached/burned when the needle went in. The next day I couldn't move my arm, the left side of my face was tender and my upper and lower gums on the left side were all inflamed. 2 weeks later I still have difficulty lifting my left arm above my shoulder and it hurts to cross it behind or in front of my body, it also aches at night. The pain radiates from the front of my shoulder down my bicep and depending on what I do the pain ranges from 2-5 resting to 7-10 when using it and the more I use it the more it aches.

The inflammation in my gums has gone down but there is still infection in my lower gums. I know I am fighting some kind of infections as I am also exhausted. Went to emerg 1 week after the shot and they said to give it another week and it should feel fine but no such luck. Will be making an appt to see my doctor. In the meantime I will continue my Omega 3 oil, curcumin and probiotics and will administer ice and start "squeezing".

Right now, reading all of these posts, I am angry. Like many of you I have been very diligent in eating properly and living a healthy, active lifestyle to avoid or prolong the onset of arthritis, tendonitis, etc.. yet all it took was one needle.

Oct 21, 2013
Pain in arm lasted for 6 months
by: Mike O

I got my shot in October 2012 and the shot was unusually painful. I also noticed that it was given abnormally higher and further back than what I was used to. Within hours, I was unable to raise my arm above my shoulder or cross it in front of my body. Tasks like taking off a t-shirt were very difficult.

I did all the recommended stuff (massaging, ice, heat, not using it, Tylenol, etc.) but nothing helped for any length of time. After about 4 months, the pain was down about 50%. After about 6 months most of the pain was gone to the point where I could ignore it and do what I used to.

I also completed the information for VAERS (Vaccine adverse Event Reporting System) on the CDC's website. I'm not sure why since I'm not expecting it to be used to inform the public about this problem.

There's no question in my mind that the shot caused the problem. The question seems to be...
Is it the location of the shot or the ingredients that comprise the injection. Because I've been getting the flu shot every year for many years, I find it difficult to believe that I just "all of a sudden" became allergic to what's in it.

I was going to skip the flu shot this year (or maybe get the flumist - but it's not recommended on the CDCs website since I'm over 49). However, in the name of science, I'm going to get the flu shot again this year. But, I'm going to go where they have smaller needles (apparently, they recommend 1-1.5 inch needles for adults in general and a 5/8 inch needle for adults who weigh less than 132lbs). But I'm going to go to CVS and get the intradermal needle (3/50 inch) - less antigen too.

If the problem was caused by the ingredients, I would expect to have the same symptoms this year as I did last year. If I don't have a problem this year, then I think it's safe to assume that it was improper administration of the injection (AKA nurse screwed up) that caused my issue and not some adverse reaction to the ingredients.

I will post a follow up once the results are in.


Joshua Comments:

Definitely let us know how it goes.

Various related thoughts on various related topics:

1. allergies can develop over time. If it was an allergy thing, it wouldn't be 'all of a sudden'. It would just be that you body has built up a respons that wasn't big enough until now to trigger.

2. Vaccines have heavy metals and contaminants in them, and other foreign bodies. Again, the body builds up a response, or for whatever reason one's immune system isn't up to the task so a big reactive response gets triggered, even to things that were 'fine' before.

3. If the needle hits the joint capsule or ligament, that can trigger a big 'injury' response. It doesn't makes sense that it would cause months of the symptoms you and others describe, but it's a common theme: 'to high/far back and couldn't lift my arm for months...'

We'll keep gathering people's stories/experiences and get it figured out eventually.

Feb 03, 2014
My Last Flu Shot Left Me Feeble
by: Anonymous

Flu shot in my left shoulder over a week ago, soon followed by a deep dull pain running from the left center of my chest, to my left shoulder and down my left arm.

With rest it seems to be subsiding and is now only an intense dull pain from the upper back of my left shoulder to the rear of my left elbow, and much less intense down to my wrist, all of which is aggravated most by lifting fairly light objects and simply moving my left arm after resting it in one postion for a short period of time.

And my "Submit Comment" word is: feeble

No more flu shots for me.

Nov 22, 2014
Got the flu shot. What have I done?!
by: Kristin

I'm terrified! I'm having the exact same symptoms-- they started a few hours ago -- about 24 hours after getting a flu shot!!!! I have horrible, constant, radiating pain from the base of my neck down to the bottom of my shoulder blade (basically the middle of my back) all on the right side, which is where I was administered the shot-- right top of shoulder

Dec 05, 2014
Flu Vaccine Nightmare, surgery and SIRVA lawsuit
by: Diana

I am a registered nurse. Flu vaccine administration is not as easy as just pulling out a needle and sticking someone with it. It involves knowing the medication you're giving, how deep it needs to go, and gauging the needle size based on your patient's body.

I left a Walgreens pharmacist give mine in October 2013. I knew immediately that it was too high. I did not know all the problems that could result from it though. As of today, I've been given oral steroids, two steroid shots in the shoulder, physical therapy, and surgery.

I still, almost 6 full months after surgery, have the same pain I started with.

I have filed a lawsuit with the national vaccine injury compensation program. And despite my very clear concise documentation of my flu shot injury, they are denying fault because I was in a rear end car accident almost two years before the flu shot, which resulted in whip lash and I complained of shoulder pain.

I'm being told that it wasn't the flu shot, but a pre-existing condition. I had not seen a doctor in a year for the shoulder pain.

I strongly advise anyone who feels they have been injured by vaccine to go to the doctor as soon as possible and make sure it is very well documented what happened.

Be persistent. Many doctors will push you off and say they haven't heard about this type thing. It's very real. It's called a SIRVA injury - shoulder injury related to vaccine administration.

File a lawsuit if the pain persists for 6 months. The government takes a portion of every vaccine paid for in order to compensate those who have been hurt.

Know your rights. After everything I've been through, I plan to dedicate much of my time to making everyone aware of the risks and what they are entitled to of they are injured.

Too many people get hurt every year and don't know there is a compensation program.


Joshua Comments:

Hi Diana.

I'm sorry to hear all that.

What exactly did they do surgery on?

I definitely agree that more documentation and lawsuits need to happen. It's tough when doctors refuse to concede the possibility that their drugs/injections/pills/etc can possibly cause harm, even though some of those have black box warning labels and gov't programs that collect funds to pay off legal claims.

Thanks for sharing, come back any time!

SIRVA - Shoulder Injury Related to Vaccine Administration

That's a very obscure term hardly anybody's heard of, but more people definitely should.

Dec 09, 2014
In response to Diana
by: Anonymous

I am so sorry you have been through so much. I am two years post injection and just this morning I woke with intense pain in my shoulder.

It is no longer daily, but it is still debilitating. I have a claim pending, being handled by a reputable law firm, which should be settled in the next 6 months.

I was very lucky and was treated by a Neurologist who had seen my symptoms before and knew the cause and documented it as such, as did the Orthopedist who treated me.

It infuriates me that your claim was denied, they know exactly what the vaccine is capable of, and your injury is one of the known causes.

Good luck.

Dec 09, 2014
Injection Into Joint too high on the shoulder
by: Elle

I received the flu vaccine at our local Walgreens. Like the rest sharing their experiences here, she gave the shot far up the arm.

For me, it stung, as one might expect if you receive a shot into a tight muscle -- only I was relaxed.

My twenty year old, also, received the flu vaccine in like manner. My fourteen year old received hers from the same pharmacist, only hers was given slightly lower. A short time later, my twenty year old and I began to have pain and stiffness in that shoulder. (It absolutely was from The flu vaccine and the proximity of the injection site in relationship to the joint! There is no doubt. The fourteen year old who received the injection lower on the arm had no issues at all.)

The pain increased up to day three; thereafter, it has continued to hurt at the same rate and, for me, is ongoing. My twenty year old daughter's arm has improved slightly.

Range of motion is reduced. Touching it causes pain. Moving it causes pain. It hurts. Period. Neither she nor I have EVER had any shoulder trouble. I am healthy and strong with no health issues as is my daughter.

Honestly, we'd have been much better off risking the flu! (Especially since neither off us has ever gotten the flu even when four other family members got it!

I read one of the posts that saw favorable results from massage therapy. Do you think it actually caused the improvement our was the timing just right? How should I approach the pharmacy and CDC? What words above should I include/not include.

What, overall, after reading all these posts, in your opinion, is the best course of action to heal? Cortisone injections seem like a quickl way for immediate relief, but us that healthy? Long term, it doesn't seem to be helpful.

The only post that shared complete recovery was message therapy. What, exactly, did that therapist do? Massage for specifically tendinitis or other?

Would you pursue that line of questioning please? Thank you!

Since so many are suffering, it seems these pharmacies need to have specific criteria developed for where to insert the stupid needle!

For the person being forced to get the flu shot for work: get it in the bigger muscle if the gluteus maximus and go to a clinic with a nurse!

Thank you for your reply and for all the posts of those who have suffered because of lack of knowledge or, like me, seeing the needle go in further up than expected and hoping for the best!

Jan 05, 2015
H1n1 reaction after September 34d 2014 injection
by: Anonymous

Hi all, so sorry you are dealing with this awful side effects too! I got the h1n1 September 3rd. The day after I developed a sever headache that lasted for 5 days ( I never get headaches, knew it was strange to).

As soon as the headaches stopped 5 days later I went to bed that night and my left foot felt very weird. I didn't think much of it so went to sleep and woke up and it was still there. The next few days and weeks I developed tingling through my whole body, dizzy, sever throwing up, extreme right side abdominal pain, some loss of bowel and urinary movements, somewhat left eye pain/discomfort,and complete exhaustion. I lost about 15 pounds as I couldn't eat and was sick every time. Went to the ER couple times they didn't know what was wrong. I called my Doctor where I got the shot and she was a bit concerned and referred me to a Neurologist that she knew. I had a 1.5T MRI done on my brain and the results came back completely normal. She said I was just anxious but I know when something isn't right. The symptoms have now resolved except somewhat of an internal tremor/vibration, my left foot burns a lot on and off, pain in my legs, and muscle spasms in my body all over. Its been a very strange few months, never experienced anything like this before. I am seeing another Neurologist at UT here in Houston. he did a MRI on my spine complete and said ti was normal too. he thinks I may of had somewhat an infection of some sort but he has no idea what is causing this. he has done a clinical exam and said everything looks normal apart somewhat brisk reflexes although im really anxious and only 24 he thinks that could be the reason and a lot of my family have brisk reflexes too.

I am so frustrated as I still don't feel myself and when the Neuro isn't sure whats going on as well its frustrating. I have a followup apt in February and he wants to see how I am feeling then and if not better then possible other MRI.

I have managed to get in touch with other people who ahd similar reactions and it took them a year to recover and some still have damage 5 years later! im absolutely devasted, only 24 years old! Anyone hear similar situation?


Joshua Comments:

Hi Anonymous.

Anytime I hear 'anxious' I think "magnesium insufficient'.

Is your family, in general, 'type a' personality?

For whatever reason, type a personalities have high mangesium requirements.

And if a person isn't an anxious person, then starts to be anxions abnormally....look to magnesium. (Other things are at play, of course, but you get my point.)

Vaccinations have heavy metals, and other foreign particulates that get injected into the closed system of the body that doesn't particularlly like that kind of thing.

Sometimes it's the material injected that causes problems. Sometimes it's an actual needle stick up too high into tissue it shouldn't be in (and, as far as I can tell, -then- the material being injected).

It just all depends. Either way, though, support the body as much as you can to recover. Nutrition, circulation (hot and cold and hot and cold in the shower), lots of water intake, etc.

Dec 18, 2015
Shoulder problems after flu shot
by: Colin M

Same thing happened to me as many others have reported on this site. I got a flu shot, which was administered too high up on my shoulder. The same night I was vaccinated my shoulder began experiencing intense pain and makes clicking / popping noises and sensations during certain movements ever since.

Minor soreness from vaccines is perfectly normal. Intense pain and range of motion issues is not.

My shoulder was perfectly healthy and pain free until after I got the injection.

I assumed pharmacists were adequately trained to administer these injections. Apparently mine was not.

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