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Frozen Shoulder (Adhesive Capsulitis) from Flu Shots and Other Injections
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Rod Moser, PA, PhD posted:
With thanks to whatanightmare for posting this on another discussion, sharing it here now for all to see:

I have also found research that associates adhesive capsulitis (frozen shoulder) to the flu shot--actually in this forum! I have come across many other medical forums as well that have similar postings of people who have had no prior shoulder problems and immediately after getting a vaccination in the arm have pain that lasts a significant amount of time (months & even years). THAT to me is an association and I hope that all of these individuals are filing a VAERS report (Vaccine Adverse Events Report System)!! ANY kind of "adverse" reaction should be reported. That is the only way the CDC and FDA will make the needed changes in their guidelines. They need to list this in their "possible side effects" and inform the public of all risks. They also need to change the guidelines for healthcare professionals administering the injection. I am an RN myself and will never get this flu shot again. That is my choice, however you can request that they give it in your gluteal muscle (butt) or as Dr. Moser commented; get the FluMist if you are eligible. My opinion is that it has more to do with the injection itself--and not the vaccine. There is a theory that the vaccine is being injected into the joint capsule or bursa and causing an overactive immune-mediated inflammatory response. Especially if you have had the vaccine before. If you go back a few pages on this thread, "myarmhurtstoo" has posted many wonderful links to learn more about this strange reaction many people are experiencing. The most interesting one is a transcript of a meeting held in Sept. 2010 with the (ACCV) Advisory Commission on Childhood Vaccines (part of the Dept. of Health and Human Services). They are well aware of all the shoulder injuries happening as a result of the flu shot (and other vaccinations given in the arm) and they even have an acronym for it: SIRVA (Shoulder Injury Related to Vaccine Administration) Anyhow within this meeting they discuss their findings and discuss possible solutions for prevention. Of course nothing has happened yet! Heres the link: www.hrsa.gov/vaccinecompensation/accvtranscript9310.pdf If you go to this link, it starts at about page 15 to page 25. Dr. S. Atanosoff and assoc. did a study and a medical journal published it about this same time. I have tried to find it online, but ended up having to purchase it through PubMed. This article is only 4 pages but tell the WHOLE STORY.
If you are interested in this study try this link: www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/20955829.
I only hope people will continue to spread the word about this possible side effect and report their own experience to the CDC--here is the website to do that (VAERS) http://vaers.hhs.gov/esub/index . If you go to this website you can also find the database which shows a summary of ALL listed adverse side effects of all the vaccines--VERY interesting stuff. You can scroll down and find plenty of "shoulder problems" like ours. And apparently only 10% of people actually report their adverse reactions. So I am convinced there IS a definite connection, even though I have had 3 doctors so far tell me there is NO connection. Well, it has been 3 weeks for me since my flu shot in my left arm. I started PT today and tomorrow I finally get my MRI. Although this shot was mandatory for my job, work comp is not covering me. Thank God I have insurance. My ortho doc also approved me for 6 weeks off work, so I am in the process of filing for disability. The hardest part for me is not being able to swim! I feel awful for anyone out there that does not have insurance. I do believe that there is a way to receive compensation (save all your bill statements) from the state: www.hrsa.gov/vaccinecompensation.
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nicky2565 responded:
Thank you for posting. So many people never even heard of this condition. My mother went for her flu shot and I decided on getting it as well.We fount it strange not long after are arms started hurting, Our physician diagnozed us with frozen shoulders YUK! What a pain in the butt this condition has been for over 4 months now hard time getting dress, sleeping functioning at work is very hard, You move a certain way and can be very painful. I have been spending almost all my pay on acupuncture and osteopathy, massage and nothing seems to work. Please can someone please let us know if you found a solution for this condition or if they had it and now gone, how long did it last. Thanking you in advance
 
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MQ123 responded:
My mother has the same problem. After her flu shot, she had shoulder pain that gradually became more and more painful. After four months, it's become really bad, and it consists of nerve pinches, not being able to sleep or move. The doctor says its frozen shoulder and suggests physical therapy. Whoever had the same problem or found the solution, then please share with me.
 
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2lkittie replied to MQ123's response:
I'm going into month four of this thing. It's better some days, some days not so much. I just saw an article that said that flu shots don't seem to work so well for seniors, according to some studies, and since that's my demographic, it rather added insult to shoulder injury! If you can, do whatever you can do, and rest all you can. Good luck!
 
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nicktipa responded:
Old post, I know, but I wanted to add my voice to this discussion. I am an athletic 28 year old male, and I received my seasonal flu shot at my local Walgreens. The nurse's assistant who administered the shot did not sit, per the recommendations discussed in the above linked conference transcript, and I felt the shot was too high. I immediately experienced pain of a different type compared to what a normal flu vaccination, and my shoulder has become increasingly stiff and painful to use. No official diagnosis yet, but it fits the description others have put forth here. I plan to see a doctor soon and will be 1. Bringing the conference transcript with me (since nobody seems to believe me) and 2. Requesting an MRI. Ice, ibuprofen, exercise, stretching all help, but each morning it is slightly worse than the morning before, so I'm growing concerned. The word needs to be spread, and if you feel the swab location is too high, as I did, SAY SOMETHING BEFORE THEY INJECT YOU!
 
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cognoc responded:
My father is 80 years old and has gotten the flu shot for many years and never had a problem. This year he went to Shoppers Drug mart here in Ontario Canada and received a flu shot the next day he complained about sever shoulder pain. It has now continued for over 8 weeks. He went to the the doctor and at the time they gave him an ultrasound and pain killers and said it will eventually go away. He got some relief but now its gotten worse. He has a hard time sleeping or even covering himself.. he has been trying to sleep sitting up because he cant lie down he has a hard time getting dressed and functioning. We will be going back to see the doctor again I was talking to him this evening and he was having such a hard time. I feel really bad for him and dont understand why they are not more careful in administering these shots if they know that problems persist. Thank you for posting,
I am bringing these articles to his doctor to make him aware of what we now know. I feel very bad for everyone having to go through all this. Its unsettling to know that some people have been suffering for so long and from what I see with my dad Im worried his suffering is not over : (
 
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2lkittie responded:
I just read the pdf...very interesting, and I wish I'd seen it before. Finally, after another couple of months, my shoulder became usable, a good thing, since my cat can't do housework. The Rite Aid I got my shot at hadn't heard of SIRVA, but instead of taking chances, I passed on their offer this year and told the pharmacist why--she understood. Hope she takes the time to look it up. The suggestions in the pdf file I read sound logical, but to me, what makes the most sense is to stop treating the flu shot or any other vaccination like handing someone a tissue for a runny nose. It may be a minor thing to medical personnel, but to those of us on the receiving end, it's invasive--okay, not very much so, but still, it's a sharp object invading part of our outer covering...that says it for me, anyway. Here's hoping everyone less pain this year. And a little more joy and happiness!
 
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br350 replied to 2lkittie's response:
I had my flu shot 12/18. Now almost a month later I'm still in pain. I can do push-ups but any lateral movement, such as extending my arm directly out to the side and pushing against a wall is almost impossible. It hurts to sleep on. If I put my arm directly out from my body to the side, I can barely raise it. I am beyond frustrated as I know all of us are. My shoulder was fine before this shot. I contacted my doctor about a week ago via email and he said last year when he got HIS shot it hurt for a month - he acknowledged maybe a nerve had been irritated. He asked me to give it more time. Some days are worse than others. Ibuprofen helps but I'm not going to take that every day and it's not an answer. I'm at the point of considering pursuing this through my primary for further evaluation. I DID notice that the shot was up very high in the deltoid. And it hurt VERY badly going into the arm. If anyone has had a positive story/resolution, please tell us? This is very frustrating. Thanks.
 
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snoop176 responded:
I am also a victim of the flu shot gone' bad. It's been three months since administered and I still can hardly use my dominant arm due to the shot being given too high. It was finally identified in my MRI after the first month and 3 drs later, that the flu serum is stuck in my bursa. A cortisone shot was given at one month and I have been doing PT 3x a week with little improvement. It's frustrating. Try to do something good and positive and have a negative outcome like this due to error. Good luck to all having issues.
 
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chicksingamom responded:
I can't tell you how comforting it has been to find that I am not alone. My family doctor has denied that the flu shot would have anything to do with it even though I didn't get it done in his office. I finally got the shoulder specialist to admit it could happen but that there was no way to prove it.

I had my shot on 10/17 and my arm has been a mess ever since. Thank GOD I have my shot in my left arm since I am right handed.

I have had xrays an MRI and two cortisone shots. I started PT last week. I don't know what to do it PT doesn't help.
 
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br350 replied to chicksingamom's response:
I had a follow up with my primary today. Had my flu shot 6 weeks ago. After an extensive range of motion testing, questions and him feeling the area that is tender, he said it's bursitis and likely caused by the vaccine fluid being injected into the bursa space because of the shot being given too high. My pain involves lateral movement and is acute with direct pressure on the very upper deltoid, just beneath the cap of the shoulder. Tender to push in on that area. He told me to take NSAIDs for a solid week on a schedule, ice 4 times a day, and if it's not better in 10 days, he wants to send me for a cortisone shot. Please everyone else, update us on your progress? Chicksingamom, I'm sorry you are still in pain. This stinks for all of us.
 
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br350 replied to br350's response:
I wanted to post an update. I did the NSAIDs (Advil, 400mg twice a day) and the icing 4x's per day, as instructed by my doctor. I did this for one week. It helped a LOT. Pain was almost gone and under control. My doctor said to do this for one week and if things were not better to come back and he would send me for a cortisone shot. I stopped the Advil and icing yesterday. Today, the pain is back. Not as bad as it was before, but almost. Very discouraging. Clearly the NSAIDs and ice were keeping the inflammation under control, but that's not a permanent solution. Any one else have any updates? Please?
 
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maxjmuller replied to br350's response:
I run a small law firm where the majority of our practice is dedicated to representing the victims of severe reactions to vaccinations. Please feel free to visit our web site for more information about vaccine claims at www.myvaccinelawyer.com.


It's amazing that the program is still relatively unknown, but there is a government fund that is compensating the victims of vaccine reactions, including shoulder injuries. The government also pays all attorneys' fees associated with these cases. We are always more than willing to provide a free consultation or just some advice.


I typically speak to 3 or 4 people per week with the exact same pain and range of motion issues following a vaccination and would be happy to explain what we do and how cases are handled in the vaccine program.


Thanks!
 
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br350 replied to maxjmuller's response:
maxjmuller, I've read about the HRSA VICP fund program for vaccine injuries. I've ready what it takes to get through a case and it sounds like a LOT of hassle. You must first wait until 6 months from the date of the injury before you can file a claim. And the patient must pay approx $350 up front to file the case. From what little I've read of others' accounts, it can take years to get through a case. Years. Nothing that the government does is going to get done easily or efficiently, especially if they are picking up the tab. I'm not even at the 6 mos mark yet to be able to file, but even if I was, I'm not sure I would. It sounds like a red tape nightmare. I have seen the myvaccinelawyer.com site but thank you for mentioning it to everyone on this forum. Sad that something like this is even an issue that we all have to come here to talk about.
 
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br350 replied to br350's response:
And add to that the fact that I've read only about 1/3 of claimants are awarded payments for their claim. The program sounds like a great idea in theory, but not a very practical or promising way to actually get compensation unless you can stick with it for the long haul and/or are willing to accept you may not be compensated at all.


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