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Received flu shot. Having severe pain. Cannot sleep. Slight tingling noted in fingertips. Suggestions?

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General & Family Physician
Practicing since : 2009
Answered : 676 Questions
Hello DR. I received a flu shot at my Target where I'm employed this recent Sunday. The pharmacist who injected me went really high, almost to the crescent of my R shoulder. The pain was as I suspected it to be; (I get a flu shot every year), but now as I write to you to you it is worsening. I have always had a very high threshold to pain. I don't like to take pills, but I did, nada. Cannot sleep. Had to leave work today because of pain. Icing brings minor relief. Did he hit a nerve bundle? ROM Cannot raise above chest w/o pain or extend. Slight tingling noted in fingertips at work before I left. I am also certified pharmacy tech and former LPN, many decades ago. My job is very demanding and I need to be paid. Also, we are very, very, urged to get these shots at work . I'm asking you first Dr., because I don't have a primary and costs $90 to walk into the Target clinic. Even for team members. I do though, have a physician @ Tria Orthopaedic. Thank you, doctors, XXXXX.
Posted Sat, 12 Oct 2013 in General Health
Answered by Dr. Yogesh D 1 hour later
Brief Answer:
Possible nerve injury

Detailed Answer:

Thanks for writing in.

I understand your concern and I agree with you that the pharmacist might have hit the nerve while injecting, this is quite common when the injection is given high up than the deltoid muscle proper.

The tingling sensation in your fingers and the worsening pain does make this more likely.

Here is what you can do right now.

1. Apply some ice to where the injection was given, this will decrease the inflammation around the nerve and will improve the pain. It is not ideal to give hot compress as that will increase the inflammation.

2. See your doctor/neurologist, I can understand it will be difficult because you don't have insurance, but you really need to see a neurologist who can treat for a possible nerve damage after assessing you thoroughly.

3. Give rest to your arm, let it rest, don't strain yourself while you have a problem, you don't want to make it worse.

4. Take some over the counter pain meds like motrin till you see your doctor.

I sincerely wish you didn't have to go through this, please do write back if you have any doubts.

Wishing you good health and speedy recovery.

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