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Does anyone have any experience with Shoulder Injury Relating to Vaccine Administration (SIRVA)?

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AmyS1992
AmyS1992 Community member Posts: 27 Courageous

Note from moderator: this post and the related comments may contain unverified claims regarding side-effects of COVID-19 vaccines. You can find recognised side-effects of the AstraZeneca and Pfizer vaccines on the respective gov.uk pages linked.


I've had shoulder pain and limited mobility now since my covid vaccine (10 weeks ago) and recently spoke to my GP who advised it is wholly coincidental and not as a result of the vaccine. The issue for me is that I had zero issues or pain prior to the injection but have been in pain ever since which hasn't improved or subsided as it would with a muscular injury. I am aware that incorrect injection technique can cause this issue and that it can happen with any intramuscular injection. I do have a physio referral so hopefully they can shed more light. I just wondered if anyone had any knowledge/experience of this? Thank you. 
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Comments

  • janer1967
    janer1967 Community member Posts: 21,964 Disability Gamechanger
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    Hi there 

    Sorry not heard of anyone on here mention this . A few people report aching are in the injectio  site but just for a few days 

    Like your gp says it is probably a coincidence 
  • chiarieds
    chiarieds Community member Posts: 16,150 Disability Gamechanger
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    I have just looked into this, &, as you say, this can occur after any vaccination. I have been unable to find any reported case following Covid-19 vaccination, & would stress it's a very rare occurrence following any vaccination.
    In your own case a MRI may show bursitis, & your physio referral may also help.
  • Caz_Alumni
    Caz_Alumni Scope alumni Posts: 621 Pioneering
    edited April 2021
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    Hi @AmyS1992

    Sorry to hear that you've been having problems with your shoulder. As you say, hopefully your physio will be able to tell you a bit more. I have to be honest, I had to look up Shoulder Injury Relating to Vaccine Administration (SIRVA) as that's something I hadn't come across before. I did find a bit more information here about 'What is SIRVA?' and also 'Shoulder injury related to vaccine administration and other injection site events'. Is that helpful to you? Or have you already had a look at those sites?

    Also, just to let you know that I've added a disclaimer to the top of your original post. Don't worry though. It's absolutely fine to be concerned and ask the question, but we don't want to encourage any misinformation being spread about the coronavirus vaccine that may cause undue concern amongst other members. I realise that your query isn't directly related to the vaccine itself. But this is just to be on the safe side. 

    In the meantime, all the best with your shoulder and hopefully somebody on the forum might be able to shed some more light on your question about SIRVA :smile:
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  • AmyS1992
    AmyS1992 Community member Posts: 27 Courageous
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    @Caz_Scope apologies I should have been clearer! Unsure how to edit the post but yes to clarify the condition in question is caused by incorrect needle insertion technique and can happen with any intramuscular injection! I have a had a look yes, I've found a few sites with people in the UK having the same issue after various injections over the last few years but it does seem to be quite rare. Hopefully physio will be able to help me :) 
  • Caz_Alumni
    Caz_Alumni Scope alumni Posts: 621 Pioneering
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    No problem @AmyS1992 :)

    Thanks very much for popping back and clarifying that for our members. It's not something that I'd ever come across before now. So, that's very helpful to know for future reference. 

    All the best with your physio referral! Hope you get some relief soon and do keep in touch to let us know how you get on.
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  • woodbine
    woodbine Community member Posts: 12,088 Disability Gamechanger
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    I didn't even feel the needle going in if i'm honest. I know a very small number of people have had some problems after the vaccine, but when 35 million have had one dose and 15 million both doses  the vast majority with no or hardly any side effects it won't stop me getting my second dose in May.

    2024 Election won

  • AmyS1992
    AmyS1992 Community member Posts: 27 Courageous
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    @Username_removed Hi Mike, I’ve reported via the yellow card scheme. I know it is not as a result of the actual Covid vaccine but the injection technique and I will certainly be going for my second dose shortly. SIRVA is rare but does happen and can happen with any intra muscular vaccination, as stated above (you can google if interested). Previous cases in the UK have been after flu jabs. Symptoms for some can resolve in months but some can last indefinitely and require ongoing surgeries. 
  • Cher_Alumni
    Cher_Alumni Scope alumni Posts: 5,740 Disability Gamechanger
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    Hi Mike,

    Thanks for your feedback.  The disclaimer was produced to ensure member’s lived experiences of the covid-19 vaccine could be shared (facilitating access to emotional/practical support) whilst also highlighting where any comments/claims didn’t have evidentiary backing as per official government sources. 

    Nevertheless, I understand how the word ‘may’ could read as overtly tentative and, taking your words on board, the team will aim to provide as much certainty as current guidance allows.

    @AmyS1992 It’s good to hear you reported your symptoms via the yellow card system and intend on having the second vaccine.  I hadn’t previously been familiar with SIVRA so will do a little reading up, and I sincerely hope the pain/restricted mobility you have eases up very soon.  Please keep us updated with how you get on.

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  • llahl55
    llahl55 Community member Posts: 15 Connected
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    Hi I hope you don’t mind my reply. I have had the same problem since having mine, AZ jab 01/03/21, and I can’t find anyone else discussing this anywhere online. Started the day after my vaccine. I assumed it was general pain like many people have after a jab but in now 10 weeks post vaccination and my shoulder and the top of my arm are so painful. I can’t move my arm like I used to and it seems to be effecting my grip, because my arm feels weak. I have my second vaccine next week, which I’m dreading in case it happens again. It was only yesterday that I heard that SIRVA was a thing so have been trying to look into it. I have booked an appointment with my doctor to see if I can get some help but I have a 10 day wait for a phone consultation ??‍♀️. Have you managed to receive any help? I hope you are coping ok.
    thanks
    laura
  • llahl55
    llahl55 Community member Posts: 15 Connected
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    Cressida said:
    @Adrian_Scope this thread is very worrying to people who may be put off having their covid vaccinations.

    I’m not letting this put me off having my second vaccine next week. It seems those of us who are suffering are very few. The positives of having the vaccine outweigh the negatives in my opinion x
  • chiarieds
    chiarieds Community member Posts: 16,150 Disability Gamechanger
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    i have just looked into this again, & there is a case report of one person that has had this after a Covid-19 vaccination. Just to stress, this is not due to the vaccine itself, but due to the unintentional injection of the vaccine into the subacromial-subdeltoid bursa (a sac like structure which reduces friction of the shoulder joint) rather than into the deltoid muscle. This can happen with any misadministrated vaccination.
  • Adrian_Scope
    Adrian_Scope Posts: 11,386 Scope online community team
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    Thank you for the tag @Cressida, we'll keep a close eye on the discussion but don't feel it needs closing.
    Shoulder injury related to vaccine administration (SIRVA) is a rare complication which is the result of incorrect vaccine administration rather than a vaccine itself and it seems it can occur with any intramuscular injection. You can read a little bit more about it on this document from Salford CCG (NHS).

    However, it sounds as though it hasn't put either @llahl55 and @AmyS1992 off from having their second doses. 
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  • AmyS1992
    AmyS1992 Community member Posts: 27 Courageous
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    Hi @llahl55 - of course not! Sorry to hear you're suffering. I'll be honest I didn't get much from my GP... but I start physio next week so I will see how that goes. Awareness of SIRVA in the UK is very low, when compared with the US from what I can gather. I did find a Facebook group that is a few years old for SIRVA sufferers and a few people have joined recently with the same problems, some from the UK and some from elsewhere.

    I have had some further info and advice since the original post - if the vaccine was administered against best practice for intramuscular injections (mine was), it is considered medical negligence unfortunately. They shouldn't be administered by someone that is standing up/over you whilst you are sat down and mine was given whilst I was seated, by a tall gentleman that stood over me and did not go into my deltoid muscle as it should. If the needle goes down into the shoulder as opposed to being level and straight into the muscle, it can cause a range of complications. It does seem knowledge/awareness of this in the NHS is low at present... so I am a little nervous that if my case doesn't resolve I will need to fund private treatment. 

    To reassure you - recovery does happen often (I was struggling to find anything positive when I searched) and lots of people's symptoms resolve within 3-12 months. Obviously the pain and restricted mobility is frustrating and difficult but I was relieved to find this out as everything I'd read made me think it was definitely permanent! I would not worry about the second dose (easier said than done I'm sure). The chances of the vaccine being administered incorrectly are so low that it is a rarity for it to happen once, never mind twice! I really hope your symptoms resolve soon x
  • RedPlum60
    RedPlum60 Community member Posts: 2 Listener
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    @AmyS1992 I have the same! Began within 48 hrs of jab, 11 weeks ago now - no previous shoulder problems and prior to it fit and healthy. Second jab next week. Four telephone consults with Gp’s and Physio’s and an X-ray. One doctor said he’d never heard of it and the Physio told me it was SIRVA. Excruciatingly painful at the beginning and frozen - now frozen with reduces mobility and pain eased with anti inflammatories and painkillers. Under reported and under diagnosed in the Uk - but very real for those experiencing it.
  • rosiewln
    rosiewln Community member Posts: 6 Listener
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    @AmyS1992 I too have been experiencing very bad shoulder pain since my covid vaccination 3 weeks ago and it has started radiating down towards my elbow. I didn't watch the injection as I'm not great with needles, but I was surprised later when I saw how high up my arm the plaster was and I too have looked online and figured it must be SIRVA. The pain has got worse in the last week or so. I spoke to my GP who suggested ibuprofen, but it's not helping. Excruciating pain when I raise my arm, e.g. when getting dressed, and it's difficult finding a pain-free position to sleep in. I will speak to the GP again if there's no improvement in the next few days. Would be good to get this fed back to the vaccination site as it seems like a problem that can be easily avoided.
  • Ross_Alumni
    Ross_Alumni Scope alumni Posts: 7,652 Disability Gamechanger
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    Hello @rosiewln

    Welcome to the community, glad you've joined us. 

    I'm sorry to hear that you've experienced shoulder pain, and I'm glad that you've been in contact with your GP about it. It should be something that you can report through the Yellow Card scheme, but as clarified before by other members, such related pain can occur after any vaccine and I would hope that it doesn't discourage others from receiving their Coronavirus vaccine:

    "Shoulder injury related to vaccine administration (SIRVA) is a rare complication which is the result of incorrect vaccine administration rather than a vaccine itself and it seems it can occur with any intramuscular injection. You can read a little bit more about it on this document from Salford CCG (NHS)."
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  • lisad75
    lisad75 Community member Posts: 8 Listener
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    Hi, I'm so relieved to have finally found a forum discussing this as I have been going around in circles trying to find info relevant to the vaccine (in my case Oxford AZ) and my subsequent arm pain and the effect it's had on arm mobility. I had my 1st vaccine on 8 March and I've been in pain at the site of injection ever since. I found the injection itself quite painful (more than previous flu vaccinations) and was surprised at how high in my arm it was given.  By the evening of same day the pain was excruciating and I couldn't lift my arm at all. I took Ibuprofen regularly for about 2 weeks which eased the pain but my arm mobility was also affected and I found dressing/undressing and general movement of my arm very painful. I still cannot sleep on my left side and it's coming up to 11 weeks now. I sought advice from my GP who said i had obviously had a strong inflammatory reaction and prescribed Naproxen. I took this on and off. Painkillers do help but as soon as I try to taper them, the pain just returns in intensity as before. I have had one telephone consultation with a physio who talked me through some exercises. I try and do them every day but I don't feel they are helping much. My 2nd jab is due next week and I will be asking them to inject my right arm this time and will of course explain what happened after my first injection. I had never heard of Sirva before but I'm of the opinion that this is indeed what I have. I have today contacted Spire, the local private hospital, to request an appointment.  I don't feel confident returning to my GP especially when they are busy atm with vaccinations. I feel quite unlucky as this is clearly quite rare. And my sympathies to the above who are also experiencing this!!
  • llahl55
    llahl55 Community member Posts: 15 Connected
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    Quick update. I had my second jab today. After explaining my pain  to her, The lady doing it advised I have it in my other arm (the right one) and she seemed to do it much lower down than my previous one. She explained if it’s done to high up it can cause problems but apparently it’s extremely rare. 
    I’ve called my doctors but have a 10/14 day wait for a phone consultation, which is ridiculous. Nothing is currently helping with my left arm. I keep dropping things ? and can’t grip properly. Hoping to get some help soon. 
    Those of you who have spoken to/been to physio what have they advised? I’d like to get a head start on any exercises/advice so I can at least say I’ve tried some things. 
    Thanks everyone xxx
  • lisad75
    lisad75 Community member Posts: 8 Listener
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    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OHYNc9UqzJk

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XLhzAz-5hnY

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xm57t2b9ngU

    Hi, not sure if these links will work but these are videos my physio sent me to do 3 times a day to help with symptoms.  I'm still persevering with them and my range of movement has improved.  Just wish the pain would!
  • llahl55
    llahl55 Community member Posts: 15 Connected
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    Thank you lisad75 I’ll give them a go. Hopefully they will help xxx
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