Cases of shoulder injury related to vaccine administration, called SIRVA have been reported following COVID-19 vaccination, but these reports are rare and are not exclusive to the COVID-19 vaccines. In fact, SIRVA is reported most often after flu vaccines.
Most experts attribute this type of shoulder injury to inflammation caused by improper injection technique rather than the vaccine itself, with injection going too high in the shoulder and into the shoulder joint capsule rather than the deltoid muscle, which is lower.
Symptoms include severe shoulder pain and a limited range of motion within about two days after getting the vaccine.
Unlike injection site pain, which is common after the COVID-19 vaccines and may last a few days, or the rash known as “COVID arm”, SIRVA lasts longer, usually several months.
Treatment typically consists of physical therapy, corticosteroid injections, and anti-inflammatory medications.
To help avoid this type of injury, people getting the COVID-19 shot should wear a sleeveless shirt or one that allows the sleeves to easily be rolled up when getting the shot.
Pulling a shirt neck down over the shoulder to expose the injection site should be avoided, as this can increase the risk of the shot being injected too high.
© Copyright WLL, INC. 2021. This blog provides a wide variety of general health information only and is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment from your regular physician. If you are concerned about your health, take what you learn from this blog and meet with your personal doctor to discuss your concerns.