Deal With Your Shoulder Injury Related To Vaccine Administration (SIRVA)

Many infectious diseases could undermine your health. Luckily, you can take measures to prevent yourself from getting these diseases. One of these measures is vaccination. You can protect yourself through vaccination and the people around you. However, as much as being vaccinated benefits your health, there’s a possibility of experiencing adverse effects from it. 

Adverse effects experienced after vaccination are sometimes caused by mistakes made during vaccine administration. For example, one of the common negative effects of improper vaccination is shoulder injury related to vaccine administration, also known as a SIRVA. 

You may be wondering, is SIRVA permanent? Well, this article will help you determine that. Keep reading to learn more. 

What Is SIRVA? 

As earlier mentioned, SIRVA is an injury caused when mistakes are made during vaccine injection. The mistakes during vaccine administration are when the needle is injected too deep or high into the deltoid muscle. These mistakes can lead to shoulder injuries such as tendonitis, rotator cuff tears, bursitis, and many more. 

It’s normal to feel some pain after being vaccinated. However, if the pain lasts more than 48 hours, you should consult a doctor. Apart from pain, other signs of SIRVA include weakness, inflammation, and difficulty in moving your arm.  

Although there’s never a full recovery of a vaccine injury, some SIRVA is treatable while others are not. It’ll depend on the severity of the injury. Severe SIRVA can be permanent. Here are some of the ways to deal with SIRVA. 


Have Enough Rest 

Before seeking other treatment options, you should first consider having enough rest. After a vaccine injection, you may experience inflammation and muscle pains. When you rest, you also let the deltoid muscle, tendons, and ligaments in your shoulder rest. As a result, you’ll reduce the stress that leads to prolonged inflammation. 

This option is better because you don’t have to undergo medical costs and can do it in the comfort of your house. However, it’s not guaranteed that this option will be effective. If it doesn’t work, you can proceed to try another treatment option. 

Take Pain Medications 

If having enough rest doesn’t help, you can inform your doctor. If you’re undergoing unbearable pain, your doctor can prescribe some pain medications to help ease the pain. Some of the most common pain medications include ibuprofen and acetaminophen. It can be challenging to work with a painful arm. These drugs will help you get back to work as soon as possible to avoid losing time and possibly incurring work losses. Moreover, you don’t have to have your doctor prescribe pain medications. You can have over-the-counter pain medications. 

Moreover, it can be uncomfortable to work with a swollen shoulder. Therefore, apart from pain medication, you can also take nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs). However, if the symptoms persist after taking the pain and anti-inflammatory medications, you should consider another way of dealing with SIRVA, like using steroids. 

Taking Steroids Either Through Injections Or Orally 

If you take nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory medications that don’t reduce your swelling, your doctor may advise you to take steroids. However, your doctor should carefully analyse your shoulder before receiving a steroid prescription. By doing so, the doctor will tell if steroids will help or if you need to use other options. 

If the doctor examines your shoulder and decides that steroids will be of help, you can either use oral steroids, injections, or both. Oral steroids will work if your shoulder injury isn’t that bad. However, if your condition worsens, your doctor may advise you to have steroid injections. Moreover, you may be advised to have the injections followed by smaller doses of oral steroids. 

Further, you must know that you may experience some side effects from using steroids. Some of these side effects include: 

  • Mood swings 
  • Higher blood pressure 
  • High blood sugar levels and many more 

Undergo Surgery 

As much as it may not be pleasing to learn this, you may have to undergo surgery if the injuries you got from a vaccine administration are severe. Some of the reasons that may explain why surgery isn’t preferred as the first option include: 

  • It’s costly to undergo surgery, especially if you don’t have a health insurance plan that covers surgery. 
  • Undergoing surgery isn’t an assurance that all will be well. At times, it may not be successful. 
  • Surgery means spending more time in the hospital and at home before healing. Therefore, you won’t have time to attend to other issues like work until you heal. 

However, surgery wouldn’t be the first option your doctor offers to you. You can start by trying medications, and if they don’t help with the shoulder injury, you may, unfortunately, resort to surgery. Surgery is mainly done if you have frozen shoulder syndrome or rotator cuff tears. 

Further, there are other procedures you may accompany with surgery. For example, you may wear a sling after surgery or go for post-operative physical therapy. 

Attend Physical Therapy Sessions 

One of the signs of SIRVA is difficulty moving your arm. Usually, medications wouldn’t help so much with such a situation. Luckily, physical therapy can help you deal with weakness, stiffness, and limited arm motion caused by a shoulder injury from vaccine administration. In addition, physical therapy will help you rebuild your muscle strength and gain back motor control around your shoulder and arm. 

You can also attend physical therapy sessions. After surgery, it’s essential to exercise your arm to fasten up the healing process. Through physical therapy, you’ll exercise your arm and shoulder as supposed. 

How You Can Prevent SIRVA 

As much as SIRVA results from the vaccine being injected too high or deep, it doesn’t mean you can’t do anything to prevent these mistakes. For example, you can wear sleeveless tops or shirts when administering vaccines on the arm. Also, if you’re not comfortable with sleeveless clothes, you can wear one that’s easy to roll up the sleeves. This will give the healthcare giver administering the vaccine to you a clear view of where to inject you. 

Additionally, you can place your hand on your hip and let the elbow out and far from your body. This will help you relax your deltoid muscle, making it easy to administer the vaccine properly. 

Summing It Up! 

Thanks to science, you can protect yourself and those around you from getting infectious diseases by getting vaccinated. However, it’s unfortunate that you may get injuries trying to protect yourself. For instance, you may get SIRVA because of mistakes made during vaccine injection. Luckily, there are ways you apply when dealing with SIRVA. These include resting, taking pain medications, using steroids, undergoing surgery, and attending physical therapy sessions. This article has discussed these five ways of dealing with SIRVA. Therefore, if you’re diagnosed with SIRVA, you can use this article to understand the various options you can use to deal with your injury.

Medical Disclaimer: All the content available on the website is just for informational purposes. It’s not a substitute for any Professional advice. Don’t take it personally. As a medical student, I’m just trying to use my information through my content, and please keep in mind it’s not written by a professional doctor. Use the data just for educational purposes.

Leave a Comment