Reducing Arm Soreness After a Vaccination


Arm soreness is a common side effect that lasts for a day or two after receiving a vaccination. The pain in your arm is your immune system’s response to the vaccine and may result from inflammation. Inflammation involves redness, soreness and swelling at the site of injection. One way to reduce this reaction is to move your arm around to keep the vaccine and it’s reaction from being concentrated in one location.


Some simple exercises that can help your deltoid muscles moving and reduce the feeling of soreness include:

1. Lateral deltoid raises

Stand or sit with your palms facing down and raise your arms up to shoulder level.


2. Standing shoulder external rotation (90 degrees abduction)

Start by forming a “W” with your arms. Bring your arms down, so the palm of your hands faces the ground. Bring them back up to the starting position and repeat.


3. Standing shoulder external rotation (arms at side)

While keeping your elbows at your side, position your forearms so that they are parallel to the ground. Bring your arms out, away from your stomach while still maintaining your forearm and elbow position. Bring your arms back in and repeat.


4. Overhead press

In a “W” position with your arms, straighten out your elbows and extend your arms up above your head.


5. Horizontal abduction with external rotation

Start by holding your arms out in front of you at shoulder height with the palms facing up. Bring your arms to the side to form a “T” and then bring them back in the middle.


Repetition is key so try these out throughout the day. 15-20 repetitions each time to help disperse the vaccine and reduce local muscle soreness.

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