How to treat arm pain after the COVID vaccine

COVID-19 Vaccine

DENVER (KDVR) – It’s a common complaint following the COVID-19 vaccine: arm soreness at the injection site.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the pain typically starts to go away after 24 hours. But in some cases, it can linger for days.

“It’s the biggest complaint I’ve heard,” said Ben Thompson, an exercise science professor at MSU Denver. “Just that arm soreness, especially right at the injection site.”

Thompson said he and his colleagues have been discussing ways to reduce that soreness.

They’ve come up with four simple exercises to help alleviate the pain. Thompson recommends that people who get the vaccine do each exercise a few times a day for 10 seconds.

“These can all be done by yourself, any age. My 12-year-old is going to get his shot, and he can do these as well,” Thompson said.

The first exercise is to raise your arm up from your side to above your head.

The second involves starting your arm in a similar position down by your side, but lifting it sideways and parallel to the ground.

The third involves placing your arm at waist height with your palm facing up. Raise your arm to chest level and then back down.

In the final exercise, place your arm out to your side, as if you’re waving goodbye. Then rotate the arm parallel to the ground and back up.

You can watch the video in this article for examples of the exercises.

Thompson said the exercises may hurt at first, but they will help in the long run.

“I think typically when we hear the word pain, we’re usually like, ‘Stop!’ But in this instance, it’s OK. Pain is going to be associated with that injection site, so doing this type of movement can help alleviate that pain,” Thompson said.

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