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Tetanus shot yesterday- hurts so bad I can barely lift my arm

Started 1273591150.317 in Viewpoints | Last reply 1273678825.887 by Burnsite

I mean it! Is this normal? It's been a while since I had one-this one is a TDAP- for pertussis and Diptheria as well as Tetanus...

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clemintine1273591284.36718288 PostsRegistered 11/5/2007C.C.

yep, pretty much. It doesn't go into the blood system (if memory serves) so it sits under the skin until it is absorbed. I always felt bad for the kiddo's with that one.

redwingsgal1273591318.241102 PostsRegistered 6/11/2009MI now in OK

I always get a reaction to any vaccine (flu, H1N1, Tetanus etc)  try rotating ice and heat on it about 20 mins for each at a time.  My arm always gets hot, red and burning for 24-48 hrs but then it is fine.  I also was told (due to the redness etc) that a Benadryll will help the redness and warmth, but if you are only sore and not red, I would do the heat/ice thing

hope that helps!!

MJ121273591333.49313879 PostsRegistered 12/30/2009

Yes, I got a tetanus shot about 2 weeks ago.  The next day it was sore, then it went away.  Have some ice cream.  That'll help.

cherry1273591333.50316348 PostsRegistered 1/8/2005

Is you arm hot and red?  My sister is allergic to tetanus, when she was little she was paralyzed from a shot..Please call your Dr asap

NChgOfMyAt­titude1273591408.5875204 PostsRegistered 10/18/2006Connecticut

Yes, I've gotten a couple and they do hurt.  Sore for a couple of days.

Any fact facing us is not as important as our attitude toward it ~
Happiness is something you decide on ahead of time ~

MJ121273591468.95313879 PostsRegistered 12/30/2009

OMG I think pain from the shot yesterday is perfectly normal - don't think she's paralyzed!

Deeva1273591469.852234 PostsRegistered 1/8/2005stuck in the middle

Yes it's normal. I had the TDAP last year, my doctor told me to take ibuprofen for the pain. My arm hurt for about four days. I think the pain from the TDAP is worse than the regular tetanus shot.

stilltamn8r1273591602.90713953 PostsRegistered 6/14/2006So Cal

No, its nothot or red, but I almost have to lift my left arm (shot arm) with my right arm to get it to move (not from paralysis, but pain)


Geez I am becoming such a baby in my old age- That Ice cream sounds like a good solution! LOL!

I think I will try the ice/heat routine- I guess I should have started yesterday!

cinebee1273592682.7476578 PostsRegistered 5/7/2007

Yep, I experienced the same thing.  It gets a little better each day.

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AnikaBrodie1273596391.69716124 PostsRegistered 1/29/2008The NE state of mountains and valleys

Maybe extra-strength Tylenol will help.  If not, call your doctor for suggestions.

~~~The Silver Fox ~~~
“There are two ways of spreading light, to be the candle or the mirror that reflects it." ~~ Edith Wharton

WeiRDgeRL1273597174.7334110 PostsRegistered 10/26/2007Pennsylvania

Yes it can hurt a lot the same day or next day.  This last time that I got a tetnus shot the nurse told me to try to move my arm around as much as possible afterwards throughout the day to keep it from hurting the next day and it helped big time.


missy11273598347.95734003 PostsRegistered 3/4/2007

Yes (I just got one). I had a lump for a week or so.

hennypenny1273602986.496550 PostsRegistered 10/6/2004

Keep it moving, and take a dose of ice cream every few hours.

Ms Lorraine1273603267.034171 PostsRegistered 6/9/2008

I received a tentanus shot a while back and it also hurt a lot.  I asked my doctor about it and he told me that's a sign you haven't had one in a long time.  My arm was pretty sore for a couple of weeks.

Back when my son was starting college, tenatanus shots were required and there was a shortage in this area and he almost had to obtain a waiver.  At the last minute, however, he was able to get his shot.

naleah1273603920.396 PostsRegistered 10/6/2004

Some pain with it is normal. Last year I came in contact with a bat and had to have 6 shots in the derriere and a rabies shot in the arm and since I couldn't remember when I had my last tetanus shot I had one of those. Of all these shots, the tetanus hurt the worst the next day.

Nightowlz1273604894.9410566 PostsRegistered 10/6/2004

I have not had a tetanus shot since 1965 or 1968 cannot remember which year for sure.

“If there are no dogs in Heaven, then when I die I want to go where they went.” Will Rogers

lulu21273605004.2423287 PostsRegistered 8/1/2007

It could possibly hurt even more tomorrow. {#emotions_dlg.sad}

Ms Lorraine1273633484.8534171 PostsRegistered 6/9/2008

nightowlz, please have your doctor give you one; it could be dangerous if God forbid anything should happen to you.  It's always better to have it before you need it, rather than in an emergency situation.

hckynut1273633852.4821254 PostsRegistered 5/20/2006Nebraska

Tetanus shot yesterday- hurts so bad I can barely lift my arm is this normal?




Yup! That's why I always make sure to get mine in the left arm. 

E.T.A.  I get a monthly B-12 shot, and it too goes into the muscle. Left arm again of course, but what I do immediated after the shot is flex my arm muscles, both the biceps and the triceps. Makes a big difference for me with the muscle stiffness.

Didn't know these shots would have this effect on me, but after the 2nd one, I figured out what works for me when getting these shots every month.



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Shelbelle1273635299.77336496 PostsRegistered 10/6/2004

I had my last one 16 years ago, hurt me so bad I did not sleep for 4 nights after. I will never get one again unless absolutely necessary.

pearllady1273635602.8332967 PostsRegistered 4/8/2009PA

No it should not hurt that bad.  It hurts but its no killing pain.  If the pain is that bad, sounds like it went into the muscle.  I would call the Dr.

on the bay1273635799.061847 PostsRegistered 12/25/2009

Well, I know its too late for this but next time (my mother was told this by a nurse and its true)-the nurse who's giving you the shot should rub your arm so the vaccine is absorbed not just stuck in one muscle area-I've had several and once couldn't lift arm either, but when the nurse did it correctly and then rubbed it in, it was so much better! And she rubbed it in for several seconds-not just a quick rub-it sure does help. This really should be done with any vaccine. And heat sounds good-I bet that would help and help to have the vaccine absorbed better in the muscle-eat ice cream while you are on the heating pad! Hope you are better tomorrow!

"...But if you walk the footsteps of each other, you'll learn things you never knew, you never knew.Can you sing with all the voices of the mountains? Can you paint with all the colors of the wind..."

stilltamn8r1273676188.16713953 PostsRegistered 6/14/2006So Cal

Thanks to all! It 's still a little sore, but MUCH BETTER today!

I could barely reach back for my seatbelt yesterday- thank heavens as John said, it was in my left arm, not my right!

Iwss glad to hear that others had this soreness too, I felt less "alone"

Course, it COULD have been the ice cream that helped!!LOL!

andeshan1273677857.432184 PostsRegistered 5/11/2007OR

I don't know what is normal as I am not a doctor, but I had one back in Oct. and my arm was fine, it only hurt directly on the area where I had the shot.  I could lift my arm no problem, but everyone might be different.

Burnsite1273678825.8878037 PostsRegistered 7/31/2007

Good to hear it's less painful today. 

In March I had a tetanus shot (I think _just_ tetanus, not TDP).  It hardly hurt at all--just a bit the next day.  The meningitis vaccine I had in the other arm was a bit more uncormfortable for about a week. 

BUT. . .then about 7 weeks later the tetanus injection site hurt a little.   These injections are strange things, but nobody wants tetanus, and the spores live nearly forever and are everywhere, esp. in the soil. 

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