Got Frozen Shoulder From a Flu Shot?

Feb 2018 | Chiropractic, Frozen Shoulder, Shoulder Pain


Vaccines have been noted to be of importance for most prevention of serious, life threatening illnesses. However, after a series of case studies were completed and published in 2015 by the JCM it is now recommended to know the proper depth and location each vaccine needs to be administered.


Patients were being administered the flu shot at the same time as a pneumococcal vaccination. Pneumococcal disease has been known to cause meningitis, pneumonia, and sepsis. Prior to 2015 reports started implicating that this known vaccination was causing patients to report pain and limited movement in their shoulder. This injection was on average administered to approximately 70% of the United States population over the age of 18.


The term frozen shoulder is a form of shoulder stiffness and can stem from any unknown disease or without cause. Sometimes, a frozen shoulder can be caused from a known precursor but typically will cause shoulder pain and ultimately stiffness throughout the body. Both primary and secondary known forms of frozen shoulder include but are not limited to:

  • Age
  • Diabetes
  • Cardiac disease
  • Breathing disorders
  • Neurological disorders
  • Trauma
  • Rotator cuff lesions
  • Arthritis

When frozen shoulder occurs, the joint spaces are of normal proportion but the shoulder motion is restrained and painful due to the joint capsule becoming irritated and reduced. Frozen shoulder is a diagnosis of exclusion.Treatment of frozen shoulder is based upon the length of time and severity of pain. It can be treated through physiotherapy, pain management, chiropractic care, steroids, or surgery. Seeing a chiropractor in Dallas for any of these issues can not only prevent frozen shoulder or muscle stiffness but can also help prevent lots of diseases and illnesses, such as the common cold or flu like symptoms. Chiropractic care has been known to not only help with neurological disorders and managing symptoms but to also help arthritis and even breathing disorders. To keep healthy and avoid the flu or strep, it could be beneficial for anyone from infants to seniors to visit with a Dallas-Fort Worth chiropractor.


When speaking to your doctor about receiving the flu shot or any type of vaccination, remember to ask for specific guidelines before agreeing to the terms of the administration. For the flu shot here are some guidelines to remember:

  • The shot is injected intramuscularly in the deltoid
  • The needle length should be anywhere from 5/8 to 1 1/2 inches for adults dependent on weight

Common side effects are:

  • Allergic reactions
  • Fever
  • Soreness where the shot was given
  • Rash

During the case studies, the deltoid fat pads were viewed through an MRI image and found that the normal length of a needle for adults led to over penetration in anywhere from 11% to a shocking 61% of the pediatric population. Due to the exact location needed to support the needle length it has been recommended that complete exposure of the penetration site be exposed for proper identification. These injections must be given at a 90 degree angle and 20 or 22 gauge needle be used. It is important to note that normally, with injections into the arm the muscle clears the antigens within several days from the soft tissue. However, because of the contents of the vaccinations the interactions between the antigens and antibodies can cause a prolonged recovery time. Due to the immune response time the shoulder stiffness can occur. This should not stray anyone from receiving the flu shot as it has been proven to prevent disease and prolong life. Know your body and speak to a medical professional about any questions you may have prior and after receiving any vaccine.

If you are experiencing issues after a vaccine such as muscle tension or weakness you can always take a more holistic approach and see your DFW chiropractor in order to get treatment. Contact Accident Centers of Texas today for more information!

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