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Brachial Neuritis From DTaP Vaccine?
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Brachial Neuritis From DTaP Vaccine?

Hi,

I am a 43 year old who received a DTaP booster in mid March. I had cut myself gardening and it had been 7 years since my last tetanus shot. About a week later, I developed sudden and severe pain in my right shoulder and upper arm. This was the opposite arm of the injection site. After some research, it appeared my symptoms matched those of brachial neuritis, which is a potential side effect of the tetanus vaccination.

I have had a hard time convincing my doctors of this connection. I was able to convince my physician to give me a course of steroids. The pain is subsiding a bit but is still severe, and I do have some mild sensory deficits. I have no apparent weakness or muscle atrophy right now (3 weeks since shot) although I realize these can be symptoms that manifest later in the disease.

1. What is the normal progression of symptoms and prognosis for brachial neuritis?

2. Are there any other medicines or supplements I can take to treat this brachial neuritis and increase my chances of recovery?

3. What kind/type of physical therapy or strength training can I do to help myself? Right now, I'm on a lifting restriction of 5 pounds.

4. I have asthma, so it is paramount that I receive an influenza vaccine every flu season. However, I am afraid due to this experience. What is your suggestion for future vaccinations based upon my reaction to this tetanus booster?

Thanks!  
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Dear Friend,
Please find my answers plotted against your questions...

1. What is the normal progression of symptoms and prognosis for brachial neuritis?
               The onset is generally sudden of this condition and usually lasts for few hours to several days.The pain is sharp / throbbing in nature.
Weakness is generally maximum in the first week and then slowly recovers as per merit and can't be quantified.

2. Are there any other medicines or supplements I can take to treat this brachial neuritis and increase my chances of recovery?
                We generally follow a symptomatic treatment (as per the symptoms). Steriods have a temporary effect on this condition.

3. What kind/type of physical therapy or strength training can I do to help myself? Right now, I'm on a lifting restriction of 5 pounds.
                 I would say that a good physiotherapist help would be required for a good monitored rehabilitation.Shoulder Range of motion (Active and passive), mild lifting of weights are suggested under supervision.

4. I have asthma, so it is paramount that I receive an influenza vaccine every flu season. However, I am afraid due to this experience. What is your suggestion for future vaccinations based upon my reaction to this tetanus booster?
         What has happened, i a purely co-incidental. Future of the same can't really be predicted. Just need prayers and little alertness.

Feel free to discuss further.
Regards..
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