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arm pain, tingling, finger numbness after flu shot
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by dkdc, Nov 12, 2010
I recieved a flu shot on 10-02-10 fairly high on my left deltoid.  Four days later, I awoke with a stiff neck and a twitching left upper eyelid.  The next day, The stiffness had moved to my shoulder, armpit, and upper chest.  It felt like the muscles were really sore and tight.  Since then, the pain has moved down into the whole arm, and I have numbness in my index and middle fingers, which has seemed to have gotten better in the last week, but is still there.  At random times, I will get tingling down the arm into my hand.  My work place sent me to a workman's comp physician, since I had gotten the flu shot through my workplace.  She has since released me, saying that she doesn't think it was from the flu shot, but she didn't think that I should get a flu shot again next year (?).
So, my question is, do you think I should see a neurologist?  It does seem to be getting better and the eyelid twitching has stopped.  Is there any harm in waiting another month or so?  I have a high deductible insurance plan and I'd hate to spend $5,000 for something that might get better with time anyway.  
Thank you for your time.
Answer:
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by Christopher R Newey, DOBlank, Nov 16, 2010
Thanks for using the forum. I am happy to address your questions, and my answer will be based on the information you provided here. Please make sure you recognize that this forum is for educational purposes only, and it does not substitute for a formal office visit with a doctor.

Without the ability to examine and obtain a history, I can not tell you what the exact cause of the symptoms is. However I will try to provide you with some useful information.

Flu shots can cause an inflammatory reaction that may cause pain and sensory changes. If your symptoms are persistent and bothersome, you should see at least your primary care physician to have an evaluation. You may then need to see a neurologist for a thorough examination. The concern would be if the nerves (brachial plexus) is inflammed/affected which may then require a test called an EMG/NCS to fully evaluate.

Thank you for this opportunity to answer your questions, I hope you find the information I have provided useful, good luck.
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by dkdc, Nov 16, 2010
Thank you so much for your response.  I will see my primary care physician soon.  The pain is very intense at times.  Thanks again!