10 tips for a better flu shot

How do you make a shot feel better? This is a pertinent question that many people often wonder about. People often report varying side effects from their flu shots, including flu shot muscle aches and other inflammation. Basically, how can I make my flu shot hurt less? You will require several tips and tricks in this regard. You should remember that getting a flu shot will benefit you immensely, offering you safety and protection against the hugely feared influenza. A whopping 2/3rds of adults and children who are getting flu shots still report soreness or pain at the injection site afterwards, as per reports. There are several simple ways and means that you can adopt for feeling better in this regard. 

With regard to flu shot pain relief, you will firstly require a hygienic pharmacy near you with ample expertise and skills in administering shot for influenza and other vaccine shots. The pharmacy will help you out with a hygienic and clean ambience along with expertly trained staff members who will administer flu shots while ensuring that you have minimal pain and distress. Here are the simple tips that you can adhere to for a better flu shot experience. 

  1. Try and Relax- Flu shots can turn more painful whenever any muscle remains tense. Until and unless the flu shot is finally administered, let the arm hang loosely and if you are sitting, put the hand flat on the upper leg. Relax as much as possible. Think about everything but the shot that you are about to take! This works wonders in minimising anxiety and pain levels alike. 
  2. Create a Blueprint- Decide on which arm that you will use the injection. A shot in the dominant arm may lead to initial soreness, although the extra movement of the arm will help in working the vaccine swiftly into the muscles. It is your choice as to which side you are selecting, although you will notice it less if the soreness happens for your non-dominant arm. 
  3. Ease out Pain- You can consider a dose of acetaminophen or ibuprofen for helping in lowering overall pain and inflammation alike. This should be done only in consultation with your doctor. 
  4. Drink Fluids- Ensure that you are drinking ample water before and after the vaccination. Hydrated muscles will naturally recover faster and absorb the vaccine better as compared to muscles that are dehydrated. 
  5. Go for a Treat- Treat yourself to something sugary that you can chew or suck on at the time of the injection. This will help in releasing vital endorphins, going a long way towards lowering the overall pain that you are feeling. 
  6. Ask the nurse- If you are feeling anxious or nervous, ask the nurse immediately. He/she may distract you better by asking questions, talking about other things and eventually making it easier for you to get the shot. 
  7. Plan your apparel- Wear a short sleeve outfit so that the professional may readily access the upper arm. If you are attending a public event for flu vaccines where privacy may be lower, wear an undershirt if you have to get the long sleeve shirt removed. 
  8. Massaging Afterwards- To make sure that you relieve pain instantly after the injection, consider lightly massaging the area. This will help you relieve pain and absorb the impact of the injection. 
  9. Keep Moving the Arm- Make sure that you are gently moving the arm after your injection. This will keep the muscles moving and also help the body absorb the shot better. 
  10. Watch out for Infections- You should always watch out for any signs or chances of infections. The nurse should be washing his/her hands and then using an alcohol-based rub while putting on gloves that are sterile. Note the cleaning of the injection site, i.e. an alcohol prep pad should be used for wiping the skin during the shot and then wiping in the outward circle, away from where the needle will be injected. The shot should be given roughly 2-3 fingers breadth below the shoulder bone. The shot will be aimed at a 90-degree angle into the muscle, and the plunger will be smoothly and quickly pushed, and the needle pulled out thereafter. 

Experts state that discomfort is mostly caused by the medicine going into the body and not necessarily the needle in question. At times, the shot may happen to touch a part that is more sensitive, and this may lead to more pain for some individuals. The positive side is that soreness, in this case, will only be there for a day or a couple of days at the most. Yet, it is always worth protecting yourself from contracting deadly influenza or flu.