With the beginning of flu season comes reminders to get your flu shot. Indeed, providers have made it simple to come in during a work break or on a weekend to get it done, though not everybody takes advantage. It’s natural to have concerns about the effects of vaccines, and if you have questions you should talk with your physician. If you deal with joint pain on a regular basis, you may wonder if getting a flu shot can affect your current health.
Influenza, or the flu, affects the respiratory system. According to the Center for Disease Control, approximately 8% of Americans become sick from the flu annually. Health providers recommend a flu shot once a year to prevent the spread of different strains, which can prove fatal if one doesn’t take precautions. People at high risk of catching the flu include:
- Senior citizens aged 65 and older
- Pregnant women and infants/toddlers under the age of 2
- People who suffer respiratory illnesses, like asthma
- People with weakened immune systems due to age or illness
Where does this leave people with arthritis and other types of joint pain? Even if you don’t fit into any of the above categories, you’re still a flu risk. Obtaining the shot that contains a dead flu virus; however, it is not recommended to take the nasal spray vaccine. Also known as LAIV, this is a live attenuated vaccine that can negatively affect people with chronic pain. Some may be attracted to this vaccine to avoid needles, but it can cause problems.
If you have concerns about any vaccine having an adverse affect on your joints, the physicians at Bon Secours Virginia Orthopaedic & Spine Specialists are here to help. Contact us today to learn more about the services we offer and how we can help you with pain management and non-surgical options