7 Exercises to Reduce Arm Soreness After the COVID-19 Vaccination

May5th 2021

With the COVID-19 vaccination now open to anyone over 16 in the United States, more and more people are getting vaccinated every day.  Although the side effects of the vaccine vary widely, one of the most common side effects is arm soreness.  Despite lasting for only a day or two, it can still be unpleasant.  One way to reduce this soreness is to move your arm around to keep the muscles active and prevent the vaccine’s reaction from being concentrated to the injection site.  Here are 7 exercises you can do to keep your arm moving to reduce soreness and inflammation:

Seated Towel Slide

  1. Start off by sitting to the side of a table with your hand on the sore arm resting on a towel.
  2. Slowly bend sideways, pushing the towel to the side across the table.
  3. Return to the starting position and repeat. We recommend doing 3 sets of 10 reps.

Shoulder Posterior Capsule Stretch

  1. Raise your sore arm across the front of your body.
  2. Grip the outside of your arm with your other arm and apply light pressure until you feel a stretch.
  3. Breathe deeply and hold for 30 seconds. Do 3 times.

Shoulder Flexion Wall Slide

  1. Start off in a standing upright position holding a towel against a wall at shoulder height.
  2. Slowly slide the towel straight up the wall until your elbow is straight, and then lower it back down.
  3. Perform 3 sets of 10 reps.

Circle Pendulum Stretch

  1. Start off in a standing position with your torso bent forward, one arm resting on a table for support, and your sore arm hanging down towards the ground.
  2. Slowly shift your body weight in a circular motion, letting your hanging arm swing in a circle.
  3. Perform 3 sets of 10 reps.

Lateral Deltoid Raises

  1. Stand or sit with your palms facing down, touching the sides of your body.
  2. Raise your arms straight up from your sides, with elbows straight, working out to shoulder level.
  3. Perform 3 sets of 10 reps.

Overhead Press

  1. Start with your hands next to your shoulders and elbows bent.
  2. Press your arms up over your head, straightening your elbows.
  3. Perform 3 sets of 10 reps.

Horizontal Abduction with External Rotation

  1. Start with your arms in front of you at shoulder height, with your palms up.
  2. Reach your arms out your sides and then return to the starting position.
  3. Perform 3 sets of 10.

You can repeat these exercises throughout the day, as needed!  Should you need additional assistance, please consult a medical professional.  You can also reach us anytime at NY Physical Therapy & Wellness.

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