Tetanus Shot and Brachial Neuritis

Most children receive the Tetanus vaccine from a young age….but is it safe?

The Tetanus shot is a standard part of any pediatrician’s vaccine schedule.  However, like any vaccine, it is not without risk.

Tetanus is a serious disease that results when bacteria releases a toxin or poison into a person’s body. Tetanus lives in the soil, so a child who plays outside can get infected even from a small injury, as this disease enters the body through cuts or wounds.

The CDC advocates vaccination as the most effective protection from tetanus.  According the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, brachial neuritis is one of the known potential Tetanus shot side effects.

What is brachial neuritis?

Brachial neuritis is the swelling and inflammation of the nerve bundles that are responsible for sending signals from the spine to the shoulder, arms, and fingers. The syndrome usually starts with sudden, severe and sharp pain or burning in the shoulder and upper arm with no apparent cause.

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[accordion_item title=”Symptoms of Brachial Neuritis”]

  • Sudden, intense shoulder pain, most often in the right shoulder
  • Pain described as stabbing or burning
  • Pain worsens with shoulder movement
  • As the pain subsides shoulder muscles become weak or even paralyzed
  • Occasional areas of numbness in the arms or shoulder
  • Shortness of breath if the nerve to your diaphragm is affected


Painful Tetanus Shot Side Effects

What causes brachial neuritis?

Although the causes remain unknown, brachial neuritis is known to occur in association with the following:

  • A recent infection caused by bacteria or viruses
  • A parasite infestation
  • Illnesses such as systemic lupus
  • Vaccinations
  • Accidental injury elsewhere in the body

The tetanus shot is not the only vaccination that can cause brachial neuritis; the Flu and Hepatitis B vaccinations among others have been known to cause this syndrome. If you or your child develop this sudden pain following vaccinations consult your doctor immediately after symptoms occur.


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