Updated: Jun 4
SIRVA stands for Shoulder Injury Related to Vaccine Administration. It is a rare condition that can occur as a complication of a vaccine injection, specifically when the vaccine is mistakenly injected into the shoulder joint or the surrounding tissues instead of the deltoid muscle.
SIRVA typically results from the injection being administered too high or too deep in the shoulder area, causing damage to the underlying structures, including tendons, ligaments, bursae, or the joint capsule. This can lead to inflammation, pain, limited range of motion, and shoulder dysfunction.
The symptoms of SIRVA may manifest shortly after the vaccination or develop gradually over time. The pain is often intense, persistent, and localized to the affected shoulder. Common symptoms include shoulder pain, stiffness, weakness, and difficulty with activities involving shoulder movement.
It is important to differentiate SIRVA from typical vaccine-related side effects, such as soreness at the injection site, mild pain, or swelling, which are temporary and resolve on their own. SIRVA is a distinct condition resulting from improper vaccine administration.
Treatment for SIRVA may involve a multidisciplinary approach, including pain management, physical therapy, anti-inflammatory medications, and, in some cases, corticosteroid injections. Rest, ice, and physical therapy exercises aimed at restoring range of motion and strength may also be recommended. In severe cases, surgery may be required to repair any structural damage.
Prevention is key in avoiding SIRVA. Proper vaccine administration by trained healthcare professionals who follow recommended guidelines for injection technique and anatomical landmarks is crucial. Ensuring that the injection is delivered into the deltoid muscle rather than the joint or surrounding tissues can significantly reduce the risk of SIRVA.
If you suspect you may be experiencing SIRVA following a vaccine injection, it is important to seek medical attention and consult with a healthcare professional for an accurate diagnosis and appropriate management of the condition. Our expert musculoskeletal service can help, contact us via one of the links below.