AROUND the world people are rolling up their sleeves to get vaccinated against Covid.
This handy trick can prevent you getting a sore arm after – one of the most common side effects.
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It’s going viral on TikTok, but unlike many trends on the video streaming platform, this one actually makes sense, experts say.
People who have had the vaccine in the past few hours swing their arm around in a windmill motion, like they are backwards swimming.
A user who goes by Chelly said “this sh*t better work so my arm doesn’t hurt tomorrow”.
And it should work, according to Dr Peter Chin-Hong, an infectious disease specialist and professor of medicine at University of California San Francisco.
He told local news site SFGATE: “It actually does make sense to me as an infectious disease doctor. Basically, what they’re doing … is increasing the blood supply to the arm that’s vaccinated.”
The Covid vaccine is jabbed into the upper arm where the muscle is.
This can cause a sore arm in at least one in ten people, according to trial data of Covid vaccines, as well as pain at the injection site, swelling and sometimes a rash.
Dr Chin-Hong said: “It remains local, so the first thing your immune system is going to say is, ‘Hey, there’s this foreign invader in here’.
“It’s going to start being trained, which is a good thing, which is what you want. So that inflammation happens at the muscle area.”
The inflammation suggests the vaccine is working to trigger the immune system.
The arm muscle slowly releases the vaccine out to the immune cells, which leads to inflammation.
But Dr Chin-Hong says that swinging your arms after the jab, and in effect dispersing the vaccine sooner, could help reduce soreness.
Don’t do it straight away, he says, as the inoculation needs to get to work first.
There is also a tiny harmless injury to the muscle where the needle has been inserted, which explains why the arm may hurt, and the importance of blood flow there.
It’s important to continue moving your arm, even if it is uncomfortable.
Sometimes the nurse will inject your dominant arm because you’ll exercise it more after the jab.
Other ways to relieve the pain include using a cool compress, such as a clean and cold cloth, or painkillers.
Arm soreness shouldn’t last more than two or three days.
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