Vaccinations are one of the greatest medical advances of the 20th century, reducing child mortality by 50% and averting up to 3 million deaths per year. However, sometimes injuries can occur; the most common injury is known as Shoulder Injury Related to Vaccine Administration (SIRVA). Dr. Marko Bodor, Director of Research of the Napa Medical Research Foundation, discusses this problem and a minimally-invasive procedure that he has developed through his research as a solution.

If you suspect you may have vaccination-related shoulder dysfunction and your shoulder pain is not going away after 2 weeks, we recommend you contact your primary care physician, or an orthopedic/sports medicine specialist. Let them know that you have had shoulder pain since the vaccination and that it is not going away. If they are skeptical about this problem, tell them that there are over 30 peer-reviewed publications in the National Library of Medicine available on PubMed. There is a review article on the prevalence of this problem: Unfortunately, there have been no articles specifically addressing treatment.

Referral to a physical medicine and rehabilitation or sports medicine specialist with expertise in musculoskeletal diagnostic ultrasound is advisable to further assess the shoulder via ultrasound and sonopalpation to potentially perform targeted ultrasound-guided injections. In general, we are against the use of non-steroidal anti-inflammatories (NSAIDs) for disorders that benefit from an increase in blood flow, which is lacking in the rotator cuff tendons. Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) is useful to look for the track of the vaccination needle and where the vaccine may have been deposited. Subacromial and glenohumeral joint corticosteroid injections can be performed, which we have found helpful for the auto-immune response caused by vaccines deposited in the deeper shoulder structures. Physical therapy can help with frozen shoulder, which can occur with vaccination-related shoulder dysfunction.

If the pain and disability do not resolve with these measures, various surgical techniques are available to treat the shoulder bursa, rotator cuff and adjacent structures. The Bodor Clinic has developed a method to precisely identify the source of pain and treat it using an ultra-minimally invasive technique.

To read more about Dr. Bodor and scheduling an evaluation with the Bodor Clinic, please visit:
To read more about NMRF’s research study on SIRVA, please go to:

The Napa Medical Research Foundation is dedicated to pioneering advances in regenerative medicine, ultrasound imaging and minimally invasive procedures for children and adults suffering from orthopedic and neurological disorders, and to making these innovations available to all members of our community.

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