This article provides some information about the pain that one experiences after getting a tetanus shot.
Usually, a tetanus shot is given to one when he/she is a toddler in the form of a diphtheria-pertussis-tetanus vaccine. One may also receive it as a part of school vaccination programs. Hence, many do not remember the pain they had to go through after the taking the shot.
Is a Tetanus Shot Painful?
A tetanus shot is indeed painful. The pain can last anywhere from a couple of days to about a week. There are various side effects of the same. Some of them are a feeling of numbness, pain in the arm, neck and shoulder, and fatigue. The serious side effects are hives, skin rashes, or muscle weakness.
Why Does the Tetanus Vaccine Hurt So Much?
There are many theories, in regards to the pain caused by this vaccination. However, there is no definite answer to this question. In all probabilities, it has got to do with the tetanus bacteria itself, that makes this shot painful. The tetanus bacteria grows in abundance in the deep tissue in the body. If one is deeply wounded by a rusted or dirty object, the chances are high that a dormant group of tetanus bacteria would enter the tissue and cause infection.
The tetanus shot does not kill the bacteria immediately, it instead strengthens the body with antibodies to work against this bacteria. It is also said, that the number of antibodies created by this vaccine are responsible for the pain. The other theory related to the pain associated with the tetanus shot is that it is due to the relative acidity and concentration in the vaccine.
Since it is painful, previously, nurses and health care professionals used to warm the vaccine, by rubbing the vaccine in between their hands, before they administered it. However, recent studies have shown that this practice is of no use, as the pain is not due to the temperature of the vaccine and warming the vaccine has no effect in terms of pain caused.
The pain duration after undergoing this vaccination varies from person to person. Some people experience the pain only for about a few minutes of receiving the vaccine. There are others who experience pain in the arm for a couple of days. In worst cases of pain, people can experience the pain up to a few weeks. A lot of people claim that the pain on the second day after taking this vaccination is the worst, however, it subsides on its own.
Often painkillers are prescribed for pain relief from a tetanus shot. After consuming a painkiller the pain subsides in a day or two. In some cases, the pain might take a few more days to subside.
There are people who are afraid of the side effects associated with the tetanus shot and also the pain, therefore they do not get themselves vaccinated. However, taking tetanus shot is a safer option, as tetanus bacteria can cause death. It is important to note that even small cracks in the skin can cause the bacteria to penetrate inside the body. Therefore, do not forget to get these booster shots well on time, to avoid fatal consequences of the bacteria.
Disclaimer: This article is for informative purposes only, and should not be used as a replacement for expert medical advice.