Since April, TikTok users believe they have found the miracle solution to post-vaccination arm pain. The technique ? Make wide rotations of the shoulders when leaving the vaccination center. According to them, these movements would activate blood circulation. But is it really useful?
Normal or even desired pain
Headaches, fever, etc. Vaccines against the coronavirus can cause so-called “non-serious” side effects. Topping the list: the infamous arm pain. This is completely normal, and it goes for many vaccines.
“The vaccine is injected into the muscle and therefore, it causes a local inflammatory reaction“, explains Sophie Lucas, president and professor of the Institut de Duve at UCLouvain.
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In fact, the inflammatory reaction is sought during vaccination. “This shows that the immune system has been stimulated locally. And that’s what we induce by making a vaccine.“This pain felt after an injection, so it’s just an immune response.
And in the case of messenger RNA vaccines, “we could notice that they had a fairly strong reactogenicityThis means that they provoke quite significant local reactions.
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Does the “windmill” work?
Therefore, if young and old “reel“on TikTok, it would be to stimulate blood circulation. And indeed, in doing so,”they stimulate the muscle locally, as during physical exercise“Sophie Lucas explains. So it’s not completely insane.
However, according to the president of the Institut de Duve at UCLouvain, no one can say that this trend has any effect. “Making reels with your arm can’t hurt. But I would be amazed if it had such a drastic effect on pain.“
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On the side of pharmaceutical companies too, we remain skeptical. According to The Guardian, Pfizer and Johnson & Johnson highlight the lack of scientific evidence. Also according to the British news site, a spokesperson for AstraZeneca said he was “hard to exclude anything“as to this technique, but that it was”certainly not aware of its usefulness“.
If its effectiveness is not proven, the technique at least has the merit of being positive. “VSgreat of teens to encourage each other to endure the unpleasant effects of the vaccine“, concludes Sophie Lucas.