get the flu shot, or not to get the flu shot; this is the question that many chronic
pain patients must answer at this time of year. For individuals living with
chronic conditions such as fibromyalgia, any neuropathy, arthritis, or RSD,
getting the flu shot can be a tough call. Unfortunately, there isn’t a lot of
research for Arizona pain specialists to base an answer off of. In most cases,
the answer is based on patient experiences, pain, and chronic condition.
the most part, pain specialists will recommend the flu vaccine for patients who
have had the vaccination before and have tolerated them well, and for patients
who have a serious chronic illness such as emphysema, diabetes or a heart
condition in addition to chronic pain.
aspect to consider is how much exposure you normally have to the flu virus. Are
you a school teacher? A health care provider? Hold a job or have
responsibilities that often take you out of the house during flu season?
What’s Better? The Flu
or Chronic Pain
some cases, patients who live with chronic conditions such as fibromyalgia and
RSD feel a bit more “normal” when they have the flu. Some pain specialists
believe this is because the flu virus stimulates the immune system, which can
naturally improve how the immune system tolerates other conditions, such as the
ones that cause chronic pain.
while it can strike at any time of the year, is mostly prevalent in the winter
months and the reason for this is likely because people spend more time indoors
in closer contact with other individuals. Add to that that there are two
different flu seasons – one in each hemisphere, the northern and the southern –
and you’re looking at breakouts twice a year. Because the strains mutate easily
and often, the vaccine that was offered a year ago – sometimes even six months
ago – isn’t the same strain that individuals are getting vaccinated for today.
While getting a flu shot isn’t necessarily a guarantee that you won’t get
stricken with the flu it is the only effective way to prevent the flu that is
available today. You’ve probably heard the stories of people who get a flu shot
then get the flu regardless – the reason for this is because of its ability to
World Health Organization decides on the strains of flu vaccine that will be
offered based on the most prevalent strains found to be infecting people in
recent months. The virus given in the flu shot is a strain of dead viruses and
following the injection your body will develop antibodies to the flu without
developing the symptoms of the flu. The vaccine is recommended for the very
old, the very young and for those who have compromised immune systems.
all situations, your best bet is to discuss whether or not to get a flu shot
with your pain specialist.