Flu shots are more important than ever this year. Not to mention many the coupons and gift cards many pharmacies are offering and generally your insurance pays for it, which means you pay nothing out of pocket. Pretty good deal to better protect yourself from the flu. The one drawback of a flu shot is a sore arm where the injection was given. Not everyone gets a sore arm after a flu shot, but it’s pretty common. The pain is because your immune system has to react to the antigen in the vaccine (priming your immune system is the whole point of getting the shot), and that process involves inflammation, and inflammation tends to involve soreness, redness, and swelling. These are the most common side effects of almost every vaccine. But you can minimize the pain. Relax your muscle before the needle goes in. Injections tend to hurt more if a muscle is tensed. Move your arm around after the shot as it may help in moving the injected liquid around your arm a bit, so that when that inflammatory reaction occurs, it’s not as concentrated in one place. Consider getting the shot in your left shoulder if you’re right handed and consider not scheduling the shot right before arm day in the gym. You can ask your provider if it’s okay to take a pain reliever like ibuprofen before or after the shot. Sometimes that helps.