Achy Legs and Arms

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New Member

Date Joined Nov 2008
Total Posts : 2
   Posted 11/6/2008 1:47 PM (GMT -6)   
Hello all,

I'm new to this site and this is my first post. I was wondering if anyone has experienced what I am experiencing now.

about 3 weeks ago, I got a flu shot and tetanus shot...the next day my right side felt "different" and I immediately began to panic and google symptoms to find out what disease I had (my wife and parents have banned me from doing this now!). I was convinced I had Guillen Barre Syndrome - an extremely rare syndrome that you can get from the flu shot. So I panicked and started falling apart....dryness in mouth, cold hands/feet, frequent urination, sweating, rapid heart beat, etc. I realize that I sent my body into the "flight or fight" mode. All of my thoughts were irrational. The flu shot was on a monday and then on thursday i had to put my hound dog of 12 years down which tore me up. On top of this, my grandmother, aunt and uncle were killed in a car accident back in march and the trial for the man that hit them was also this week. So I had the panicking from the flu shot, having to put my dog down, and then the anxiety of the trial for this man. The next night after putting Sally down (my dog) I noticed that my legs were achy. After a week of irrational thoughts, I went back to the doctor and she told me it was probably just "flu like" symptoms from the flu shot. Well, it's been 3 weeks now and the aches are still there. The funny thing is, is that the aches move around. First it was my legs, then my arms, then my right leg and right arm, then just my right arm, and now just my legs.

I've been doing relaxation exercises, stretching exercises, have been reading books on how to battle anxiety, have been reading scripture on worry, and have also been doing a cardio and strength training workout every day to try to combat this. The funny thing is that when I work out, I don't feel the pain and then afterwards, it normally feels better. One possible contributor to this may be me tensing up while I'm sleeping. Last week, I woke up and my knees were numb from having my legs smashed together. I woke up and realized that I was extremely tense. Since I have been dealing with anxiety for 13 years now, I believe this is the root cause, and I have to combat the thoughts that it is some terrible disease. Has anyone ever experienced any of these achy symptoms from anxiety?

Thank you so much for looking at this.

God bless you.

Green Grove
Veteran Member

Date Joined Oct 2008
Total Posts : 2424
   Posted 11/6/2008 3:35 PM (GMT -6)   
Hi Maroonout:)

Welcome to the forum. You will meet a lot of nice people, and there is many resources for help:) One (or more:) of the cool mods will be on here shortly to let you know all about it. . . I just wanted to say hello:)
Much Love, Hugs, Peace & Comfort :)
God Bless Each & Every One Of You :)

Georgie Girl
Regular Member

Date Joined May 2008
Total Posts : 319
   Posted 11/6/2008 3:58 PM (GMT -6)   

Hi Maroon

Anxiety and depression can do strange things to our bodies.  I am bipolar and also suffer from anxiety.  When I am in clinical depression mode, not always but at least three times, my whole body has hurt, most especially my arms and legs.  The first time it happened, I too thought there was something terribly physically wrong with me. When I was put on an antidepressant, and found one that worked through tiral and error, my aches and pains went away.  If this goes on much longer, I'd go back to the doctor and explain that your symptoms are still present.

Yes, it's best not to get too involved in self-diagnosis.  For some of us, those health websites can be a real downer - and cause uncessary concern. 



Georgie Girl

Veteran Member

Date Joined Apr 2005
Total Posts : 1011
   Posted 11/6/2008 4:01 PM (GMT -6)   
Welcome. You have been through a lot lately. It's sounds like you're doing everything you can to help your anxiety naturally. Yes, I have achy arms, legs, back, you name it. It comes and goes and moves around as well. I've had this ever since I started having panic attacks about ten years ago. I also think it's from tensing my muscles without even realizing it. I sometimes tighten my leg muscles when I'm sleeping and when I wake up I feel like I have just walked several miles. I don't know if they told you this at the doc's, but the Tetnus shot can leave the muscles in your arm feeling very sore for a few days. The first time I had a panic attack was actually right after having a Tetnus shot. The pain in my arm was so intense that I started to panic. I felt like I was going to pass out and I was sure that I was having an allergic reaction to the shot. The arm they did they injection in was sore for a week or so. I know you said you've been dealing with anxiety for years, but all the recent events in your life are causing you added stress and making your anxiety worse I'm sure. Whenever this happens to me, my physical symptoms get worse or new ones appear. Take care. I hope things get better for you soon!

Elite Member

Date Joined Apr 2007
Total Posts : 32602
   Posted 11/6/2008 4:35 PM (GMT -6)   

Hello Maroon,

This is Kitt and welcome to HealingWell and the A & P forum.  There are many forms of panic and anxiety and I feel like you have just been overwhelmed.

Anxiety Symptoms include the following plus many other sx.

Feelings: anxious, fearful, angry, confused, hopeless, losing control, numb, sad, moody, irritable, guilty.

Behaviors: withdrawal from others or activities, disrupted routines, startle reactions, easily crying

Cognitions: preoccupation with possibility of trauma, concentration difficulties, self-doubt, worry, indecisiveness, memory difficulties

Physical complaints: muscle tension, headaches, gastric distress, sleep and appetite changes, fatigue

Talking usually helps. Share your feelings with friends, family, on here are all good ways to work through the anxiety.

Relaxation techniques: Try deep breathing, muscle relaxation, visualization (imagining peaceful scenes), and/or listening to soothing music.

Realistic self-talk: While we can't always control what happens to us, we can always control what we say to ourselves. It's important to keep things in perspective. Talk to yourself in reasonable ways. Ask yourself "how likely is my fear?" Remind yourself that you have coped before during other challenging times. Don't just dwell on the negative but consciously look for things you can appreciate every day.

Make an effort to stay focused on what's happening now. What do you see, hear, and smell? How do you feel? Truly be 'present' in the moment! That will help you keep the anxiety down.

Flu shot Side Effects:
  • Soreness, redness, or swelling where the shot was given
  • Fever (low grade)
  • Aches

If these problems occur, they begin soon after the shot and usually last one to two days.

Side Effects of Tetanus Toxoid Vaccines:

Side effects, such as soreness redness, or swelling where the shot was given, may be  likely to occur. These side effects usually start within hours to a day or two after vaccination. They may last 1-2 days. Your doctor may recommend reducing pain or soreness from the injection by taking an aspirin-free pain reliever such as acetaminophen (Tylenol, Tempra, others) or  Motrin, Advil or others in that category. When the shot is given and for the next 24-48 hours. Your healthcare provider can tell you the appropriate dosages of these medications.

If you have any problems please remember we are not professionals and your physician is the one to call if you think you are having a bad reaction.

Take care and welcome to our forum.  We have a thread for newbies to do an intro if they feel up to it. :-) REspectfully


Kitt, Co-Moderator: Anxiety/Panic & Depression
& GERD  Forums
*~* *~*
Not a mental health professional of any kind
It is health that is real wealth and not pieces of gold and silver.~Mahatma Gandhi~
Clickable Link: Anxiety-Panic Resources

Regular Member

Date Joined Mar 2006
Total Posts : 310
   Posted 11/6/2008 7:39 PM (GMT -6)   
Hey Maroon, it sounds like you have been through an overwhelming time lately, and I can certainly see how you would feel emotionally and physically affected by it all. I find that my arms and legs ache if I don't sleep, particularly if I'm so anxious that I don't sleep for several nights in a row. Our bodies definitely respond to our emotions. I hope you'll find peace a step at a time and begin to feel better soon.

Take care,

Betsy (-:
Dx Crohn's Disease 1996
Have taken Prednisone, Pentasa, Rowasa, and Asacol
Currently on Asacol 2400 mg daily to manage remission

Veteran Member

Date Joined Jul 2006
Total Posts : 2721
   Posted 11/6/2008 9:27 PM (GMT -6)   

Hi Maroon,

Welcome to HW..what a rough time you are going through. I would be having panic as well..but your family is right to ban you from googling symptoms nono that always ends in tears for me!!!

I'm not a health professional, so I don't know what to say about the flu/tetanus shot. I do know I get pain from having shots..aches etc for a few days..and bruises from hades, but I would keep an eye on it if it continues..but try not to panic too much okay?

Everyone has given you some great input so I won't bore you too much with mine. Stick with us, keep taking deep breaths and listening to the rational part of your brian. Anxiety feeds on don't give it any fuel.

Again, welcome.


Co-moderator Anxiety/Panic
Panic Attack Survivor

New Member

Date Joined Nov 2008
Total Posts : 2
   Posted 11/10/2008 1:08 PM (GMT -6)   
Thanks to all of you who have responded so far. I truly appreciate it.
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