Nobody loves getting injections, but if you need regular vitamin B12 supplements, then you’re all too familiar with vitamin B12 injection pain. The dull throbbing and soreness, side effects of prescribed intramuscular (IM) injections can last forever, even if you self-inject vitamin B12 in the comfort of your own home. Listed are some helpful tips for reducing localized muscular pain and irritation caused by vitamin B12 injections.
If you have vitamin B12 deficiency from pernicious anemia or as a result of bariatric surgery, then you must supplement with vitamin B12 regularly in order to prevent debilitating symptoms such as fatigue, depression, muscle pain, memory loss, and other signs of cognitive and neurological breakdown.
Vitamin B12 injections are not for the faint of heart, though, as they must be inserted in thick, deep muscular tissue in order to work.
1- Ice the injection site
Before injecting with vitamin B12, apply ice to your thigh, hip, or groin- wherever you plan on inserting the needle. If the B12 shot is painful, then your muscles impulsively flex as a reaction to the needle’s insertion. By numbing the skin at the injection site first with ice or topical creams, then you reduce some the bruising and soreness that come with weekly or monthly vitamin B12 injections.
2- Vary the injection site
If you receive vitamin B12 injections often, then it’s important not to use the same location on the body as your injection site two times in a row. Alternate between right and left, and experiment with popular points for injecting vitamin B12, such as the thighs, buttocks, hips, abdomen, or upper arm.
This may be a hard pill to swallow, especially if you’re usually nervous about sharp needles, but it really does help to sit in a comfortable position before submitting to a vitamin B12 shot, and force your muscles to relax as the needle goes in and the thick fluid enters your muscular tissue.
4- Ask for help
It’s okay to pass the needle to somebody else, even if you’ve opted for vitamin B12 self-injections. Ask a close friend, companion, spouse, or relative to learn how to administer vitamin B12 shots, or at least hold a mirror for you while you give yourself the injection, and rub out the pain afterwards to prevent bruising and other painful side effects.
5- Distraction helps
If your child requires vitamin B12 injections on a regular basis, then keeping her mind occupied on something else for just a few seconds can help to reduce the fear and the pain. According to a study on injection pain in children, putting on some music, handing her a toy, or telling a story are proven methods for enhancing injection pain relief.
6- Talk to your doctor
If the vitamin B12 injection site hurts for more than a few days, then visit your doctor. Warning signs of intramuscular injection damage include redness, increased swelling, fever, and warmth of the skin at the injection site.
7- Consider alternatives
If you can’t hack the pain, then know that there are alternatives to vitamin B12 shots.
Some vitamin manufacturers offer gentle, non-dietary forms of vitamin B12 that don’t require injection with sharp needles, yet contain the same 1,000mcg dose of essential vitamin B12 nutrients.
Alternative vitamin B12 supplementation is also a healthy, safe way to boost energy levels between vitamin B12 injections, when your doctor doesn’t prescribe enough vitamin B12 to alleviate symptoms of chronic fatigue, brain fog, painful numbness and tingling, and memory problems.
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