A TikTok trend of swinging your arm around like a windmill to stop soreness after vaccine is nonsense, experts say

·2 min read
Three stills from TikTokkers swinging their arms around after having had the COVID-19 vaccine.
People waving their arm after getting a COVID-19 shot. biscuitlover420/cait_mcd/greenkiasoulsupporter/TikTok

A TikTok "hack" involving swinging an arm around to prevent soreness from COVID-19 shots is probably useless, experts say.

The dance trend has swept across the app, with numerous users filming themselves "windmilling" their arms soon after being vaccinated, often to Vinny West's "Too Player."

Many users jokingly post that they did it "because TikTok told me to," along with their videos. Variations on "just got my COVID-19 shot ... you know what that means," is another common comment.

But the celebratory move "won't do anything" to alleviate the soreness, according to Beate Kampmann, the director of the Vaccine Centre at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine.

"It's harmless, looks very silly, and won't do anything," she told The Guardian. "The sore arm does not actually happen immediately, as the immune response has not yet happened, and not everyone gets it either."

Arm soreness, of varying intensity, is one of the most commonly reported side effects of the vaccines, though it does not affect everyone.

Moving the arm around and using a cold compress later are effective ways to relieve arm soreness after the shot, experts told Insider's Julia Naftulin, but they made no mention of "windmilling" specifically.

It's unlikely to help "beyond any placebo effect," Adam Finn, a professor of pediatrics at the University of Bristol, told The Guardian.

TikTok has added a vaccine information notice to some of the posts.

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