Needlephobia? This $11 ShotBlocker Can Ease Pain & Anxiety

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shotblocker cat

For some, a flu shot is a ten-minute item to knock off their to-do list. For others (lots of others), the mere thought of it makes them anxious all damn day. And we’re not just talking about nervous kids—although they’re included here, too. We’re talking grown adults whose knees buckle at the thought of—well, we won’t say it—because if you’re reading this, it might just make you queasy. That’s why we were relieved to learn about the handy little ShotBlocker from one of our favorite podcasts (thank you, The Deep Dive!).

What’s a ShotBlocker?

This nifty plastic contraption looks like it could moonlight as a makeup brush cleaner or a scalp scrubber, but those blunt little spikes are actually designed to help mitigate the pain of an injection—and therefore also decrease all that pent-up anxiety leading up to the shot—without using topical anesthetics. Place it over the injection area, press down firmly on the Shotblocker and let the, you know, thing happen. 

Wait, how does this help exactly?

OK so, those blunt spikes? According to the manufacturer, Bionix Health, those contact points “saturate the sensory nerves, distracting the patient from the pain signals caused by the needle,” allowing for an immediate pain-reducing effect. Think of it like a diversion for your nerves. 

And it’s not just a mental exercise. A 2021 meta-analysis (a statistical analysis that combines the results of multiple scientific studies) published in Clinical Nursing Research entitled, “The Effect of ShotBlocker Application on Intramuscular Injection Pain in Adults,” (how apropos) found that using the ShotBlocker reduced patients’ pain intensity. In fact, one of the trials included in the analysis concluded that the “ShotBlocker is an effective non-pharmacological method that reduces IM [intramuscular] injection-related pain and is similar, in efficacy, to cold spray.”

What can you use the ShotBlocker for?

For all the…things. (Read: insulin, vaccination, allergy, fertility, hormones and more.) You can use it at home or bring it with you to the doctor or pharmacist. It’s reusable too, so all you have to do is wash it between uses and you’re good to go. 

Anxiety relieved? Go knock some things off your to-do list. 


Executive Editor, Frazzled Mom, Bravo-Holic

Dara Katz is PureWow's Executive Editor, focusing on relationships, sex, horoscopes, travel and pets. Dara joined PureWow in 2016 and now dresses so much better. A lifestyle...