Burner & Stinger

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A burner or stinger is an injury to the group of nerves called the brachial plexus, which exit the spine at the lower vertebrae of the neck. The injury happens commonly in contact sports in a tackle or a fall and the mechanism is via a rapid and forceful stretching of the neck away from the shoulder stretching the nerves or vice versa compressing the nerves. Occasionally a direct blow to the area between the shoulder and neck can cause the same injury.

Signs and symptoms:

  • Supporting the injured arm with the uninjured arm to take pressure off the shoulder
  • Holding the injured arm above the neck
  • Weakness in the involved arm
  • Pain and pins and needles in the involved arm
  • Headaches/neck pain
  • Injury occurs secondary to a tackle or fall