If you play a high impact or collision sport such as football, you’ve likely heard the term burner or stinger to refer to common injuries. A burner or a stinger, interchangeable terms, is basically an injury that affects the nerves found in the shoulder, neck or upper arm. It causes a burning or stinging sensation to spread down the arm, often all the way to your hand – thus the name. Some patients equate the feeling of this injury to an electric shock down the arm that quickly subsides.
An injury to the many nerves that make up the brachial plexus can cause a burner or stinger. This commonly happens if the head is suddenly turned sideways or pushed down – common events in sports such as football, wrestling or boxing.
Typically you will only feel this injury in one arm, and the feeling of electricity through your arm will only last for a number of seconds or minutes. There is very little treatment required for a burner or stinger, athletes are typically removed from play. However, if neck or shoulder pain persists, it is advised to visit our office for a consultation and treatment or therapy.