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Stinger

Definition:

A stinger, or burner, is a common injury to the nerve supply of the upper arm, resulting from trauma to the neck or shoulder. A stinging or burning pain spreads from the shoulder to the hand. Symptoms of stingers are usually brief but severe injuries can take weeks or months to heal.

Causes:
An injury to the brachial plexus can cause a stinger. When the head is forcefully pushed sideways and down, the neck is bent and the surrounding nerves are pinched. Stingers often occur in athletes who play contact sports.
Symptoms:

These symptoms typically occur for a few seconds or minutes in one arm, although symptoms may occur for hours, days or longer in some cases:

  • A burning or electric shock sensation
  • Arm numbness and weakness immediately following the injury
  • Warm sensation
Treatment:
  • Do not participate in sports activities until all symptoms are completely gone
  • Use of a neck roll or elevated shoulder pads may be needed during sports activities
  • Physical therapy can improve strength and motion if the symptoms last for several days
Neck pain (or cervicalgia) is a common problem, with two-thirds of the population having neck pain at some point in their lives.
IRG Pain Guide