Orthopedic Treatment For Burners And Stingers

by Administrator 22. September 2014 08:38

A Burner, also known as Stinger, is an injury of the upper arm in which the pain spreads from the shoulder to the hands. These are common injuries that occur in contact or collision sports. The injury occurs at brachial plexus, which is a collection of nerves providing sensation and motor function to upper extremity. The injury is named so because of the feeling of electric shock or lightning bolt going down the arm accompanied by a warm sensation. This injury can be temporary and symptoms may go away after a while however if the injury is serious it can result in complete nerve injury as well as loss of function.


  • Injuries to brachial plexus can occur due to forcefully pushing the head sideways and down. This can result in pinching of the nerves surrounding the neck.
  • Burners can occur when athletes make a hard hit using a shoulder. The traumatic force while tackling or blocking forces the shoulder down resulting in the neck stretching away from the shoulder. This usually occurs in contact sports like football and wrestling, and it is estimated that around 70% of football players experience this injury in their careers.
  • Spinal Stenosis, in which the players have a small spinal canal, are also at a great risk of suffering from burner of stinger.


  • Burners and stingers produce sensations in only one arm. The pain can last varying from seconds, minutes, days or even longer.
  • A burning or electric sensation is felt in the arm
  • Arm may get numb, followed by weakness after the injury
  • A warm sensation is felt


The orthopedic surgeon examines the shoulder and arm to check for symptoms of an injury. The patient is advised to undergo complete medical evaluation along with X-rays and MRI scans if the pain affects daily activities. If the athlete has symptoms like weakness that lasts for several days, pain in neck, recurrent burners and stingers they would need extensive medical examination.


Treatment usually begins by keeping the athlete away from sports until the symptoms subside. Returning to sports immediately risk hurting the neck because of weakness and pain caused due to burners and stingers. If pain persists then following the RICE approach can help in order to reduce inflammation and pain around the injured nerves. The athlete should take proper rest, apply ice after regular intervals, compress the affected area with bandages and should eliminate activities that aggravate the pain.  The orthopedic surgeon may also recommend a special neck roll or elevated shoulder pads to the athlete to wear during sports activities.

If you are suffering from burners and stingers, visit Dr. Kulwicki for comprehensive care. The orthopedic surgeon uses advanced treatment methods to heal the problem and relieve the patient of the distress. To schedule an appointment, you can call at (972) 899 – 4679.

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