Burners and Stingers

Burners and Stingers Description
brachial plexus Burners and Stingers is a common injury in football.  It is generally short lived and has a rapid recovery.  Burners and stingers are thought to be related to stretching of the brachial plexus or from  nerve root compression.  Burners or stingers are typically traction injuries with a downwardforce on the shoulder at the same time as the neck and head are bent  away from the shoulder.  Brachial plexus stretch injuries are more common in young athletes who generally do not have neck. Nerve root compression is more common in older athletes (college and professional) who often have associated  cervical disc disease or cervical stenosis and generally also have neck pain.

Burners and Stingers Anatomy
Burners and Stingers is typically a stretching injury to the upper trunk of the brachial plexus

Burners and Stingers Symptoms
Burners and Stingers causes  a burning pain in the neck and shoulder  with radiation down into the arm after a blunt force to the head/neck/shoulder.  Burners and stingers typically occur in football or rugby. Burners and stingers may also cause weakness in shoulder abduction, elbow flexion and external rotation.

Burners and Stingers Treatment 
Burners and Stingers s diagnosed based on a detailed history, physical exam and xrays performed by an orthopaedic surgeon, or sports medicine specialist.  Some people with recurrent burners or stingers and prolonged symptoms may need further testing such as MRI or EMG. 

In most instances burners and stingers gradually resolve over 5 to 10 minutes.  Players may return to play if the burners and stinging  completely resolves, they have full muscle strength and  full, pain-free cervical range of motion. Any player with bilateral symptoms (cervical neurapraxia) may not return to play until cleared by cervical MRI. Patients found to have Cervical Stenosis may not play in contact sports.  Cowboy Collar and high-profile shoulder pads are very beneficial at decreasing burners and stingers.

Any player with persistent symptoms such as continued burning, stinging, loss of sensation, weakness, limitation cervical motion, or recurrent episodes requires further evaluation by a orthopaedic surgery which may include xrays, MRI and/or EMG before return to sport.

Athletes returning to sports after Burners and Stingers should begin with a graduated neck and shoulder strengthening exercise program. They should have full, pain free range of motion of the neck and shoulder with no residual symptoms prior to returning to their sport.

Burners and Stingers Prevention
Prevention of Burners and Stingers is centered around neck and shoulder strengthening and stretching exercises.   Cowboy Collar and high-profile shoulder pads are very beneficial at decreasing burners and stingers.  Neck roles are not advisable as then often poorly position the neck and can lead to cervical spine injury.

Burners and Stingers Risk Factors
Burners and Stingers is associated the following sports:  Football; Hockey; Rugby; Snowboarding.

Burners and Stingers Rehab and Exercise Program
Burners and Stingers

Burners and Stingers Outcomes
Burners and Stingers generally resolve completely over 5 to 10 minutes.  Recurrent burners and stingers can lead to permanent muscle atrophy, and sensory loss.

Similar injuries that can be confused with Burners and Stingers include:
    Brachial Plexus Palsy
    Thoracic Outlet Syndrome
    Cervical Sprain Syndrome
    Cervical Neuropraxia
    Cervical Stenosis

burners, stingers, burners syndrome, pinch-stretch brachial plexus neuropraxia,

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