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- Overstretching—can be caused by your shoulder being pushed down while your head is forced to the other side
- Pinching— can happen if your head is moved quickly to one side
- Bruising—can happen when the area above your collarbone is hit directly or pressure on the top of your head compresses the brachial plexus nerves against bone
- Playing American football—increase chance of receiving direct blows to the head, neck, and shoulders
- Participating in contact sports
- Numbness, tingling, or weakness in the shoulder or arm
- Burning or stinging feeling in one arm
- Burning or stinging feeling between your neck and shoulder
- Pain or tenderness
- Neck and arm range of motion
- Strength in the arm and hand
- Arm reflexes
- Sensation in the shoulder and hand
- Keep the muscles around your neck and shoulders strong and flexible to help you withstand the stress of a direct blow.
- Learn safe sport techniques is essential.
- Avoid using your helmet as a contact point when tackling and blocking in football.
- Always make sure to wear the proper safety equipment for your sport.
- Pads and other modifications of athletic gear have been proposed in an effort to reduce the incidence of burners. These may be especially useful for players who have previously suffered injury.
American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons http://orthoinfo.aaos.org
American Orthopaedic Society for Sports Medicine http://www.sportsmed.org
The College of Family Physicians of Canada http://www.cfpc.ca
Health Canada http://www.hc-sc.gc.ca
Burners. Am Fam Physician. 1999 Nov 1;60(7):2042. Available at: http://www.aafp.org/afp/1999/1101/p2042.html. Accessed September 9, 2014.
Burners and stingers. American Academy of Orthopedic surgeons website. Available at: http://orthoinfo.aaos.org/topic.cfm?topic=A00027. Updated May 2010. Accessed September 9, 2014.
Dimberg EL, Ted M. Burns TM. Management of common neurologic conditions in sports. Clinics in Sports Medicine. 2005;24(3).
Kasow DB, Curl WW. "Stingers" in adolescent athletes. Instr Course Lect. 2006;55:711-716.
Weinberg J, Rokito S, et al. Etiology, treatment, and prevention of athletic "stingers". Clin Sports Med. 2003 Jul;22(3):493-500, viii.
- Reviewer: Brian Randall, MD
- Review Date: 08/2014
- Update Date: 09/09/2014