Burners and Stingers
Football season is upon us! So, here’s a little question for all you football fans out there. Do you know the difference between a burner and a stinger? Have you even ever heard of such a thing? It’s actually not just for football players. Any person who plays in contact, collision style sports are opening themselves up to stingers. Sports such as Hockey, skiing, boxing, wrestling… A stinger, also known as a burner, is actually a painful nerve injury that affects the Brachial Plexus bundle of nerves. It can start in your spine and spread through your shoulder and down your arms. When it happens, you might feel like you have been struck by lightning…the pain is intense and is followed by a warm feeling…not a warm fuzzy feeling though. It comes because of an unexpected and overarching stretch of those nerves. It’s possible the injury also causes a compression of the nerves. It can be a scary situation because sometimes, there is complete loss of feeling and even movement. The pain and paralysis can last, in some cases up to a year. Dealing with a Brachial Plexus nerve injury can be treated without surgical intervention in most cases and this is the preferred initial treatment. Meeting with your upper extremity doctor as soon as the injury happens is ideal. Not every care plan is the same and it’s important to begin your custom care plan immediately to significantly cut down on recovery time. If you or your children are into contact sports that puts them at risk for such an injury, they should be educated on what they can do to prevent damaging those nerves. Encourage them to wear protective padding and gear as well as keeping their muscles and joints in tip top shape. Strong muscles do so much to prevent injury and dis- ease.