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Stingers

General Information

Stingers, or burners are nerve injuries that occur when the neck is forcefully twisted or bent so that the nerves running down the spinal column to the fingers are stretched or compressed. They’re common in people who play contact sports like football, hockey or wrestling.

This sports injury usually goes away in a few hours or days. However, it’s important to see a doctor for a hyperextended or twisted neck to rule out a serious neck injury. See an experienced provider at Goshen Orthopedics. We can diagnoses your stinger and help you get back in the game as quickly as possible.

Call (574) 534-2548 to make an appointment for a stinger. In the case of a serious neck injury, call 911 or visit the emergency room.

Nerve injury symptoms and causes

Stingers are named for the classic stinging sensation that generally runs down one arm from the neck to the fingers. Other stinger symptoms include:

  • Burning sensation
  • Electric shock sensation
  • Feeling of warmth
  • Numbness or weakness in your arm

Defensive and offensive football linemen experience more stingers than any other athletic group, due to the forces exerted on the neck during blocking and tackling.

Spinal stenosis, or narrowing of the spine due to age and arthritis, can also cause stingers. A small spinal canal increases the risk of stingers in people of any age.

How we treat stingers in football and other sports

When you come to Goshen Orthopedics with a stinger, our providers help find ways to relieve your pain and prevent further issues.

Avoid playing the sport until your stinger symptoms have fully subsided. Make sure that you’re wearing the proper equipment, such as padding around the neck area.

If spinal stenosis is causing the stinger, you may need surgery to reduce compression on the nerve root.

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