Burner / Stingerstinger_burner.jpg

Classic Presentation

There is a sudden onset of burning pain and/or numbness along the outside of the arm with associated arm weakness following a lateral flexion injury of the neck/head (e.g., lateral "whiplash").  The symptoms usually only last a couple of minutes.


"Burner" or "stinger" are the names given to injury of the brachial plexus or nerve roots caused by a lateral flexion injury.  This is a common injury in sports and has a high percentage of underreporting (70%) because of the transient symptoms.  In general, lateral flexion away from the involved side with accompanying shoulder distraction (depression) on the involved side causes a stretch on the brachial plexus.  Varying degrees of injury may occur; however, the majority of injuries are mild, with transient symptoms.


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