What is a stinger (burner) injury?
The stinger is a well-known injury in football, resulting from forced deviation of the neck away from the inferiorly pulled ipsilateral shoulder. This occurs when tackling, blocking, or ground contact results in a traction injury to the cervical nerve roots, brachial plexus, or peripheral nerves. The result is significant burning unilateral shoulder and arm pain involving the lateral aspect of the entire upper extremity. Motor weakness of the involved C5 and C6 root innervated muscles is commonly associated. Stingers should be managed by rest and avoidance of sports participation until normal strength has returned.