A burner or stinger injury is a painful nerve pinch injury that happens to athletes in football, hockey, rugby, wrestling, or other high contact sports. A stinger happens when the head/neck get forced to the side during a sports collision. The athlete will usually feel shooting or stinging pain that goes down their arm, and the arm will typically feel numb or even weak. Due to the nature of the burner/stinger injury, the person will usually only feel symptoms on one side of their body.
The reason that the arm feels weak and numb is that the nerve supply has actually been cut off to the arm. The nerves that run from the neck to the hand (brachial plexus) become overstretched and injured. Most of the time the pain disappears minutes to hours after the impact, but in some cases the player may feel symptoms for days to weeks afterwards.
Chiropractic management of a burner stinger injury involves assessing the spine, particularly in the areas of the upper back and neck to check for joints that have become fixated. Chiropractic adjustments will be delivered as necessary to reduce the fixation. Additionally, any muscles that have become injured as a result of this injury may have developed adhesions. Active Release Techniques or another soft tissue treatment system will be used to decrease the adhesion in the muscles, so that they may be restored to their original length and function. Taping, ice, heat, and rest are auxiliary modalities that may also be used by an Oakland chiropractor to help the athlete recover from a burner stinger injury and return to activities as soon as possible.