Overview: These are warm or painful sensations caused by an injury to the brachial plexus. This is a network of nerves that passes through your shoulder. They travel down your arm and to your hand.
Causes: This injury is most commonly caused by trauma. It can happen if you fall onto your head, bending your neck violently. This is an injury sometimes seen in wrestlers and football players. The stretching of the neck causes the brachial plexus nerves to become pinched. Burners and stingers are also more common in people who have a narrow spinal canal.
Symptoms: Symptoms include sudden, intense bursts of pain. This pain radiates from your neck down through your shoulder and arm. You may feel it in your hand and your fingers. If this pain burns, it is called a “burner.” If it stings, it is called a “stinger.” You may also feel a dull ache, and your arm may feel numb or weak.
Treatment: Treatment options may include rest and medications. You may benefit from physical therapy. Your healthcare provider can develop a care plan that is right for your needs.