Visit our foundation to give a gift.
View Locations Near Me
Main Campus – Hartford
Connecticut Children’s – Waterbury
Urgent Care – Farmington
Specialty Care Center – Danbury
Connecticut Children’s Surgery Center at Farmington
Specialty Care Center – Fairfield
Search All Locations
Find a doctor
Find A Doctor
Request an Appointment
Amenities and Services
Who’s Who on Care Team
Getting Ready for Surgery
What to Expect—Picture Stories
Pay a Bill
Understanding the Different Fees
Pricing Transparency and Estimates
Raytheon Technologies Family Resource Center
Family Advisory Council
Legal Advocacy: Benefits, Education, Housing
Electronic Health Records
Share Your Story
Pay a Bill
Login to MyChart
Clinical Support Services Referrals
About the Network
Join the Network
Graduate Medical Education
Continuing Medical Education
MOC/Practice Quality Improvement
Educating Practices in the Community (EPIC)
Learning & Performance
Meet our Physician Relations Team
Request Medical Records
Join our Referring Provider Advisory Board
View our Physician Callback Standards
Read & Subscribe to Medical News
Register for Email Updates
Update Your Practice Information
Refer a Patient
Find and Print Health Info
Health Information For Teens
Burners (also called stingers) are injuries to the nerve network that provides feeling and muscle control in the shoulder, arm, forearm, hand, and fingers. The medical name for burners is brachial plexus injuries. They are common sports injuries. Most go away pretty quickly.
The brachial plexus nerve network begins with nerve roots at the spinal cord in the neck and reaches to the armpit. Nerves branch out from there and continue down the arm to the forearm, hand, and fingers.
When a strong force increases the angle between the neck and shoulders, the brachial plexus nerves might stretch or tear. The injury may also pull the nerve roots of the brachial plexus from the spinal cord. Damaged nerves conduct sensation poorly and weaken muscle movements.
Someone with a burner may complain of:
A severe injury may cause paralysis (loss of movement) of the arm and a loss of sensation.
Football players are most at risk for burners. But they also can happen in teens who participate in:
Burners can also happen in a motor vehicle crash when the head is pushed to one side or something hits the neck and shoulder.
A doctor will usually recognize a burner from your symptoms and a physical exam. The doctor may check arm strength, reflexes, and range of motion in the arm.
The doctor may order imaging tests — like X-rays or magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) — if you have:
The tests can help doctors see the extent of the injury and rule out a more serious condition, such as a spine fracture.
Treatment depends on how severe a burner is. Many mild injuries need no treatment because feeling and muscle control return within a few minutes.
Someone with a lasting burner might need:
in the neck and shoulder.
Most burners go away on their own. Someone with a more serious injury might work with a physical therapist or trainer to keep the muscles strong during healing.
A burner should heal completely before you return to sports. To make burners less likely if you play contact sports, be sure to:
Football is a lot of fun, but since the name of the game is to hit somebody, injuries are common. To keep things as safe as possible, follow these tips.
Playing hard doesn’t have to mean getting hurt. The best way to ensure a long and injury-free athletic career is to play it safe from the start. Find out how.
You practiced hard and made sure you wore protective gear, but you still got hurt. Read this article to find out how to take care of sports injuries – and how to avoid getting them.
This site has tips on things like preparing for a new season, handling sports pressure, staying motivated, and dealing with injuries.
Note: All information is for educational purposes only. For specific medical advice, diagnoses, and treatment, consult your doctor.
© 1995-2020 KidsHealth®. All rights reserved.
Images provided by The Nemours Foundation, iStock, Getty Images, Veer, Shutterstock, and Clipart.com.