A burner is an injury to the bundle of nerves in your neck. These nerves run from the back of your neck into your arm. The nerves leave the spine and form a group called the brachial plexus. The plexus extends into the upper shoulder. From here, the nerves split into individual strings. The nerve strings go to all the arm muscles. A burner may also be called a stinger.
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A burner may be caused by injury to the brachial plexus, such as:
- Overstretching—can be caused by your shoulder being pushed down while your head is forced to the other side.
- Pinching— can happen if your head is moved quickly to one side.
- Bruising—can happen when the area above your collarbone is hit directly or pressure on the top of your head compresses the brachial plexus nerves against bone.
Last reviewedNovember 2012by Brian Randall, MD
Please be aware that this information is provided to supplement the care provided by your physician. It is neither intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice. CALL YOUR HEALTHCARE PROVIDER IMMEDIATELY IF YOU THINK YOU MAY HAVE A MEDICAL EMERGENCY. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider prior to starting any new treatment or with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition.