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A stinger is an injury to the system of nerves that supplies the upper body with strength and the sense of touch. This network is called the brachial plexus. Stingers can be caused by stretching or bruising of the brachial plexus. Stingers are sometimes also called burners.
(This answer provided for NATA by the University of Alabama Athletic Training Education Program.)
One injury that often occurs in football is a stinger injury (brachial plexus stretch injury). In this video, I will describe the symptoms of a stinger injury and recovery time needed.
A "stinger" is an injury of the brachial plexus often seen in football players having sustained a hit forcefully stretching the head and neck. The brachial plexus is a group of nerves that exit the neck to provide sensation and movement to the arms. In the situation of a "stinger," these brachial plexus nerves are stretched beyond their normal limits causing temporary numbness and paralysis of the arm. In severe cases, like motorcycle accidents or high impact hits in football, this stretching injury can result in tearing (avulsion) of the nerves away from the spinal cord causing permanent damage and paralysis of the arm.
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