What are Stingers in the Neck?

Posted on November 30th, 2021 by Orthopaedic Specialty Group

Stingers in the neck, also known as burners, are an injury-caused acute pain that feels like an intense burn, pinch, or shock that runs from the bottom of your skull through your neck and sometimes to the shoulders. The pain is often very severe and sudden but then subsides quickly after. Numbness, tingling, and weakness can also be felt when a stinger is present.

Causes of Neck Stingers

Neck stingers are believed to be caused by quick movements leading to compression on the nerves, the brachial plexus, that runs from the back of the neck down into the arms. Any sharp twisting of the head and neck can cause injury to these nerves and lead to frequent stingers. Football players and car accident victims are the most common individuals that suffer from neck stingers. 

Prevention of Neck Stingers

The neck is a delicate and important part of the body that must be carefully protected, especially when active. Stingers are a sign that you aren’t caring for your neck and that you are reinjuring the area. Some tips to help prevent neck stingers include:

  • Wear the proper protective gear, including a neck collar, and always follow the right techniques when playing sports. 
  • Stretch your neck muscles before any activity. 
  • Avoid putting your neck in awkward positions during activity and daily life. 
  • Exercise and strengthen your neck, back, and shoulder muscles.
  • Don’t return to activity too quickly after sustaining a stinger.  

Treatment of Neck Stingers

Since stingers result from a neck injury, they typically stop appearing after you’ve healed and without causing any long-term problems. If the stingers are severe and continue returning, it’s important to see a doctor. They can examine your pain and rule out any more serious conditions such as a slipped disc or spinal cord problem and give you the recommended treatment for your initial neck injury causing the stingers. 

For exceptional orthopaedic care, contact Orthopaedic Specialty Group!

It’s crucial to seek expert medical treatment if you struggle with problems or pain associated with your bones or joints. Give the professionals at Orthopaedic Specialty Group a call at (203) 337-2600, and let us know how we can help you! Don’t let that pain hold you back from living your life. Your health and safety are our top priority.