Stingers - Neck Injuries

What is a stinger?

A stinger is a term used for a sudden bout of extreme pain which may feel like a burning or stinging sensation. The pain usually runs from the bottom of the skull, along the neck to the shoulders and arms.

What causes a stinger?

The most common cause of a stinger is a sudden movement, which results in the brachial plexus (a collection of nerve fibres) being suppressed. Usually this is caused by a sudden movement which involves twisting the neck or shaking the head or direct impact to the side of the neck.

Symptoms of a stinger

Aside from the obvious pain, other symptoms may also include dizziness, nausea and a burning sensation in the arms.

Treating a stinger

In most cases the pain wears off fairly quickly and no treatment is required; treatment may be required if the stinger has been caused by impact or contact as this could have more serious consequences such as damage to the spinal cord, for example.

Preventing a stinger

Wearing protective clothing can help to support the neck and protect against high speed contact. A thorough warm-up will ensure the muscles surrounding the neck, shoulders and back are ready for exercise and reduce the likelihood of suffering an injury.

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