Burners and stingers are self-limiting. This means that with treatment, they will resolve over time. Rest and gentle neck and shoulder range of motion are advised until symptoms resolve. If this does not occur within a few days, then more intensive Physical Therapy may be needed.
When you visit Humpal Physical Therapy & Sports Medicine Centers, our Physical Therapist will use modalities such as biofeedback, electrical nerve stimulation, and manual therapy to help restore the natural function of the nerves.
We will add range of motion and strengthening exercises as tolerated. Posture is very important during the healing phase. A chest-out position helps open the spinal canal, thus giving more room for the spinal cord. This posture also decreases pressure on the nerve roots. Our Physical Therapist will provide sport-specific therapy when the symptoms resolve (go away).
You will likely be able to return to full sports participation when you no longer have any symptoms. Full neck and shoulder motion must be present, and you should be able to fully participate in practice without any problems before entering a game.
It is possible to get another burner or stinger but it could be something more serious. If you experience these types of symptoms again, slowly lie down on the ground. Wait for the team trainer or physician to examine you before moving your head and neck.
Some football players choose to wear extra padding, special shoulder pads, or a neck roll to protect the neck and avoid reinjury. All equipment should be in good condition and fit properly. Daily stretching of the neck is advised. Players should avoid using spearing or head tackling, which has been prohibited since 1979.