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The 'Burner' a Common Nerve Injury in Contact Sport Athletes

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In addition to using the proper protective gear, the authors caution that flexibility and strength of the neck, shoulder, and arms are very important in determining the severity of the condition. They recommend stretching exercises and a 'chest-out' posture along with muscle-building exercises to minimize the chances of this injury.

Vital Information:

  • Burners are injuries caused by trauma to the neck and shoulder that result in a burning pain that travels down the arm, often accompanied by numbness and weakness.
  • Symptoms are usually short-lived, but severe injuries can last for weeks or months, and athletes should not return to playing contact sports until full range of motion is regained.
  • Experts advise that protective equipment, such as a neck roll or cowboy collar, be worn by athletes who are at high risk for sustaining burners.

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