View Full Version : Neck Stingers and Burners

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07-12-2006, 07:00 PM
I looked around and could not find this topic in a thread...If there is one, please let me know

I recently have had multiple "stingers" in the right side of my neck to the point that I cannot look to the left. It is a burning sensation that runs from the base of my right shoulder blade to the top of my head (imagine lighting one of those TNT fuses in cartoons)

I have had these since high school (I suspect it was the wrestling I did back then) and had them have occurred every once in awhile, but within the last 6 months, they have become more frequent and begun to impact my training. They happen both on and off the mat.I have a problem taking ukme for iriminage from people and I have an important test coming up in the next 4 months.

Went to the Dr. and had x-rays and MRI done. I have had pain specialists look at it, a chiropractor look at it (that hurt) physical and massage (rolfing) therapy, and acupressure therapy.
I've rested and strength conditioned the area...nada

Surgery being a possibility, my Dr. said the x-rays show a slight degeneration of the disks in my neck but that the MRI came back normal. To their surprise, I asked, "What happens now?" They couldn't answer me. They called back later and said that they would put in a request in for physical therapy (whooopee)

My reply was that everything is NOT normal if I am in pain like this and that a problem still exists.

Has ANYONE had or have this problem and have suggestions as to treatment (other than ice/heat & antiflamitory drugs)?!?!?

I feel as though I have exhausted all my options and the problem has only gotten worse. I am upset that I have not been able to get results from anyone that has seen me and heard my symptoms.

Any help would be GREATLY appreciated

Thank you!!


Michael Hackett
07-12-2006, 07:54 PM
There are two cords of muscle running along the spine, from about level with the shoulders to the middle of the upper back. Really deep tissue massage, although painful at the time, to those muscles will often eliminate the whiplash or stinger type of injury. Sort of a form of shiatsu massage. Your situation may be entirely different, but it helped me tremendously. Hope you get better soon.

Janet Rosen
07-13-2006, 12:00 AM
It would be well worth looking for a person who is well trained/certified in one of the soft tissue disciplines such as myosfascial trigger point therapy, Feldenkreis, etc. Most western trained docs only look at bones/ligaments/tendons for things that need surgery and are not well trained in muscles and chronic trigger points in muscles.

07-13-2006, 06:44 AM
In my own attempt at commenting on something I know little about (speaking for myself) it sounds as though it's certainly muscle related. Rolfing sounds a lot like Feldenkrais, with more emphasis on muscle manipulation. Regarding more general massage therapy, I'd say shop around, or at least research a bit. Definitely find local schools of massage therapy, and ask for their recommendation as far as local therapists go.

It wouldn't hurt to find someone both state and nationally certified, or even </arrogant pride>New York State certified</arrogant pride> and nationally certified, primarily because of the traditionally more rigorous terms of certification in NY state, regents, etc.

In any instance I'd bet you'll have to rest it. Or train slower, which could be beneficial anyhow. Best of luck.

John Brockington
07-13-2006, 08:55 AM
Were you formally diagnosed with multiple "stingers?" This is a descriptive term used by some people who are really referring to injuries to the brachial plexus, which is a network of nerves in the lateral neck/shoulder region. If you have had recurrent plexus injuries, there may be a structural problem predisposing you to this, such as a cervical rib. It may be of some benefit to go to someone familiar with this, possibly a neurologist or sports med type doc, and you may need more specific testing. If you have any weakness or atrophy in your arm or shoulder, I would strongly recommend this.


07-13-2006, 01:56 PM
I agree this is not normal and I agree with John-see a neurologist or a sports med doc. The description sounds more like a nerve type pain than a muscle pain. Especially, if you are describing a burning or electric like shock. Something appears to be pinching the nerve (cervical rib, degenerative spur, disc, spinal stenosis, etc) . You also might check out the following links on the topic. A true stinger is not a muscle problem.


Ron Tisdale
07-13-2006, 02:58 PM
Those descriptions actually match something I've been dealing with a lot lately. Thank you for the links.


07-14-2006, 08:32 AM
Hello all,

I was diagnosed with "stingers" in college by my athletic trainers and doctor. I guess the term "stingers" was the easy way to tell me what was going on n after a lengthy explanation. :)

Thank you for all your thoughts and ideas. I will look into them and be more proactive with my physician.