Symptoms and Signs of Brachial Plexus Injury

Symptoms and Signs of Brachial Plexus Injury

Stingers or burners in football players may be due to overstretching of nerves in brachial plexus injury.

Clinical features of brachial plexus injury vary according to the severity of the insult. Permanent weakness or disability may result from severe injuries.

Minor damage, as occurs during contact sports such as football or wrestling, stretches the nerves. This may result in symptoms usually called “stingers” or “burners”:

  • One may feel a burning sensation or like an electric shock shooting down his/her arm due to the nerve stretch.
  • Numbness and weakness may ensue

Duration of symptoms may vary from seconds or minutes to days or longer.


Serious brachial nerve injury results from a tear or rupture of the nerves. Results may be detrimental:

  • Inability to move shoulder or elbow muscles while fingers can be moved
  • Inability to move fingers when arm is normal
  • Inability to move or feel the entire arm, shoulder and hand