A stinger is the term used to describe symptoms from a certain type of impact injury to the neck. It is a common injury in football, rugby, and other contact sports that involve impact to the head and neck.

A stinger most commonly occurs when the head is forced sideways and away from the shoulder or pushed backward. It can also be caused by a downward force to the shoulder. This sudden force pinches—or acutely stretches—the nerves in the neck. When the nerves are suddenly impacted like this, stinging, burning, and/or other sensations may radiate along the path of the nerve into the arm. Typically, the pain lasts 10 seconds or less, but sometimes continues for hours or even days.

DAM In-Body: 
Illustration of the nerve roots of the brachial plecus