Burners | Causes & Risk Factors


What causes a burner?

If you play a contact or collision sport, you can get a burner when you tackle or block another player. There are 3 ways a burner injury can happen:

  • Your shoulder is pushed down at the same time that your head is forced to the opposite side. This stretches nerves between your neck and shoulder.
  • Your head is quickly moved to one side, pinching nerves on that side.
  • The area above your collarbone is hit directly, and presses on nerves


The "Burner": A Common Nerve Injury in Contact Sports by GS Kuhlman, DB McKreag (American Family Physician November 01, 1999, http://www.aafp.org/afp/991101ap/2035.html)

Written by familydoctor.org editorial staff

Reviewed/Updated: 02/14
Created: 11/99