Unfortunately, although there are heaps of benefits, there are also some risks and injuries that can arise from the nature of rugby being a highly competitive and heavily contact sport. The injury sustained by bunnies player Tom Burgess last night is a reminder of this. So what happened?
A ‘burner/ stinger’ is an injury of the brachial plexus - the bundle of nerves that leave our neck and make our arms work and move. If this bundle of nerves or a single nerve branch, is irritated, stretched or pinched which can occur when our heads and arms are rammed into poor positions, then we can suffer from the feeling of weakness, numbness, pins&needles down that neural path or limb.
Cannane et al in 2011 looked at the incidence of ‘stinger’ type injuries in professional rugby union players. This study suggests that 60% of injured players reported needing no days off. However if the injury is more extensive and symptoms are hanging about, then treatment can be super helpful in safely managing and improving symptoms.
Physios are the best to help you with these injuries and if you suffer from any neural type irritation it’s best to get yourself checked out!