We like to stretch and pop our joints when we’re feeling tired but you may want to reconsider the next time you reach for your neck to give it a good ol’ stretch. This 28-year-old man was having a sore neck and did what we all do when our necks feel stiff and tired – he tried to alleviate some of the pain by stretching and popping his neck.
However, this led to detrimental consequences as he suffered a serious stroke – just because he cracked his neck on 14 March! According to CNN, Josh Hader from Guthrie, Oklahoma said that after he had stretched and accidentally popped his neck, the left side of his body went numb. He then attempted to go to the kitchen for an ice pack but was not able to walk straight.
“I kept walking at almost a 45-degree [angle] to the left,” he said. Alarmed, his father-in-law took him to the hospital where he was treated with TPA to break up clots. Hader was sent to Mercy Hospital after that and warded in the intensive care unit for four days before they sent him to inpatient therapy.
His doctor, Dr. Vance McCollom, said that Hader had suffered from a severe stroke as a result of popping his neck – but the situation could have been worse. “When he popped his neck, he tore arteries that go to the bone of the neck, where the neck joins the skull at the base of the brain. The way he twisted the neck caused a bisection,” Hader explained.
“When he arrived, Hader had numbness, weakness, double vision, and his left side was numb. He wasn’t able to walk straight. He kept falling down,” McCollom said. After further examination, an arterial gram showed that the torn arteries had caused the stroke.
Luckily, after rehab and treatment, Hader is now much better and is back to living independently. “Currently, I can walk without a walker or cane, but I get tired much faster than before. My balance is still a little off, but it’s not terrible. My left side tingles a little and feels heavier than it used to. I also don’t have as much control of that side as I used to. My right side doesn’t feel sharp pain or hot/cold,” he explained.
The stroke occurred at the base of his brain and caused an injury to one of his nerves, which weakened the muscles going to his eye. He also suffered from two weeks straight of hiccups but thankfully, his condition has improved a lot since then.
Although it may seem rather outlandish for one to get a stroke just from popping their neck, McCollom says that this is not the first time he has seen this happen. “We have patients coming to the hospital with more serious stuff, due to chiropractic manipulation, by popping neck by a professional,” he said. He advises that if someone wants to pop their neck they should just stretch it from side to side instead of twisting it.
You heard the doctor, be careful when popping your neck or other joints!
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