Do you ever crack your neck? It can feel good to do so and it might even give you some relief from any discomfort you are experiencing but you should realize that it is also potentially harmful to your health. This was seen recently when a 28-year-old man suffered a stroke after cracking his neck. According to doctors, he tore his vertebral artery when he cracked his neck, an artery that leads to the brain.
“The moment I heard the pop, everything on my left side started to go numb,” Josh Hader of Guthrie, Oklahoma said of the terrifying experience. “I got up and tried to get an ice pack from the fridge, and I remember I couldn’t walk straight.”
He was rushed to the hospital by his father-in-law. The doctor said that the stroke could’ve been worse.
“He could have formed more clot on that tear and had a life-ending stroke,” Dr. Vance McCollom told the news outlet. “He could have died.”
The type of stroke he experienced could’ve led to ‘locked in syndrome’. That issue causes patients to hear and understand what is taking place around them but they can’t move or communicate.
Fortunately, the symptoms are not that severe but he did have difficulty walking. Some other symptoms he experienced included painful hiccups that lasted more than a week, and blurred vision. Although he is recovering, he still has some difficulties with everyday activities, including getting his son out of the crib. He posted a lighthearted update of his progress that also showed him wearing a face patch.
Hader had been asked by his wife repeatedly to stop cracking his neck because she thought it could lead to a stroke. Fortunately, his case is not common.
“Every doctor I’ve seen said they’ve never seen a self-manipulation of this type of stroke,” Hader said. “They’ve seen it from chiropractic manipulation or a car wreck. But never someone doing it to themselves.”
Dr. McCollom said that twisting your neck and popping it can lead to danger.
“If you want to pop your neck, just kind of pop it side to side,” he advised. “Whenever you twist it there’s a risk of tearing that vessel … I suspect he just turned it real sharp and up, sharp and up and back. That’s what really pinched it.”
Although this is rare, Hader is not alone in experiencing this problem in recent days. Londoner Natalie Kunicki is a 23-year-old woman who also cracked her neck and suffered a stroke.
Doctors aren’t sure if some type of genetic factor or physical weakness can contribute to this problem. One recommendation that is important to consider, however, is to use caution when cracking your joints.