A 28-year-old man in Oklahoma suffered a serious stroke — as well as painful hiccups — after popping his neck, according to a report.
“The moment I heard the pop, everything on my left side started to go numb,” said Josh Hader of Guthrie, who tore a neck artery leading to his brain, according to KOCO. “I got up and tried to get an ice pack from the fridge, and I remember I couldn’t walk straight.”
Hader’s father-in-law rushed him to Mercy Hospital, where doctors discovered that he ruptured his vertebral artery, a major vessel into the brain.
“He could have formed more clot on that tear and had a life-ending stroke. He could have died,” Dr. Vance McCollom told the news outlet.
“If you have a stroke in that area, you can end up with a patient who’s locked in,” McCollom added. “They completely understand what’s going on, but they can’t communicate. They can’t move anything. They can’t speak. They can’t breathe.”
Hader’s stroke was less severe, but he did suffer significant damage.
“One of the muscles that goes to his eye is weak because the nerve was injured,” McCollom said.
Hader said he had to wear an eye patch for a few days.
“Double vision. Blurry vision,” he said. “For the first few days, I couldn’t walk without a walker.”
Hader said he also suffered from painful hiccups for a week and a half that nearly caused a panic attack.
But the most difficult part has been emotional because he was unable to help his wife with their two young kids.
“I can’t pick him up out of the crib, give him milk in the middle of the night. I can’t do any of that,” Hader said about one of them.
McCollom said that if you want to pop your neck, “just kind of pop it side-to-side. Don’t twist it.”
He added: “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.”
McCollom said Hader’s wife had given him sound advice before the episode.
“(She) had been telling him, ‘Don’t pop your neck. You’re going to cause a stroke,’” he said.
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