The customary ‘neck-crack’ after getting your haircut and massage is something everyone is subjected to in their local barber shop. The action of tilting your neck sharply to the left and right to make one feel refreshed is a common practice in many men’s saloon.
However in case of Ajay Kumar, 54, it turned out to be more troubling than refreshing. When Ajay faced trouble in breathing, he visited Medanta hospital. Doctors conducted various tests on him and eventually linked the problem to a paralyzed diaphragm caused by the neck massage he took a month ago. “While examining him, we noticed Kumar had a paradoxical breathing pattern. His chest was moving inward instead of expanding. This abnormal chest movement affected the breathing pattern and led to a drop in his blood oxygen levels,” Jaiswal explained.
He added, “As we investigated the possible reasons for it, a neurological examination revealed Kumar was suffering from a damaged phrenic nerve.”
Dr Shakir Husain, director, stroke and neurovascular clinic at Neo hospital, said these neck massages can also lead to dissection of the vertebral artery.
“If the dissection or tear is minor, it heals naturally. Blood thinners have to be given for two to three months. But in some cases, surgery has to be done to clear the aneurysm caused due to the tear,” he said.