Woman’s neck cracking while stretching left her partially paralyzed


  • A woman from London was left partially paralyzed after she cracked her neck.
  • She accidentally ruptured an artery in her neck, which led to a stroke.
  • Dr. Robert Glatter from a New York hospital says that neck cracking should simply be avoided to prevent any complications.

In the UK, a woman was left partially paralyzed after she cracked her neck while stretching. On the night of March 4, Natalie Kunicki was with a friend and they decided to watch a movie in bed at her home. She stretched her neck, which made a loud cracking sound, but wasn’t really concerned because it’s a common occurrence to hear her joints crack.

Fifteen minutes later, Kunicki tried to walk to the bathroom and found that her left leg was paralyzed. Early the following day, she was rushed to University College London Hospital.

Doctors discovered that Kunicki had ruptured a vertebral artery when she cracked her neck. This resulted in the formation of a blood clot, which led to a stroke and paralysis on her left side.

Dr. Robert Glatter, an emergency physician working at Lenox Hill Hospital in New York City, said that cracking your neck and aggressive manipulation of your neck vertebrae should be something you avoid in general. These can cause walls in critical blood vessels to rupture and formation of a blood clot. A portion of that clot can then break free and cause a stroke because of interrupted blood flow to the brain. Loss of sensation and sometimes paralysis can be the result.

Kunicki’s damaged artery had to be repaired with surgery. Though the blood clot remains, news reports say it will dissolve over time. She underwent physical therapy for a month to regain some movement in her digits and limbs and still has a long way to go.

Glatter says, “There is really no ‘safe’ way to crack your neck.” Just don’t do it in the first place.


Source: Live Science

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