Doctor says 28-year-old Oklahoma man’s stroke was caused by popping his neck

GUTHRIE, Okla. — A 28-year-old man from Oklahoma had a stroke caused by popping his neck, according to KOCO.

Doctors said the act of popping his neck caused Josh Hader to tear his vertebral artery.

“The moment I heard the pop, everything on my left side started to go numb,” Hader said. “I got up and tried to get an ice pack from the fridge. … And I remember I couldn’t walk straight.”

His father-in-law took him to the emergency room.

“He could’ve had a life-ending stroke — he could’ve died,” Mercy Hospital doctor Vance McCollom said.

Hader’s stroke wasn’t that significant, but it did cause a lot of damage. Hader had to wear an eye patch for several days and take medicine. He also had to go to physical therapy.

“For the first few days I couldn’t walk without a walker,” Hader said.

He told KOCO that the toughest part has been dealing with the emotions and not being able to help his wife and two young children.

“I can’t pick him up outta the crib, give him milk in the middle of the night — I can’t do any of that,” Hader said.

KCOO asked the doctor is there’s any safe way to pop your neck.

“If you want to pop your neck, just kinda pop it side to side,” McCollom said. “Don’t twist it. Whenever you twist it there’s a risk of tearing that vessel. Say my hand is his head, I suspect he just turned it real sharply and then sharp and up and back. That’s what really pinched it.”

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