A crunch in the neck paralyzed the woman. Are each of us in danger?

We all constantly sit in uncomfortable positions. Because of this, we often crunch neck and back. But can an ordinary crunch in the neck lead to serious consequences? It turns out that the consequences of such actions can even kill.

On the night of March 4, 23-year-old Natalie Kunitski watched a movie in bed with a friend; she stretched her neck and heard a loud crash, but did not pay attention to it, as she constantly crunched her neck. However, when Kunitski tried to reach the bathroom after 15 minutes, she could not move her left leg. Early in the morning of March 5, she was taken to University College London, where doctors discovered that a fracture in the neck damaged the vertebral artery, one of the main arteries of the neck. As a result, a thrombus formed, which provoked a stroke, which in turn caused paralysis on the left side. But she was still lucky, because if the thrombus had time to come off, he would have blocked the vessel or heart valve, which would immediately lead to death.

When we crunch the neck, back or fingers, in our joints there is a reaction to the friction of the synovial fluid. This fluid acts as a lubricant, which expands with a sudden movement, and the pressure around it drops. Since there is an accumulation of gases in the synovial fluid, they can burst under tension and compression, producing a characteristic crunchy sound.


In most cases it is harmless, but if the joint crunches with subsequent pain or swelling, it can mean injury and may require medical intervention. Neck fractures and aggressive manipulations of the cervical vertebrae should be avoided because they can cause breaks in the walls of the critical blood vessels that supply blood to the brain. A neck fracture can also damage nerves, ligaments and bones.

According to news reports, Kunitski’s surgeons were able to repair the damaged artery, although they could not remove the blood clot. Although there is a high probability that the thrombus will dissolve over time, without causing further damage, Kunitski’s paralysis persisted for several weeks after the operation. After a month of physiotherapy, the woman managed to restore movement in her limbs and fingers, although she still goes to rehabilitation.

Source: Live Science

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