ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. — A paramedic had a stroke when she cracked her neck, but she mistook the symptoms as being drunk, according to a British newspaper.
The Daily Mail says Natalie Kunicki, 23, was in bed after a night out and stretched her neck. She heard a loud crack, but didn't think anything was wrong.
'I wasn't even trying to crack my neck. I just moved and it happened. I stretched my neck and I could just hear this 'crack, crack, crack'," she told the newspaper.
When she tried to get up minutes later, however, she fell to the floor and couldn't move her left leg.
She was taken to a hospital, where she was told her vertebral artery had burst, and a blood clot had formed in her brain.
Doctors are not sure she will fully recover.
"People need to know that even if you're young something this simple can cause a stroke," Kunicki said.
Dr. Tien Le, a neurosurgeon in Tampa, said it is rare for someone to have a stroke at 23, or from cracking their neck.
"It's a freak occurrence," he said.
He said it's possible Kunicki had another condition that contributed to her stroke.
"Cracking your neck is not necessarily dangerous," he said, but he warned there's a risk if there are other conditions, such as a herniated disc, or if it's done regularly.
He said cracking your neck, like cracking your knuckles, feels good because it relieves pressure and releases endorphins, a hormone in the brain associated with feeling good.
Done the wrong way, though, it can lead to symptoms like lightheadedness or tingling in the arms, Le said.
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