Man Suffers a Stroke after Stretching His Neck

Category: Health


Unlocking Word Meanings

Read the following words/expressions found in today’s article.

  1. numb / nʌm / (adj) – incapable of physically feeling anything

    His infected body part became numb after he took painkillers.

  2. blurred / blɜrd / (adj) – not clear or hard to see

    I couldn’t identify the people in the blurred image.

  3. paralysis / pəˈræl ə sɪs / (n) – the condition of not being able to move some or all parts of the body

    The patient cannot get up from bed on his own because he is suffering from paralysis.

  4. undergo / ˌʌn dərˈgoʊ / (v) – to experience something

    I needed to undergo surgery after fracturing my knee.

  5. caution / ˈkɔ ʃən / (v) – to give advice or warn against a possible danger or problem

    The doctor cautioned his patients about the dangers of not getting enough sleep.


Read the text below.

A 28-year-old man from Oklahoma, United States, suffered a stroke after stretching his neck.

The man, Josh Hader, had a sore neck. He tried to relieve the soreness by stretching it. After using his hand to apply pressure to his neck, Hader suddenly heard a popping sound and felt the left side of his body go numb. He tried to get an ice pack from the refrigerator but could not walk straight. His vision also became blurred.

Hader’s father-in-law eventually arrived and rushed him to the hospital.  The patient was then transferred to Mercy Hospital for further treatment.

After careful examination, doctors confirmed that Hader had a stroke. A stroke is a medical condition characterized by the paralysis of the body as a result of blocked arteries.

According to the examination’s findings, Hader ruptured an artery at the back of his neck that formed a blood clot. The torn artery was found to be a direct result of the neck stretch.

Hader stayed at the ICU for four days after the stroke. Then, he underwent physical rehabilitation for him to properly walk again. He also had to wear an eye patch because one of his injured nerves weakened the muscle connected to his eye.

Dr. Vance McCollom, who treated Hader, said that tearing an artery after stretching one’s neck is very rare. Most of the time, neck stretches are fairly safe. However, the doctor cautioned that the proper way of stretching the neck is to slightly move it from one side to another and avoid twisting it.

Following the incident, Mercy Hospital posted Hader’s story on Facebook to warn others about the dangers of improperly stretching the neck.

Viewpoint Discussion

Enjoy a discussion with your tutor.

Discussion A

• After reading the article, would you be more conscious about stretching your body? Discuss.
• Aside from having a stroke, what other health problems do you think can arise from incorrect stretching (e.g. muscle injury)? Discuss.

Discussion B

• What lifestyle practices do you think can help prevent a person from having a stroke? Give more details.
• What do you think should be done to increase public awareness on the possible causes of stroke? Explain.