Only a true ascetic can refuse the pleasure of a head massage that promises nirvana on barber’s chair. But for a Delhi man, there was a lot of suffering waiting for him after the local barber gave him that neck crack – a swift jerk of the head to the right and then to the left that release a pop sound considered equivalent to the post-lunch burp.
At the untrained hands of the barber, the 54-year-old Ajay Kumar ruptured his phrenic nerves originating in the neck that controls breathing. He continues to be on ventilator after finding it difficult to breathe, reported The Times of India.
Kumar's diaphragm was paralysed and he might need ventilator support for the rest of his life because of the nerve's incapability to generate on its own, the report added.
A neck or back massage that is considered to be a soothing, pain relieving activity can often lead to severe conditions, say experts.
Muscle tear, dissection of the vertebral artery are some of the conditions the practice, if not done properly, can lead to. Though a minor tear heals itself naturally, a more ccomplicated one might entail surgery. A rupture can also lead to stroke – the reason for origin of the phrase “Barber Chair Stroke".
This is a warning for those who are addicted to cracking their neck on their own, like their fingers, by swift movement of head to one side. It can cause injury to blood vessels.
Earlier this year, a young 23-year-old man's autopsy report had revealed that the cause of his death was nothing else but an innocuous massage given by his mother to alleviate pain in his leg recovering from a fracture.
The man who was recovering from a fractured ankle, had developed large-sized blood clots in the area that was put in cast to immobilise it-- a condition known as deep vein thrombosis. The massage instigated the clot movement that stuck in his blood stream leading to his death.