It is a common practice in India to indulge in a quick neck and head massage post a haircut in most of the local barber shops for men. Only this time this neck massage did not end well for 54-year old Ajay Kumar in Delhi.
Kumar reached home feeling refreshed after getting a haircut and massage at a salon in August. But soon he started to become breathless. After a series of tests conducted by the doctors who were looking for other suspected causes, it was found that the neck crack at the end of the massage “had damaged his phrenic nerves that control the diaphragm,” which in turn regulates the breathing.
Dr Anand Jaiswal, director of respiratory and sleep medicine at Medanta – The Medicity said that Kumar had to be put on ventilation for breathing support and may continue to be on it for the rest of his life. The reason being phrenic nerves rarely regenerate spontaneously
“The neck massage and neck-crack that barbers ritually perform after a haircut can cause long-term damage to neck joints and surrounding tissues, muscles or nerves or even cause bilateral diaphragmatic paralysis like in this case,” the doctor said in one of the reports.
It is not uncommon in India to find people who like their haircut to end with a relaxing massage and a customary neck crack. However this story should serve as a caution to everyone who gets regular neck massages at salons and barber shops.