Josh Hader, 28, of Gunthrie, Oklahoma had a sore neck and after trying to stretch it out but getting no relief, he popped it like many people do. However, the next thing he knew the the left side of his body started to go numb. As he walked into the kitchen to get an ice pack he realized he couldn’t walk straight. His father-in-law took him to the ER where doctors told Hader he’d had had a stroke.

Doctors explained that when he popped his neck, he “tore arteries that go to the bone of the neck, where the neck joins the skull at the base of the brain.”1

After health care workers administered TPA to break up the clots, he was transported to Mercy Hospital and placed in intensive-care for four days before being sent to inpatient therapy.

Dr. Vance McCollom, who treated him at Mercy said, “‘When he arrived, Hader had numbness, weakness, double vision, and his left side was numb.’ An arteriogram showed that the artery was compromised because of the tear, which caused a stroke. ‘He wasn’t able to walk straight. He kept falling down.”1

The incident happened on March 14th but now after rehab Hader is once again independent, “Currently, I can walk without a walker or cane, but I get tired much faster than before. My balance is still a little off, but it’s not terrible. My left side tingles a little and feels heavier than it used to. I also don’t have as much control of that side as I used to. My right side doesn’t feel sharp pain or hot/cold. I’m good emotionally. Like I said before, it’s still a struggle walking long distances, but it’s getting much better.”1

Although Hader had to wear an eye patch for several weeks because the nerve was injured and causing muscle weakness in one of his eyes, he says the worst side effect of the stroke was hiccups, which could be scary at times, making it difficult for Hader to breathe momentarily.

McCollom believes the hiccups happened because the stroke was at the base of the brain. He also said it’s not the first time he’s seen someone with that kind of stroke and that, if you really need to pop your neck, don’t twist, just move it side to side. 



  1. CNN