News Flash: A Hyper-Extended Neck at the Shampoo Bowl Can Cause a Stroke

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Hyper-extending your neck at the hair salon could be doing more harm than good.

Shampoo sessions at a salon are supposed to be relaxing, but for some it can cause life-altering damage. Elizabeth Smith, mother of two, visited a salon in San Diego in December of 2013 for a shampoo and style and spent 10 minutes in the shampoo chair. Within a week she has suffered a massive stroke and her doctors attributed it to her neck being bent backwards and hyper-extended. This directly caused her vertebrae to slice an artery and in turn formed a clot and later caused the stroke.

“I had weakness in my left arm and leg, I just didn’t feel right,” Smith said about the incident with Buzzfeed. “I was standing up to point, and I couldn’t stand. But by the time the paramedics had arrived, my symptoms had resolved.”

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After six days passed her symptoms progressed to nausea and vomiting and she finally went to the hospital, and was diagnosed with a massive stroke. After months of rehabilitation, Smith is suing the salon and trying to spread the word of this rare but devastating phenomenon as many are completely unaware. Dr. Warren Selman, Director of the Neurological Institute at University Hospital Case Medical Center told ABC News that at any time one’s neck is hyper-extended this can happen and it the reason patients who go to the ER with stroke symptoms are asked if they have fallen or been on a roller coaster recently. He added, "Actually calling it a 'beauty parlor stroke' is relatively common in the teaching, it's been reported quite a lot.”

Pay attention ladies: make sure you are feeling comfortable in that shampoo chair.

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