Miriam Margolyes: Coming out 'could be linked to mother's stroke'
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Strokes strike when part of the brain becomes deprived of oxygen, preventing it from carrying out basic functions. Risk factors generally encompass general disease markers, such as obesity, high cholesterol and high blood pressure. These conditions are notorious for the damage they inflict on the vascular system. According to an expert, one body movement could also damage the arteries leading to the break, causing blood to leak.
High blood pressure is an infamous precursor for stroke, while other conditions, such as atrial fibrillation, are behind one in five incidents.
Although the risk factors for stroke a generally well-known, triggers are less widely discussed.
A trigger is a term given to factors that provoke symptoms in an instantaneous fashion.
Neck-cracking may be a lesser-known trigger for stroke, particularly when the movement is done regularly.
READ MORE: Stroke: The daily habit that could slash your risk of the deadly condition by 48%
Monika Wassermann, MD at oliolusso, explained: “Neck cracking or neck manipulation is a common method of treating or reducing neck pain.
“However, when done wrongly, especially when a lot of pressure is applied, it can rarely cause a stroke.”
An ischaemic stroke strikes when a blood clot becomes lodged in the arteries leading to the brain.
This causes a blockage inside the artery that can prevent nutrient-rich blood from reaching the organ.
Alternatively, a hemorrhagic stroke can occur when blood from an artery begins to bleed into the brain.
This in turn causes the part of the body controlled by the affected brain area to stop working properly.
While habitual neck cracking is done in a bid to release pressure, a number of studies have confirmed the habit’s association with stroke.
This is because applying pressure to the neck in a forceful manner can eventually lead to blood clotting.
“From my work experience and several personal pieces of research, I can conclude that neck cracking can trigger a stroke,” adds Miss Wassermann.
The expert continued: “Knowing what leads to a stroke is important to understand the link better.”
“Stroke tends to happen after suffering an injury or tear on the neck arteries, a condition known as cervical artery dissection.”
She continued: “The tear causes leakage of blood which narrows the blood vessels as the blood gets into the artery walls.
“Severe leakage of blood can block the neck arteries, completely forming a clot that hinders blood flow to one part of the brain.”
Initial symptoms of a leakage in the brain may include numbness or weakness in the face, arm, or legs.
But facial weakness, speech difficulty, blurred vision, and dizziness are other known warning signs.
Symptoms may differ from case to case, depending on which region of the brain is affected.
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