Tuesday Nov 01, 2022
A woman in India's Hyderabad suffered from a rare syndrome called "beauty parlour stroke syndrome" while getting her hair washed at a beauty salon for a haircut.
While the condition sounds bizarre, a similar case came to notice decades ago. In 1993, the term "beauty parlour stroke syndrome" was officially coined by Dr Michael Weintraub in the Journal of the American Medical Association.
Weintraub witnessed five women suffer from serious neurological symptoms including loss of balance, numbness, and dizziness, after getting their hair washed at salons. The Guardian reported that four out of these five women suffered strokes.
The 50-year-old woman from Hyderabad faced something similar. Experts told the Times of India that a vital blood vessel came under pressure while she bent her neck for the wash. The pressure on the vessel supplying blood to the brain led to a stroke.
Dr Praveen Kumar Yada, a consultant neurologist at KMS Secunderabad, told the outlet that the masseur can accidentally "press down on the neck and head hard" at times. Sometimes, they might twist the neck which produces a crackling sound. Softer vessels can get wounded in the process.
While the woman survived the stroke, she will have to take medications all her life.
Any procedure that manipulates the neck can cause a stroke, said Dr Jyoti Bala Sharma, Director of Neurology at a private hospital in Noida, India.
"There are two major arteries in the neck, two in the front and two in the back. The back arteries are known as vertebral arteries and these pass through the cervical vertebrae or cervical bone," India Today quoted her as saying.
Any procedure, like massages or chiropractic activities, can tear the arteries to form a clot. The clot can then block the blood supply to the brain eventually causing a stroke.
However, in a condition like a beauty parlour stroke, there is a pre-existing condition called atherosclerosis. This means that there is an existing deposit in the arterial wall. Normal arteries are not impacted to the point of stroke in cases where they are pressed hard.