I was almost paralyzed after neck stretches and now use a walker – don’t make my mistake

A WOMAN was almost paralyzed after a neck stretch and now has to use a walking stick.

Amanda Borish, 28, suffered a spinal cord injury earlier this year and required emergency surgery.

Amanda Borish, 28, injured her spinal cord during a neck stretch


Amanda Borish, 28, injured her spinal cord during a neck stretchPhoto credit: Jam Press/@swanprincess_
After an emergency operation, she had to wear a neck brace


After an emergency operation, she had to wear a neck bracePhoto credit: Jam Press/@swanprincess_
"I have to use a walker for the time being," said Amanda


“I have to use a walker for now,” Amanda saidPhoto credit: Jam Press/@swanprincess_

The Californian used to suffer from severe neck pain and decided to start practicing different stretches to help ease the symptoms.

Until a day earlier this year, a move “stretched her spinal cord too far.”

Amanda was lying on her back on the sofa, her head and arms hanging over the edge to stretch out.

She said: “After stretching, I sat up as usual – except this time my arms and legs were completely numb. My hands felt like television noise.

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“I went to sleep hoping I wouldn’t wake up numb anymore.

“I went to the emergency room [the next day] and they did some cat scans on me.

“They determined I had ‘cervical stenosis’ and said it was really serious, so I had to stay the night.”

Cervical stenosis occurs when the protective spinal canal of the neck narrows, crushing the spinal cord.

It usually occurs due to wear and tear in people with arthritis or when there is a herniated disc. But it can happen due to trauma like a car accident.

Amanda said: “I was at risk of becoming a quadriplegic if I went home and I didn’t expect to have to stay in the hospital.

“I cried a lot and went home against her will because I wasn’t ready.”

Amanda visited the hospital the next day and was later referred to Riverside Community Hospital for a neurosurgeon.

On May 10, 2022, she was rushed into surgery to repair her spinal cord.

She said: “My surgeon said that my spinal cord damage was so bad and that if I had done one more wrong stretch or even fallen, I would probably have been paraplegic.

“Learning this information scared me a lot because I didn’t realize how serious it was.

“Now I’m at home because I need to recover and doing physical therapy because my legs don’t work the way they used to.

“I have to be dependent on a walker for the time being and also have titanium and six screws in my neck.”

Amanda was released home and was given instructions to use a walker and wear a neck brace until June 21, when she felt “restricted.”

She said: “I felt so restricted and it sucked. It gets so damn hot to wear.

“The doctor told me I can sit and lounge around on my bed without a neck brace, but when I walk or sleep I have to wear it.

“The walker isn’t meant to last forever, so I’m dealing with it as best I can.

“It actually makes me feel older, so I decorated it with some stickers to make it feel more ‘me’.

“I’m trying to get my legs strong now, so I try not to use the walker when I don’t think I absolutely need it – but sometimes that’s a mistake on my part.

“In the end, I have to hold on to the person I’m with so I don’t fall.

“People around me reacted very differently to my spinal cord injury than I did.

“Everyone around me takes it a lot more seriously than I do – I’m just very positive.

“I never really realized how serious it was until I realized it was me [could] still be paralyzed.”

As a warning to others, Amanda said she will “never do that particular route again.”

“But I could stretch my neck in a safer way,” she added.

“I will ask my doctor what are safe stretches I can do.”

Neck stretches, when done correctly, can provide relief.

But some movements place the head and neck in an extreme position that is well “beyond the parameters of normal cervical motion,” according to Family Chiropractic.

This increases “the potential for both compression and hyperextension of the cervical spine, leading to instability and injury.”

Amanda shared the shocking details of her accident on TikTok (@swanprincess_) where she received over 560.5K views and 46K likes.

One user said, “I watch this who cracks my neck every time I get the urge…”

Another said: “Omg the other day I was stretching my neck by tilting my head back and heard a loud click. I couldn’t move my head for days. I’m so glad it went away,” said another viewer.

Amanda's x-ray


Amanda’s x-rayPhoto credit: Jam Press/@swanprincess_
Amanda with her neck brace in the hospital


Amanda with her neck brace in the hospitalPhoto credit: Jam Press/@swanprincess_

https://www.the-sun.com/health/6034096/almost-paralysed-neck-stretches-now-use-walker/ I was almost paralyzed after neck stretches and now use a walker – don’t make my mistake

Sarah Y. Kim

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